Republicans share Common problem
Published: Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 16:05
If I walked up to you and said "My peoples want hits, I hit it from the back. Under the cherry moon, I hold notes and carry tunes," would you invite me to your house?
It appears that this is all you need to do in order to be invited to the White House.
Well, not exactly.
You would need to have won a Grammy or two and have gotten paid a substantial amount for doing it.
Common, formally known as Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., was recently invited to the White House for a celebration of American poetry and prose, and some organizations, such as Fox News, of course, were disgusted.
While Common has indeed written some controversial lyrics and poetry, you would be hard-pressed to find a poet who hasn't. Controversy is spun from passion, and writers are passionate people — this is one of our defining characteristics.
Common has said "Burn a Bush" in protest of our former president and America's war on terror, and has sung sympathetically of Assata Shakur, an activist and member of the Black Panthers in the 1970s.
Shakur was indicted 10 times between 1973 and 1977, leading to seven criminal charges. She went to jail for the killing of a New Jersey police officer, even though medical reports stated that she was physically unable to fire the gun due to the fact that she had been shot.
Documentary evidence shows that she was the target of an FBI investigation, which attempted to link her with "every bank robbery or violent crime involving a black woman on the East Coast."
Common, among others, felt Shakur was targeted because she said she had the right to defend her kin against murderers, like a policeman who killed a black 16-year-old boy when he shot him in the back in New Jersey.
So when New Jersey police officers caught wind of Common's visit to Washington, they were "outraged" because apparently they think that police officers are above reproach.
They disregarded all the undeniable good that Common has done, from HIV/AIDS awareness to his own charity, Common Ground Foundation, which is dedicated to the empowerment and development of urban youth.
Common has even said, "I think making a difference in the lives of others is my life's greatest purpose."
But when our country's most famous Alaska-loving caribou hunter heard of Common being invited to the White House, she gave the world a beautifully eloquent and constructive comment via Twitter: "Oh lovely, White House." I didn't think I could like Sarah Palin any less.
Johnny Cash visited numerous presidents, though he said and did things that make Common look like a common saint. Not only did he go to the White House, but he was presented the National Medal of Arts by President George W. Bush.
The only difference is that Common has black skin. He wasn't arrested 15 times. He's not addicted to drugs, nor has he ever snuck across the Mexican border with a guitar case full of narcotics.
Therefore, upon dissection, it can be boiled down to something which is less than 140 characters, so I can't imagine why no opponents tweeted it. One comment that clarifies it all: "Oh no, not only do we have to have a half-black president, but now he and his black wife are bringing their ghetto, vile culture to our White House!!!"
Please picture some old, white people passed out on chaise lounges here, or some younger, white people passed out on piles of beer bottles; it's one or the other.