As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Mr. President: Get Common Out of the East Room

I sometimes, because I am a nice guy, offer my advice to the White House about grave communications mistakes it is making. I’ve sat in the White House briefing room for 14 years now, and I know what I’m talking about.

The decision to keep the cop-hating rapper Common on the roster for tonight’s White House poetry and prose reading is a gross error. The politics of this will boomerang right back at you and smack you in the face. This issue has great resonance around the country. People don’t like cop killing, it turns out. I was just on a radio talk program, the Cari and Rob Show, where one of the hosts said the phone boards had never in the history of his program lit up like they are on this issue.

First of all, here’s White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s response on the Common issue. I got into with him after he batted away a few friendlier questions. My part starts at 3:10 on the video.

Well, it’s not just a few things Common said. He seems to have a thing about killing police.

Common has written one “poem” in which he talks about carrying weapons to use against police warning, “They watching me, I’m watching them.”

He has written material lauding Assata Shakur, a Black Panther who was involved in a shootout that killed a New Jersey state trooper. After escaping from jail, she now lives in Cuba. He named his daughter after her.

And he has lauded Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer.

And what’s more, Common has spoken out against mixed marriage – something you would think would get the attention of President Obama. He has made anti-gay remarks and suggested he’d like to “burn a Bush,” a double entendre, the awful half of which appears to suggest killing George W. Bush.

This guy, to quote one of my favorite Yiddish terms, is Meshuggah. One hundred percent.

The president has just made huge progress in the last two weeks getting some tough guy and law and order credentials. He took out Bin Laden, appeared with the police and the firemen at Ground Zero, and claimed to be controlling the Mexican border.

White House, you are about to reverse all this. I’ve rarely seen such a big PR mistake.

I’m thinking Common wasn’t vetted properly.

But on the other hand, Common is a product of Jeremiah Wright’s church. You can take the Obama’s our of Wright’s church, but perhaps you can’t take Wright’s church out of the Obamas. That is, it’s quite likely he was vetted just fine, and nobody thought there was much wrong with all this.

Go to Mr. Common, tell him he’s out of the lineup, and then have him say it was his decision, because he loves children, or whatever.

Otherwise, incur the political consequences – and they will not be pretty – you so richly deserve for this.

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121 Responses to Mr. President: Get Common Out of the East Room

  1. Thank you Keith for getting the specifics out. On Fox they just focus on the Bush-killing lyrics, and they’re not reporting on the other stuff. The WH & Dems pretend that “artists” often say controversial things, but there’s a lot more to the story than just his hate-filled, violent thug “poetry”.

    Here’s a link to the very informative Big Hollywood story on Common, where he approves of using white girls for the most basic of his urges, but doesn’t approve of dating them or marrying them:

    http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/jjmnolte/2011/05/10/obama-white-house-invites-racist-misogynist-pro-cop-killer-rapper-to-evening-of-poetry/

    It includes a video of Common rappin’ in Jeremiah Wright’s “church” … where Common was brought up – in Jan. ’08.

  2. K,
    Forgive me but w this WH this kind of thing is ‘common’. Paul McCartney couldn’t leave w/ out alluding to being in the WH library where the previous Pres. couldn’t read. There have been others but “Poetry Night” (please, what’s next? Kitten Night starring the Black Panthers?) was so poorly reported yet so incendiary that something’s afoot and I know what it is: someone like Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. is INVITED to WH, in response to his kopkilling activism/lyrics (name your kid after a cop killer, you’ve picked a side) the POTUS says “I DO NOT APPROVE OF THESE LYRICS” while he and M dance to said lyrics and the media turns to us and says ” HE REALLY DOESN’T, HONEST!” If you’ll forgive me one last time: horse shit.

    • Great points, Mike. Just imagine the media firestorm if a Republican had some John Bircher to poetry night who had made some inflammatory statements of one type or another. The press would be going wild. But I assure you, no one in the briefing room today got it or cared. Including the White House officials who were there.

      • John Birch?
        OMG, not kidding
        Lawrence O’Donnell would became so self-righteously incensed his bat-wings would rip his suit.

      • True, true, remember the media firestorm that happened when President George H. W. Bush invited rapper Eazy-E to have lunch with him at the white house? A rapper who’s lyrics by all accounts makes Common look like Wayne Brady? Remember how the media piled onto him, saying that Bush Sr supported cop killing and was associating with radical black nationalists?

