THE AUDACITY OF DOPES: Rove Calls Common ‘A Thug’; Palin Outraged, Though Not Anti-Rap, Mind You, She Knows The Words To ‘Rapper’s Delight’!


ROLLING STONE: The right wing shows no signs of letting the manufactured controversy over Common’s White House invitation die. Even though last night’s Evening of Poetry went off without a hitch, Fox News and other right-wing outlets continue to devote ever more attention to the issue. At the event, Common didn’t address the firestorm surrounding his 2007 poem “Letters To The Law” – which conservative pundits have seized upon as evidence of his anti-Americanism. Instead, he read a work that referenced both Martin Luther King Jr. and President Obama, who hugged the Chicago rapper at the end of the evening. Other acts on the bill included Steve Martin and Aimee Mann. Unsurprisingly, Sarah Palin was outraged by Common’s presence at the White House. “The judgment is just so lacking of class and decency and all that’s good about America,” the former half-term Governor of Alaska told Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren. “They’re just inviting someone like me or someone else to ask, ‘C’mon Barack Obama who are you palling around with now?…I’m not anti-rap. In fact, like Bret Baier, I know the lyrics to ‘Rapper’s Delight.'” Karl Rove also saw the opportunity to pile on Obama. “[Common] is a thug,” Rove told Sean Hannity. “And why they are inviting him to poetry night at the White House speaks volumes about President Obama and this White House staff. Who is asleep at the vetting desk?” A post on Fox News’s website referred to Common as a “vile rapper.” MORE

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RELATED: You know, normally something this stupid wouldn’t bother me, but this story really gets under my skin. If they can try to paint Common as a ‘dangerous black man,’ what black man is immune? If they think Common is vile, then I know they have no use for my black ass. Common is beyond the pale, Michelle Obama hates whitey, Eric Holder is protecting the New Black Panther Party, Shirley Sherrod is discriminating against white farmers, Barack Obama is giving reparations to black people? Conservatives, do you realize how stupid this sounds to black people? (and I know that black people aren’t the audience for that kind of talk, there’s no need to point that out to me.) Seriously, you can’t find less-threatening black people. And fundamentally, I doubt if they even think Common’s that bad. He’s a convenient target for a bit of demagoguing, which is even more repugnant. At least when Lee Atwater would dredge up the ‘dangerous black man’ feelings for a cheap political hit, he’d choose a black man who was actually dangerous. MORE

TA NEHISI COATES: Throughout the 80s and 90s, there were a lot of black folks on the public stage who many of us loved, but never really held up as role models or hoped would be “accepted.” You can understand why, say, Mike Tyson, Chuck D, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, OJ Simpson, NWA, or Snoop Dogg might be polarizing. A lot of these folks were polarizing even within the black community. You didn’t really expect these people to be received as your ambassadors. But Common is the dude in the Gap ad. His mother is a teacher. Shirley Sherrod is a victim of white supremacist terrorism, who lectures black people on seeing their own prejudice. Eric Holder went to Stuyvesant. Michelle Obama’s mother was a homemaker. Her parents forfeited a full athletic scholarship to send Michelle Obama’s brother to Princeton. They used to watch the Brady Bunch together. MORE

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