Saturday, May 14, 2011

Common Controversy

Controversy in the States about the participation of Common in a poetry night at the White House this week.

The usual Fox News right wing pundits lined up, with Karl Rove denouncing Common as a 'thug' advocating 'violence against police officers' and 'killling the former President of the United States, George W Bush' and Sarah Palin ranting 'You know, the White House's judgment on inviting someone who would glorify cop killing during Police Memorial Week, of all times, you know, the judgment, it's just so lacking of class and decency and all that's good about America'.

New Jersey cops have also been wheeled out to stir up outrage about Common's A Song for Assata from 2000. Assata Shakur was convicted of murder following a 1973 shoot out in New Jersey in which both a police officer and a member of the Black Liberation Army were killed. She protested her innocence and later escaped from prison, gaining political asylum in Cuba. The FBI still has a price on her head as 'a domestic terrorist' on the run. I don't believe the US authorities are chasing up FBI and police officers for their involvement in the murderous Cointelpro operation against the Black Panthers and others in that same period.

In the Spirit of the Black Panthers.
In the Spirit of Assata Shakur.
We make this movement towards freedom
Police questioned but shot before she answered
One Panther lost his life, the other ran for his
Scandalous the police were as they kicked and beat her
Assata had been convicted of a murder she couldna done
Medical evidence shown she couldna shot the gun
She untangled the chains and escaped the pain
How she broke out of prison I could never explain
And even to this day they try to get to her
but she's free with political asylum in Cuba.

Incidentally that Cee Lo Green singing 'I'm thinkin' of Assata... Your power and pride, so beautiful."

The strategy of the Republican Right is to present President Obama as a dangerous black radical. Would that it were true... in reality, Obama is clearly petrified of making any move that would provide ammunition for this, so historic injustices continue on his watch. Sundiata Acoli has again been refused parole after 38 years in prison for the 1973 New Jersey incident that Shakur was convicted. Mumia Abu-Jamal is still on death row.

I guess KRS-One won't be performing Free Mumia on the White House lawn anytime soon.

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