        Or how about back in 2002, when President Bush not only honored Johnny Cash with an invite, but gave him a freaking medal for his contributions to music and culture? The liberals went nuts, remember that? For two weeks all you heard was Cash’s lyrics about cocaine and murdering women. They couldn’t believe that Bush considered “Sam Hall” to be a positive contribution to American culture. Do you remember when that happened?

        I’m sincerely asking if you remember. Because I don’t

        • Your logic is that because previous wrongs have not been addressed, current wrongs should not. That doesn’t make much sense to me. If your point presupposes that I am being partisan in my criticism of Obama about Common, you are incorrect.

          • But I don’t actually consider the invitations made by Bush Jr and Sr to be wrongs. That’s the thing: no one did. The lyrics of Easy-E and Johnny Cash were far more vulgar than Common’s, but not even the most determined of liberals tried to make the case that those two artists *actually* supported violence and that the Bushes were determined to reward them for their vulgarities. Because that would be just crazy.

            As a justification for your critique, you presented a hypothetical scenario. In it, we were asked to imagine what the media reaction would be if a Republican president extended similar invitations to artists that glorify violence. As I pointed out, there’s no need for hypotheticals, because those scenarios actually happened, and we already saw how much outrage there was from the media (no outrage at all). So wouldn’t it be natural for the White House to assume there would similarly be no outrage over recognizing a musician whom is even less offensive? The people of California even elected a governor whom has personally shot about two or three dozen police officers on the silver screen. But now we’re talking about Common, a guy whom not even a month ago was working alongside Elmo on Sesame Street to teach kids about fiscal responsibility.

          • Eazy-E was 20 years ago. In today’s climate, I’m willing to bet there would have been plenty of outrage, and if what you said about Eazy is correct and he had not repudiated things he had said, I would join it. Liberals also tend to be more accepting of rap outrages, which is unfortunate.

            If W had invited David Duke to read at the White House, the town would have exploded. W was attacked for heading to Bob Jones University. I just don’t agree with you at all.

            Common’s offenses are not isolated, they are a consistent theme. Things he has said are repugnant. Someone who has promoted cop killing to young people and hinted at killing a former president should not be at the White House, even if he brings Elmo along.

  3. Love the part at about 1:00 where Carney attempts to persuade us that Barry has been very supportive of law enforcement. I bet that is exactly what the Cambridge, MA police department would say. In fact, Carney blew it by not attributing an endorsement from the rank and file police officers on that force with regards to BHO’s longstanding support of police departments far and wide.

    There must not be any capable press secretaries (read “artful liers”) willing to be martyred for this president. But then again, who could blame them. Carney is not even remotely convincing and he looks like he is counting the minutes until he can go home and kick the dog or bang his head on the wall. He looks and sounds exhausted and he’s only been on the job for, what, a few months? At least Gibbs seemed ebullient in his apologetics for the administration, even though he too was not even remotely believable.

  4. In the overall scheme of things, this isn’t as important as unemployment, the economy, the nat’l debt, etc. But it DOES tell you something about the President and the First Lady….. I’ve never subscribed to the birther stuff; but, even though he was born here, he doesn’t seem to have the same values as most Americans.

    • Great job Keith! I have never watched Carney before-wow he is inept. I think they should uninvite him asap…but they won’t.

      Are they trying to wear people down by ignoring them to the point they just give up? Sure seems that way. Sad

  5. Hey, it’s OK. After all, he got elected even though he started his political career in Bill Ayers den, and Bill was a for-real terrorist, not a play-one-on-stage terrorist.

  6. Now that the Obamas have invited Common who wants to burn George Bush alive, will President Bush be needing extra security as it would seem to me that the Obamas are are tacitily endorsing Common’s venom.

  7. I’m a middle-aged white guy myself, but I know enough to realize that if you took out all the rappers who had negative things to say about cops, you wouldn’t have any rappers left. You know, I think some of them might even talk about drugs! Hey, that’s just what I heard….

    Furthermore, the Mumia Abu Jamal case stinks to high heaven, and many people have thought he was innocent for a long time. This has been a controversial case for 20 years, and lots of people have taken Mumia’s side in the dispute. I wonder if Common has any songs about Leonard Peltier?

