US Conservatives do not need much help in the “make yourself look bad, racist & backward” department. This comes with the recent statements made by Sarah Palin, Fox news’ Sean Hannity and many other right-wing pussies giving their 2cents’ worth on Michelle Obama inviting the esteemed rapper to her poetry night. Palin & Co. Seem to be aggravated by Common being invited to the White House because of a overly exaggerated interpretation of Common’s hip hop verse which reads:
[Note: The bits in bold are the remarks which (according to US conservatives) are radical, hateful threats and do not constitute as art or poetry]:
“A Letter to the Law
Dem boy wanna talk… [indistinguishable]
Whatcha gon do if ya got one gun?
I sing a song for the hero unsung
with faces on the mural of the revolution
No looking back cos’ in back is what’s done
Tell the preacher, god got more than one son
Tell the law, my Uzi weighs a ton
I walk like a warrior,
from them I won’t run
On the streets, they try to beat us like a drum
In Cincinnati, another brother hung
A guinea won’t see the sun
with his family stung
They want us to hold justice
but you handed me none
The same they did to Kobe and Michael Jackson
make them the main attraction
Turn around and attack them
Black gem in the rough
You’re rugged enough
Use your mind and nine-power, get the government touch
Them boys chat-chat on how him pop gun
I got the black strap to make the cops run
They watching me, I’m watching them
Them dick boys got a lock of cock in them
My people on the block got a lot of pok* in them
and when we roll together
we be rocking them to sleep
No time for that, because there’s things to be done
Stay true to what I do so the youth dream come
from project building
Seeing a fiend being hung
With that happening, why they messing with Saddam?
Burn a Bush cos’ for peace he no push no button
Killing over oil and grease
no weapons of destruction
How can we follow a leader when this a corrupt one
The government’s a g-unit and they might buck young black people
Black people In the urban area one
I hold up a peace sign, but I carry a gun.
This rhyme has been falsely interpreted as a “cop-killing” and a threat to “burn” former President Bush and therefore they believe he deserves no entrance into the white house. These right-wing fools have thrown many explicit words such as referring to common as a “common-thug” & using the word “vile” in Hannity’s debate show on Fox News. Now clearly this is stupidity at its best, but on a more serious note, there is a huge wind of racism in this entire situation. But firstly do these conservatives even know what a thug is? Common doesn’t have a single criminal record in his life and has made an honest living from being a man who can handle the pen and write conscious rhymes that depict the black urban American experience well. They have no right nor no reason to refer to him as a thug. Second of all, Common is being invited to a poetry evening. I believe expression is the core essence of poetry and he is being invited to a poetry night, not a summit meeting to discuss US foreign policy, (though I do believe a conscious rapper could bring interesting views in state affairs and conversations). Even NWA’s “Fuck the Police” can be classified as poetry even in its explicitness.
There is a clear undertone of paranoia and bigoted foolishness over here. The fact that a black man with a thudding opinion is equated to a thug is worrying, and what’s even more baffling is how nobody can acknowledge that the Obamas have the right to invite whomever they please into their own home at any function and Palin should zip it as she’s not the one who is in charge or lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Common is one of Hip Hop’s greatest emcees, hip hop has proven in its commercial and cultural success to be a brilliant mode of poetry which represents black culture and the African-American experience well. It makes plausible for the 1st lady to include him on the guest list. I think there is a lot that can be said here about white America and their views of African-Americans, its backward, foolish and dreadful and honestly quite comical.