Common’s White House Controversy


Common, in a recent appearance on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” addressed the controversy that swarmed back in May when he was invited to perform at a poetry event at the White House.

Several Fox News pundits and conservatives, including Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, decried Michelle Obama’s decision to invite the rapper. They cited Common’s having recorded a song that voiced support for former Black Panther Assata Shakur as reason for his invitation being inappropriate.

Shakur was convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper in the 1970s, but the conviction was and is extremely controversial. Common was accused of supporting a cop-killer.

“At first, I thought it was humorous… Then I realized they just didn’t know me, because if they had, they wouldn’t come out and say that I rap about killing cops,” Common said. “Anyone that knows me knows I put out music about love, I put out music about social consciousness, community, God, having fun.”

“Some of my team members told me, ‘Fox News and Sarah Palin said this and that about you, that you were this type of artist,’” he said. “That’s when I was like, ‘Really? You sure?’ Sarah Palin must have never have heard any of Common’s music.”

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