    Common has a First Amendment right to speak his mind, and just because he is invited to the White House doesn’t mean that Obama approves of every song he ever wrote. That is just ridiculous.

    • Then you would have approved of the next president inviting a poet to the WH who has written about wanting to burn Obama?

      I’m sure that president wouldn’t agree with those sentiments but the poet has written some nice things about horses and dogs so gets the invite anyhow.

    • Given the 20 (or whatever) years that Barry spent “worshipping” at Trinity United Church of Christ, patiently *not approving* of everything Jeremiah Wright preached, has some interesting parallels to his supposed disapproval/disagreement of Common’s lyrics. It is extraordinarily unclear where approval and disapproval starts and stops with this president. In the case of the Obama/Wright relationship, it took a public outcry for BHO to create some space between himself and his pastor, making me wonder just how much of the Wright docrtine he REALLY rejects. I’ll connect the dots and say that I wonder the same thing about the Obamas’ appreciation and rejection of Common’s “art.”

    • Rob, while I agree w/ your premise, there is a difference between complicity and endorsement. This is both.

      It is a fact that the anti-law enforcement attitude in the black community is one that is default and ‘common’. If you don’t think the America’s black community doesn’t know who and what Mr. Lynn, Jr. represents, I promise that THEY do. Disrespect of law enforcemt. is now State sanctioned. exit question: how many records you think Taylor Swift sells if she has a baby boy and names him: “James Earl Ray Swift”?

    • oh please, spare us the white-guy cred and the off-topic nod to 1st Amendment rights that aren’t at issue.

      the problem is that this president simply isn’t very presidential.

      I remember Lions great Barry Sanders, talking about the hotdogs who dance after they score touchdowns: “I don’t go crazy in the end zone because I try to act like I’ve been there before.” to me, Obama and Michelle act like they’ve never been there before: among the rich and powerful and famous, that is, and their behavior sometimes is just–unseemly! I can’t think of a better word.

      I realize that in saying this I sound like the ancient neighborhood crone who yells at the kids to get off the lawn, but for godsake: is it too much to ask that our president have a little dignity?

    • True. Common does have first amendment rights. After all, he’s an “artist”. I wonder if some country guy decided to write a similar ditty about offing our current White House resident how long it would be before Secret Service knocked on or down, his door. There is no balance. It’s a crazy world where you can say outrageous and antisocial things as long as you vote the “right” way. In a similar manner, it will soon be illegal for any company to contribute to a campaign. How much do you think Bill Gates’ and George Soros’ office staff are going to have to make an hour to afford those private donations?

  8. The irony is not lost on me that Common would not have approved of the marital relationship between Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., and Stanley Ann Dunham. Rich, indeed.

  9. Thanks for nailing this on the head, Mr. Koffler! After all the “grieving” and finger-pointing Democrats did over the nonexistent role right-wing incivility and “hate speech” played in the Tucson shooting just a few months ago, even after it was demonstrated that the shooter was mentally ill and there was no reason to believe he ever saw Sarah Palin’s cross-hairs Web page, I can’t believe they are arrogant enough to pull this. A white “artist” who wrote that kind of rot wold be labeled a racist in a heartbeat, and the press certainly wouldn’t let off a Republican president who was dumb enough to invite him to the WH. But in President Obama’s case, it’s probably not dumbness — just arrogance.

  10. Excellent questions Keith. You could tell by the look on his face that he knows he’s giving you a load of crock. By inviting this man to the White House, the People’s house, Obama is endorsing Mr. Commons gangster lyrics. He will also be telling America that he is not the president to all of us, just those who can benefit his re-election.

  11. Carney said that the President appreciates Common’s work with children particularly in Chicago. Does that mean Sasha and Malia listen to Common?

    I doubt it so he’s good enough for other people’s children but not for theirs?

  12. Looking for a sure fire way to kill off a bounce in your poll numbers after having just whacked the world’s most wanted terrorist? How about inviting a bona-fide “gangsta rapper” to the White House?

    I never cease to be amazed at the bunch of rank amateurs we have running the White House these days. Thankfully their incompetence doesn’t extend to either our military or our intelligence agencies.

  13. Common is insightful and smart. He attracts a younger broader audience of both black, latino, and white fans. Especially YOUNG college students who want to change this country. I see where Obama is trying to reach the youth with art and creativity. Trust me, we want to help all you old white people, but it seems though that you don’t want to help us. Keep the concious rappers, and poets in the white house.

