Neil Munro at The Daily Caller has an interesting account of First Lady Michelle Obama’s poetry reading, scheduled for this Wednesday. Among the invited guests is “successful Chicago poet and rapper, Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., AKA ‘Common’.”
Common’s poetry includes “threats to shoot police, and at least one passage calling for the burning of then-President George W. Bush.” Munro helpfully reprints the lyrics to Common’s touching ode to authority, “A Letter to the Law,” in their entirety. Here’s the part where Common encourages impressionable youth to set George Bush on fire:
“Seeing a fiend being hung
With that happening, why they messing with Saddam?
Burn a Bush cos’ for peace he no push no button
Killing over oil and grease
no weapons of destruction
How can we follow a leader when this a corrupt one
The government’s a g-unit and they might buck young black people
Black people in the urban area one
I hold up a peace sign, but I carry a gun.
Perhaps the man’s wits were addled after witnessing the insane carnage of the battle for Iraq’s grease fields.
Is this really the kind of person our First Lady should honor with a White House invitation? Is this what she wants kids from Chicago to look up to? Will any civics or literature classes take the opportunity of the White House poetry event to study the work of the assembled poets? It would be a shame if the First Lady held a cultural event that teachers were best advised to studiously ignore.
Doesn’t Common want to set Barack Obama on fire, too? After all, he’s continued virtually every Bush policy regarding Iraq, Afghanistan, and the War on Terror. He even started another war in Libya. He didn’t hang a fiend, but he authorized the Navy SEALs to shoot one in the face. He certainly isn’t pushing any buttons for peace.
This is more than just an incredibly tasteless decision on Mrs. Obama’s part. It’s another dreary message to black youth: Common is the best they can do, the prophet of the best life they can hope for. He made millions selling them despair, and now he’s an invited guest at the White House. The cops are just another gang that must be held off at gunpoint. Those with different political viewpoints are predators deserving of immolation, or at least perforation.
I don’t know how much this poetry night will cost the taxpayers – probably nowhere near as much as Michelle Obama blows when she jets off to New York to appear on “The View” – but couldn’t we invest some of our scarce tax dollars in promoting the work of a struggling young poet with a patriotic, uplifting message, instead of inviting a rapper who made a fortune peddling musical threats to kill cops and burn a former President? Or at least invite some of the cowboy poets we already paid for?