Rapper Common is invited to the White House poetry event on Wednesday evening (May 11) – and as a lyricist, it’s hard to deny that he’s also a poet. However, his invitation has stirred up some controversy based on the lyrical content of his songs. ABC News reports that conservatives and police officers have protested.
New Jersey State Trooper David Jones protested Common’s invitation because of his song that praises Joanne Chesimard, a
member of the Black Liberation Army, convicted in 1977 of the first
degree murder of a state trooper. Chesimard escaped prison in 1979 after being sentenced to life.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says that President Obama wasn’t endorsing Common’s lyrics with the invitation; he was simply acknowledging his impact on the hip/hop world.
“The president does not support and opposes the kind of lyrics that has been written about,” Carney says. “He does not think that that is the sum total of this particular artist’s
work which has been recognized by a lot of mainstream organizations and
‘fair and balanced’ organizations like Fox News, which described his
music as positive.”
What do you think of Common’s lyrics? The song in question is below. Should he be uninvited?