    • Listen you smug little snot. You may think you know the answers, but I assure you that you do not. Instead you have filled your head with political rhetoric and you haven’t bothered to do the research. You don’t know that we are living through these times not because of Bush, but because of the failure of Clinton to pull the trigger when it was needed. And that was because of a far left political agenda that looks like John Birch in comparison to what is laughingly called “leadership” right now. I’ve worked campaigns since I was a kid and I have read and written and acts in ways to create real change. What you have here before you in the White House is a propped up pupper regime being run by folks with real money and real power. And they do not care about me. And they do not care about you. So go ahead and follow the lemming right over that cliff. Sooner or later on your way down you will realize that you were just another straw in the demographic bale that Obama means to heave into the next term. Look at your taxes. Look at your healthcare bill. Look at the cost of food, energy, fuel and services. Ask yourself if this is what you bought into. But then again, nothing teachers better than experience. May you have an interesting life.

  14. If you give your pet dog treats and hugs every day; but occasionally when you are upset or it pees on the rug you kick it across the room are you a dog lover or a dog kicker?
    If you love your wife and buy her presents; but when she acts up you slap her around are you a loving husband or a wife beater?
    If you say some nice things; but say it is alright to kill cops…….

  15. I feel sorry for the press secretary having to make excuses for President Obama when he does such stupid things and there are so darned many of them.

  16. This Carney guy, and the line he is sticking to, is a joke. It holds no water, and is an example of the world of fantasy politicians live in. Just say that you don’t condone or support these kinds of lyrics, and declare them harmful and all is well in the world. There is a complete lack of understanding that actions speak louder than words. Anyone with any common sense would not have the gall to try and make the stance that they don’t support these types of lyrics, and that they are harmful, and not think that inviting him to appear at the White House doesn’t completely throw that statement on its ear. Your actions do, in fact, support these types of lyrics regardless of the BS platitudes this half wit is spouting. Typical of the way the political establishment views us all as non-sentient beings unable to see through their self-serving hypocrisy. Disgusting!

  17. You’re doing Yeoman’s Work, Keith.
    The startling hypocrisy of this ‘gang’ has made it so the most plausible explanations are simply those opposite of what they disseminate officially.
    The Ministry of Truth has established an easy litmus.
    And frankly, it is a gross failure of messaging when 52-percent of the electorate automatically suspects each statement the President makes. At least Nixon had the Silent Majority.
    Maybe they don’t care…maybe they have an Ace in the Hole next year.
    Up to this point in our history, this was just dumb politics. Who knows what it means now?

  18. The Obamas think people like Jeremiah Wright and Common are cool. They are the biggest hypocrites I have ever seen occupy the White House.

  19. Please don’t give Obama Thug good advice…….choices like this Common creep are one of the few ways we can see into O’s Communist soul. The more he shoots himself in the foot like this the more chances the American people have of seeing how not like us he really is.

  20. Keith, I think Jay Carney has young children. Perhaps he should be asked if he would feel comfortable with Common doing a poetry reading/learning session with his little ones.

  21. To paraphrase my favorite movie ” I haven’t seen him do one smart thing all day.” (James Garner in Support Your Local Sheriff) Obama has been isolated and coddled to the point that he believes his own hype. Obama thinks he is the social arbiter, sort of a latter day Louis Quinze. But the reality is that every word out of his mouth and every move he makes is for political traction. Just this week he came to Texas. Did he stop in Houston or Dallas or San Antonio, three large cities struggling to tread water in this economy? No, he headed to El Paso, where the border is as porous as a sieve and then proceeded to lie about the security of the border. He has to know the fence itself is only five percent completed. He know he has pulled troops away from border enforcement. Even his Secret Service detail would have been away of the many and various narcoterrorists operating out of Juarez from the safety of El Paso safe houses. Yet he chose to posture as a protector of La Raza because he wants and needs Hispanic votes and doesn’t much care whether those casting them are here legally or not. Then he headed to Austin-liberal bastion of misplaced Californians-who gave him more money to spend on his campaign of lies. And that’s what it is. If you say anything loud enough, long enough people believe it. And that is what I fear the most. God save us from the Will of Obama.

