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Whitney Houston 'crack ho' slur on LA radio: Look who's talking

Black people everywhere, who have never even heard of the 'The John & Ken Show' in LA, are in an uproar about the two white radio hosts who called Whitney Houston a 'crack ho' on air and made other offensive comments. Far worse is the everyday use of the 'ho' word by blacks.

Whitney Houston strikes a pose during her performance at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in April 2001. Two white radio hosts in LA have apologized for offensive remarks about the late Houston, including calling her a 'crack ho.' When was the last time a black rapper apologized for the everyday use of this word in lyrics?

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill/File

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The suspension last week of two popular radio hosts in Los Angeles over offensive remarks about the late singer Whitney Houston has sent shock waves through LA and, thanks to the Internet, the nation.

Black people everywhere, who have never even heard of the “The John & Ken Show” on KFI AM 640, are in an uproar about the two white men, John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, who called Ms. Houston a “crack ho” on air and made other derogatory remarks. Now there’s even talk in Los Angeles about a day of protest against the show and station.

The men said that the star who struggled with drugs was “cracked out for 20 years,” and remarking on her death they wondered: “Really, it took this long?”

As a black woman who listens to the conservative KFI religiously Monday through Friday, and who is not one of the millions of people mourning the death of Houston, even I had to do a double take when I heard this slip of the tongue live last week. I remember thinking, did they really just say that?

Coming off of the Don Imus 2007 controversy and his on-air “nappy-headed hos” comment about Rutgers women’s basketball players, the suspension of John and Ken wasn’t that much of a surprise. We’ve been there and done that.

For the record, white people calling black women derogatory names is nothing new. And even though I listen to The John & Ken Show, as a black woman, at the end of the day I know exactly where I stand with them and what they think about black people.

Are their comments enough to justify national outrage from blacks? Maybe.

However, I’d argue that before a single finger is pointed at John or Ken, most black people need a quick reality check.


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