Conservatives are upset the Obamas invited rapper Common to a White House poetry reading. What sort of precedent is this?
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will host a poetry evening at the White House tomorrow night that includes Grammy-winning rapper Common. Thankfully, Fox News, The Daily Caller, and other right-leaning outlets are focusing attention on this matter of grave national importance. "Some of Common's poetry could ... raise some eyebrows among those who might find cop-killing and racially-tinged or misogynist language beneath the Office of the Presidency," Shawn Millerick at the New Hampshire Journal wrote.
He goes on to quote from Common lyrics:
"Tell the law my Uzi weighs a ton ... I hold up a peace sign but I carry a gun," raps Common in one appearance that was posted onto YouTube. "Flyer say Free Mumia on my freezer," he raps in another. Mumia Abu-Jamal is an incarcerated former member of the Black Panther Party who was convicted in 1981 for killing a Philadelphia police officer. Agitating for his release from prison has become a cause for many left-wing activists.
I am shocked.
How did we get to a place where a performer who sings about subjects like these is elevated to a prominent platform by the president of the United States? Determined to find out, I delved into various news archives. Imagine my surprise to discover: This isn't even the first time the occupant of the Oval Office has behaved in this manner!