  22. Isn’t there a strong possibility the Obamas and Common knew each other before this because they both went to Wright’s church and are “old friends”?

  23. Let me ask you this, have you ever actually listened to any of Common’s songs? I have listened to most of them, and he is exactly the kind of person who should be invited to a poetry night at the White House.

    How dare you condemn him for a few out of context lines?

    He grew up a black kid in the ghetto, do you think any of them love police? Its only natural. He is not a thug or a drug dealer and he openly opposes violence. For many kids in the inner cities, Common is the most positive musician they might ever hear.

    Common himself said it best, “We write songs about wrong because its hard to see right”.

    That is just the world that he is from. He grew up being looked down on by white people, so he is proud of people that he perceives as fighting for him and his kin, like Assata Shakur.

    Also, as a rapper, he says certain things in hopes of gaining commercial success. Songs that sell are songs that make bold and controversial statements, so he goes to extremes, as all artists do.

    Obama wants to reach out to people in the inner cities who do not usually get any recognition by the government. Those people listen to rap music, like it or not, and Common is just about as good as it gets. He is intelligent, peaceful, he brings social issues to the attention of countless people who might otherwise be listening to “sex sex sex, drugs drugs drugs, guns guns guns”.

    If you honestly think that Common is too immoral to be in the white house, you haven’t listened to any popular music in the last few decades.

    What about Jay-Z, who is good friends with Obama? He was actually a crack dealer, and became extraordinarily wealthy talking about being a crack dealer.

    Would you rather he invite the serial killer-esque Eminem, or the drugged out lunatic Lil Wayne? The mob boss Rick Ross? These are the people that the youth, especially the black youth, listen to.

    Obama SHOULD develop strong ties with Common. Common legitimately wants to HELP the inner cities stop their violence and drugs, while other rappers simply glorify these vices. Obama is respected in the inner cities, something no other politician can really boast. He is trying to foster a more positive relationship between the ghetto and the government, and invitations to people like Common, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, and other positive figures in Hip Hop is probably the only way to do it.

    I am no fan of Obama. I am a libertarian opposed to every policy Obama has supported, but I applaud him on this, and am disgusted by this slanderous article and comment section.

    • George, you make thoughtful points, so I thought I would respond, even though your tone is pretty hostile. I try to limit people insulting each other on the blog – I like discussion and respect for other points of view. Ad hominen attacks in arguments are too common, especially in Washington, and they bore me.

      But I respect your views, even if you don’t mine.

      I don’t buy that “it’s only natural” that black kids in ghettos hate police. A 1989 poll in Chicago found that one if five blacks had direct knowledge of anyone that suffered police brutality – too high but hardly enough to make everyone “naturally” hate police. Rather, most blacks felt police brutality was not racially motivated, and most blacks actually wanted MORE police in the neighborhoods to protect them from thugs.

      I think it’s condescending to believe that young blacks “perceive” killers as fighting for them and should look up to them. I think they should and do look up to the many black and white role models who have succeeded despite odds against them – including, yes, Barack Obama.

      What I have presented in my blog posts are not a few lines out of context. It is a consistent theme for Common. There are no justifications for suggesting in songs our youth will hear that the brave police who work the inner cities, most of whom likely want to make lives better for the inhabitants, should be killed.

      I agree it’s good that Obama has a connection to the inner cities. But he is the president of the United States. Whatever good Common does, Obama should find someone else. The leader of our country, who is in charge of our military, our safety, and ultimately the federal police force, should not in any way associate himself with someone who has condoned violence against the police and his predecessor as president.

      As far as I know, Common has repudiated none of this. I saw some tweets of his today that were derisive of those who criticize him. It’s a disgrace he was in the East Room tonight.

    • “He grew up a black kid in the ghetto, do you think any of them love police”

      Seriously? Who told you that? or did you get that from one of his raps?

      His mother was a teacher – and later got her PhD in eduation. His father was a basketball player with the ABA & later a counselor – they divorced when he was six but he maintained contact with his son.

      “Common” attended college for two years, majoring in business administration.

      Never ceases to amaze how many people believe what they want to believe – regardless of facts. Common – the rap star – simply must have been born poor & underprivileged. We white people, esp. me, since I’m a white woman – deserve his contempt. White women are only good for fulfilling his sexual needs – he certainly doesn’t believe in dating us or heaven forbid marrying one. He’s perfectly justified in rapping about cop killin’ – cuz he from da hood.

