The Blaze ^ | 9 May 2011 | Emily Esfahani Smith
Posted on Monday, May 09, 2011 9:08:56 PM by mandaladon
WASHINGTON (AP/THE BLAZE)
— President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, will celebrate American poetry and prose with a gathering of poets, musicians and artists at the White House next Wednesday night. Professionals Elizabeth Alexander, Billy Collins, Rita Dove, Kenneth Goldsmith, Alison Knowles, Aimee Mann and Jill Scott will read, sing and highlight poetry’s influence on American culture.
And there is another poet whose works will be honored: as NH Journal points out, “One of the poets who will attend is Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. who goes by the name ‘Common.’”
“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. The performance, you’ll see, is full of racially-tinged language. According to NH Journal, Common is an acolyte of Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
It is likely Obama met Common at the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ where both men were members. Several of Wright’s sermons caused a firestorm of controversy during the 2008 presidential campaign due to their caustic, racially charged, anti-American tones. One sermon in particular caused Obama a severe headache – the one in which he blamed America for Osama bin Laden’s terrorist attacks. “America’s chickens are coming home to roost,” he said.
Obama at first tried to defend Wright. But when that strategy became untenable, he disavowed him. Not so Common. In fact, Common defended his minister.