Last night’s gathering of poets and entertainers at the White House was a lot more serene than conservative pundits hoped for so it seems.
After much fervor and debate from talking heads over at news outlet Fox News inspired by rapper Common’s invitation to the First Lady Michele Obama’s White House Music Series, the hyped up drama was nothing more than political bombast and underscored that President Obama’s conservative and Republican opponents are perhaps scrambling for an advantage as the nation approaches another election year in 2012.
Common, stylishly smooth in a simple grey suit, delivered his lines with his usual clarity and grace. His verses were full of positive encouragement, revealing none of the supposed negativity critics of the invitation claimed he promoted. After his brief performance, complete with a DJ behind him scratching Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech in spurts, Common addressed the crowd humbly. “Thank you and God bless. I appreciate being here,” the handsome rapper said before stepping off stage.
Fans on Twitter tuned in to Common’s performance in droves and levied heavy criticism towards Fox News for their harsh claims that Common promotes violence and negativity in his music. “If politicians/american think Common is a thug, it really shows how disconnected they are from Urban Communities,” tweeted @CBear60. @HeezyBear added, “Republicans mad Common's performing at the White House. They called him a gangster rapper. That's how out of tune w/ reality these ppl are.”
There were also requisite tweets that were nothing more than insults and inflammatory statements, mostly from right-wing users. One of the tamer tweets from user @Ethan_Sabo read, “Common in the White House is a disgrace to this great Nation. #tcot” – and the following of the hashtag revealed even harsher words and detailed criticism of Obama and Common.
Fans were also thrilled by the inclusion of soul singer and poet Jill Scott in last night’s festivities. The radiant Ms. Scott performed three playful poems and was admittedly nervous but thrilled the crowd with engaging banter and wit.
But now, it seems right-wing pundit Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report is turning his focus on Jill Scott by tweeting a controversial quote from a column the Philadelphia native wrote for Essence in where the singer was questioning and seemingly critical of interracial dating – a column that was written in March of 2010 for those keeping score.
This issue may end catching fire in the media, much like the Common story. We will keep our eyes on this as the story develops.