      Libertarian? Really? Sounds more like race = destiny – regardless of socio-economic background – hardly libertarian.

      • Good one. I’ve noticed many of the critical commenters claim not to be Obama supporters (not necessarily this one), or say they don’t agree with him etc. It’s a technique they use because they think it gives them added credibility. Whenever someone writes “I’m not an Obama supporter, but” it should have a red flag beside it.

        I don’t even know why they even bother. They’re not changing anyone’s mind and it’s a waste of time. I have never commented on a liberal website and can’t imagine going on one.

        • I agree Granny. I’d never go on to HuffPo & do battle. What’s the point – they’re dumb as dirt & as indoctrinated as North Korean robots.

          Let’s not forget that the DOJ most likely still employs people to blog at our expense. I used to see ads on Craigslist for bloggers – Soros-paid I’m sure. Matter of fact there have been a ton of ads at Monster for online writers – the ’12 campaign is going to be brutal.

  24. 11 May 2011
    Folks,
    Unbelievable! The Marxist/Islamic President of the United States of America, Barak Hussein Obama, has invited a rapper, by the name (I guess it’s a name.) of Common, an advocate of cop killing, to the White House. Obama has no shame and a terrible sense of justice. I guess by now this should not surprise me. Given his low ratings for re-election, the horrible way in which his stewardship of the economy has languished, the poor decisions he has made on many, many issues, this latest gaff is almost as if Obama does not want to be re-elected. Fine. Just don’t run!
    Keith, A well written article!

  25. Not only tone deaf, but delusional, and obfuscating slap in the face.
    That is America’s house, you Sir, are only living in it for a little while.

    A cop killing supporter and President of the US threatening a-hole should never be welcome in the peoples house. Soon, real soon this will change and our country will be much better off!

  26. you are all fucking idiots. take the time out to actually listen to the man’s music. It is so easy for you to pick and prod at the few “negative” things this man has said in his music, of which you have came up with just 3. Anyone who is anyone knows that this man does not advocate the killing of cops, if you listen to anything with blind eyes and deaf ears I would expect you to come back with a fools opinion. One has to look at this man for what he is, a Black man from the Southside of Chicago, I’m willing to bet his experience with police and those like him are nothing like yours. Any Black man has a watchful eye on police because we know the history of discrimination. Don’t act stupid and as if you have no clue as to why a Black man would feel this way. As for his view on inter-racial marriage, yes he personally has a preference for Black woman, big fucking deal. If you actually sit down and listen to this man’s words you would know that he is a wonderful lyricist and poet. Ugh, I can’t take this ignorance from you all, and I’m willing to bet that most of you commenting on this are WHITE, so it’s easy for me to know that you all just don’t understand.

    • No kidding. Even genuine gangster rappers (like Biggie) can be pretty nuanced about the realities of inner-city life. Common thoroughly rejects gangsterism, yet is thrown up on a cross because of the racist delusions of people freaking out because of our black president.

      I swear, it’s like 40% of white America completely lost its mind after November 08. And remember, midway through the Obama Recession, George W. Bush killed Bin Laden and won the War on Terror…

    • Oh what the heck – let me just throw out a “what if” to you Dierdre.

      Sarah Palin (who I’m sure you hate with a passion) is President. She invites some “white” country star who wears a Confederate flag shirt, talks about black women being only good for having sex with – would never date or marry one – and sings about killing thugs in da hood. This guy’s hero is some woman who killed a gangsta, and got convicted of murder, but escaped from prison & is now living in Bermuda.

      Now I bet you’re about to blow up just thinking about that scenario.

      Obama is the absolute worst President ever. And no – I’m not a racist – like Obama & Common & Jay-Z. My #1 pick for Pres is Congressman Allen West – my #2 pick is Herman Cain – who describes himself as a “real black man”.

      You really need to wake up & smell the coffee.

      • Yes you r, your just in the closet. Any one who has to tell others that they r not racist are definitely racist. Oh no. I said it “Am i a racist for calling you a racist.” lol “reverse racism?” lmao

  27. Common is not a particularly hardcore rapper–he appeared in GAP commercials dancing on a peace sign. It is revealing that Mr. Koffler couldn’t come up with a more compelling line than “they’re watching me, I’m watching them” despite the assured fact that his only connection with Common’s music comes from poring over the lyrics of each of Common’s songs online looking for violence and debauchery.

