Common Catches Heat From Conservatives Over White House Invitation

Categories: politics
common.jpg
facebook.com/thinkcommon
Rapper Common suddenly finds himself in the midst of controversy after accepting an invitation to be part of the White House's "Poetry Night" this week. The Chi-town MC, who will join Jill Scott, Billy Collins, Elizabeth Alexander and others as guests of President Barack Obama and the First Lady for tomorrow's celebration of American poetry and prose, has become a target of conservative politicians and media outlets.

Tucker Carlson's The Daily Caller, Fox Nation and Sarah Palin have all weighed in on Common's invitation rehashing old beefs from the 2008 Presidential campaign. Providing fodder for the talking heads, Neil Munro of the Daily Caller cited "A Letter to the Law," a poem Common performed on HBO's Def Poetry television series. The offending lines include "Burn a Bush cuz for peace he no push no button," "I hold up a peace sign but I carry a gun" and a reference to the line "My uzi weighs a ton" from Public Enemy's song by the same name -- something Munro has no idea about.

But no, it doesn't stop there. Fox Nation picked up the story under the headline "Poet? Rev. Wright Defender and Promoter of Cop Killing Invited to White House." A freestyle Common did at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ in 2008 before the President distanced himself from the reverend was offered as evidence of the rapper's controversial profile. Then again, many conservatives view Rev. Wright in an exaggerated way so beautifully captured by the satire of the Boondocks:
  


Fox Nation goes on to cite two other controversial lines -- one referencing Mumia Abu-Jamal, the other supposedly opposed to interracial marriage -- without referencing the songs they supposedly came from. This is the same Common after all, who railed against Gangsta Rap in his most famous and prolific lyrical masterpiece 'I Used to Love H.E.R." On the critically acclaimed Like Water for Chocolate the MC scored a hit with "The Light," a song that is the very anti-thesis of misogynistic fare. Never one for nuance, Sarah Palin tweeted "Oh, lovely White House" anyway in response to the Daily Caller's write-up.

Media Matters for America called out Fox News' hypocrisy on the controversy. This week's "Vile Rapper," as Fox Nation called Common, was just the opposite last year on the network. As the liberal watchdog group has it:

In an October 2010 report for FoxNews.com, reporter Jason Robinson interviewed the "rap legend" and told him, "your music is very positive. And you're known as the conscious rapper. How important is that to you, and how important do you think that is to our kids?" Common replied that it's a "significant role. I just try to show who we are as well-rounded people and I'm happy to be known as the conscious artist."
Looking back at recent history, First Lady Laura Bush postponed and then canceled a poetry symposium in 2003 fearing that some of the invited guests would recite poetry against future military action Iraq. And Common is the violent one? If there is any controversy, it's that the rapper isn't following in Poets Against War founder Sam Hamill's footsteps in declining the invitation from the White House back then as wars and bloated Pentagon budgets continue on now.


My Voice Nation Help
2 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
howard521
howard521

The Obama's have once again showed a total lack of taste and judgement, by choosing a radical, racist, anti-American, anti-establishment rapper to perform at the White House ... and, I don't think it was merely a mistake. It was a deliberate insult to President Bush, the police, and women. Trying to justify it, with the weak excuse that it's art, is merely adding insult to injury. Those who try to defend this foul mouthed rapper, named Common' ... or trailer trash, like Michelle Obama, are disgusting fools. This is just another reason why we have to get these low life traitors out of the White House in 2012 !!!

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

Palin and FOX only say whatthey think their audience wants to hear as far as Neocon propaganda. This imprudent commentaryhas caused damage to the world view of America including critical comments suchas this which expose not only racism and bigotry but the obtuseworld-view of the people this kind of rhetoric seems fit to represent. I was compelled to create avisual commentary about this very thing on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot...

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Events

Loading...