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.

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

  1. You and Sarah Palin are misinformed and uninformed about Common. Every assertion you’re attempting to make is false, and it’s dangerous as it continues to spread hatred and racism to your audience and against President Obama. Let me change misinformed to clueless. You have taken and twisted one of the world’s most conscious and uplifting artists and actors, and attempted to smear both his name and Presidnet Obama’s. I have been following Common since he penned the minker Common Sense at the beginning of his rap career. He has no lyrics that directly mention harm to or the killing of law enforcement officers. He praises Asssata Shakur for different reasons than you imply. So cop killer is a stretch to anyone who has “common sense”. If Obama had invited Ice-T or Ice Cube, then maybe you’d have a case because the former had a release called “Cop Killer” and the latter had a release called “F*ck the Police”. Common is light years away from being mentioned in the same vein as the intent of those songs. In terms of the interrracial dating assertion you’re making. Common speaks about having a disdain for black men dating white women: “Black men walking with white girls on their arms, I be mad with them, as if I know their moms.” First, tell me what track and album that’s from, and we can talk further, but I’m guessing you can’t. Google it! Common is expressing a common sentiment in urban communities across the US, and his opinion is shared widely by members of both the african-american and caucasian communities. He does not nor never has spewed hatred or spoke directly about killing a cop. Now he does have some very suggestive lyrics in a few (not even a handful) of songs that can be considered to be disrespectful to women. But, concentrating on 1% of his music catalog and ignoring the positive influence of the rest of music and his contributions to his community is selective prejudice and convenient amnesia. Note to you and Palin: Try not to speak on things you know nothing about.