    The grander cop-killing accusation is similarly narrow-minded. Advocating the cause of Assata or Mumia as political prisoners is distasteful to some, I’ll admit. But it cannot believably be compared to preaching blind murder and sin despite Mr. Koffler’s numerous attempts to the contrary.

    Poetry is a unique forum for addressing social issues. Aristotle, Langston Hughes, and Shakespeare used poetry to express dissent and to describe visions of a more perfect future. Common is no different. In an artistic democracy, we cannot have such a low threshold for our witch-hunting.

    • Dancing on a peace sign? Oh wow – I’m so impressed.

      Well, golly gee – that means he must be for peace. Yeah, man. Hey, how’s that Libya thing workin’ for ya, Sam?

      “Artistic democracy”? Does that mean that only really smart artists like Common will rule over us dumb yokels? Oh, and I bet you’re a really smart artist too.

      Hey, how about we get some redneck cowboy poet in the WH rappin’ about killin’ some gangstas! yeah buddy! And he can bring a Confederate flag while he’s doing it. Free speech man!

      Oh that’s right – it’s ok to kill white cops. It’s ok to rap about killing white cops. It’s ok to use white women as disposable sex objects.

      Racism is fine with Leftists, as long as it’s practiced by some alleged “minority” with the right skin tint/tone/shade.

  28. This press secretary is such a train wreck. Sometimes he looks bored or disinterested. His face makes weird transitions. He just seems completely wrong for this position – something comes across that is just smug, annoying, and not too bright. Doesn’t anyone put a press secretary for POTUS before a camera BEFORE hiring him?

  29. This is the most disgraceful story I’ve ever seen, but not because the Obama’s invited Common to the White House.

    It’s because a racist bunch of morons like yourselves have taken Common’s work completely out of context, twisting his lyrics into a profound misinterpretation. Obviously you nor any of the people who have commented here actually listen to any hip-hop, let alone Common, but you could have at least Googled the guy and done some independent research before spewing this kind of hogwash.

    Throughout his career, Common eschewed gangsterism, developing (along with many others) socially conscious hip-hop. His song on Assata Shakur hardly praises cop-killing, but is a rather good poem on a complicated story of violence and police brutality (Assata was badly injured in the shootout, and accounts vary widely):

    “There were lights and sirens, gunshots firin’
    Cover your eyes as I describe a scene so violent
    Seemed like a bad dream, she laid in a blood puddle
    Blood bubbled in her chest, cold air brushed against open flesh
    No room to rest, pain consumed each breath
    Shot twice wit her hands up
    Police questioned but shot before she answered
    One panther lost his life, the other ran for his
    Scandalous the police were as they kicked and beat her
    Comprehension she was beyond, tryna hold on
    To life. she thought she’d live with no arm
    That’s what it felt like, got to the hospital, eyes held tight
    They moved her room to room-she could tell by the light
    Handcuffed tight to the bed, through her skin it bit
    Put guns to her head, every word she got hit
    ‘who shot the trooper? ‘ they asked her
    Put mace in her eyes, threatened to blast her
    Her mind raced till things got still
    Opened her eyes, realized she’s next to her best friend who got killed
    She got chills, they told her: that’s where she would be next
    Hurt mixed wit anger-survival was a reflex
    They lied and denied visits from her lawyer
    But she was buildin as they tried to destroy her
    If it wasn’t for this german nurse they woulda served her worse
    I read this sister’s story, knew that it deserved a verse
    I wonder what would happen if that woulda been me?
    All this s*** so we could be free, so dig it, y’all.”

    You might disagree with Common’s interpretation. But these aren’t the words of a cop-hater – this is someone who believes an injustice occurred. I can’t help but feel that Common’s good work is being slandered because of racist stigma attached to hip-hop. He is no gangster, but rather a representative of a movement that outrightly rejects gangsters, and the White House is sensible to honor his notable place in hip-hop.

    Frankly, the Obamas and Common deserve an apology from every “journalist” who ran away with this stupid non-story.

    • It’s sick that you would rationialize Common’s glorification of cop-killer, Joanne Chesimard, who kicked the dead policeman in the head and was found with his brain matter on her shoe.

    • Let me take a wild guess …. this “Nick” is about as white as the border on this page.

      Typical Leftist elitist drivel by a privileged “white” Ivy League-educated moron. What do you do “Nick” – write for the NYT? or Rolling Stone?

      Where’s your empathy for the DEAD COP, Nick?

      I hope to heck somebody wakes up & informs the FBI just where to find Ms. Joanne Deborah Chesimard. Oh wait – that’s right – Obama would never allow her to return to prison. Why? Because he’s a raaaccist.

      • Uh oh here we go again the old reverse racism assult on the President. Miranda fill us in on the racial hostilities of your life. Lol

  30. While I think Obama is the worst president in my lifetime, and while I pray to god each and every day that he is exited in 2012, his inviting Common to the White House is not a problem we should be getting upset about.

    I listen to rap and have since around 1991. I have listened to almost every rap song there has ever been, and I have an extensive collection. Of all the rappers in the hip hop industry since the beginning of rap till present day, there isn’t a rapper more “conscious,” more peaceful, more values based (albeit perhaps in a somewhat left of center/inner city point of view) than Common. Common comes from the same pack of rappers as Mos Def and other so-called “back packer” rappers (though he’s modernized his style in recent years).

    I’m sure I don’t agree with Common’s politics, and sure, some of his lyrics can be taken out of context to suit one’s outrage, but in no way is he or would he ever advocate the killing of anyone, let alone cops. The fact is if we are going to beat the current inhabitant of 1600 penn ave, the GOP will too need to reach out to the young folks, even if that includes aligning themselves occassionally with artists who might have written lyrics that could cause some to feign outrage. Common really doesn’t matter when our nation runs out of money.

  31. Not sure what country you’re living in, Keith, but fear of police violence and discrimination is a very common experience here in the USA.

  32. Obama killed Osama Bin Laden and Bush failed. Big Government Republicans are weak on Terror that’s why in 8 years Bush not only let America get attacked because he is a WEAK REPUBLICAN, but his administration missed him AGAIN before the 911 attack. You know what, Obama deserves to do what ever he wants. He doesnt need to take any criticism from SOFTY WEAK REPUBLICANS who couldn’t even walk in a neighborhood in a Chicago with out peeing on yourself. Before you critique the President about ANYTHING he does BIG GOVERNMENT REPUBLICAN pull your panties up first and learn to be tuff like our commander and Chief BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA!

    • “Big Government Republicans” ?!?!

      Girl, where’d you get your eddimication?

      Ok, read reeaalllllyyyyy ssllllooowwwllllyyyy ….. people who want Big Government are Liberals, Democrats, Progressives – LIKE OBAMA YOUR HERO. People who want limited government are CONSERVATIVE – and Republicans.

      “Commander AND chief”? It’s Commander-in-Chief, sweet thang.

      • Sorry you white supremacist are not just going to get away with using your rhetoric. Take a look at how you attempt to control the lives of others on social issues. The David Duke wing aka the tea party has been unmasked, your hoods have been taken off. We Americans can see through the supremacist talking points. Give it up our President protects us he is not weak like BIG GOVERNMENT republicans who constantly try to control the lives of Americans. Repubs are Soft thats why we were attacked on there watch. 8 years and you sissy couldnt kill Bin Laden, Obama got him in 2.

  33. Did we all just go back in time 20 years? This is absurd. ““They watching me, I’m watching them.”? Are you serious? That could mean anything. Should we ban The Police from the White House as well? If “burn a Bush” the most incendiary line you could find then then you should seriously think about what you’re saying. How is this any worse than things politicians say all the time. Like “Don’t retreat, reload” and talking about “second amendment solutions.”. This sort of language is all around us all the time in our culture, so stop trying to make this a controversy. If you want to use these lyrics as an example of a larger problem in our society, fine, but don’t try to make this a way to smear Obama.

  34. This is an excellent point. A rapper writes a song in which he says he’s watching the police, this is basically the same as advocating murder in real life.
    Sort of like how dangerous Silence of the Lambs is. It advocates eating people!

    At the end of the day, I blame Elvis Presley. He’s the one who started America’s spiral down a moral black hole.

  35. There will soon be a Eugene Robinson article pointing out that Keith is only writing this piece because he is really a racist. If the President had of invited a white rapper, like Eminem, Koffler along with the other white journalist would have applauded the outreach.