As as been in the news, Common’s invitation to the White House to perform poetry was attacked by the right wing and FOX News. Despite the criticism Common’s invite stood and he was able to perform at the White House. That’s good news and confusing as well.
While above is a clip of part of Common’s performance, in the full video from the White House’s YouTube feed his performance is missing. The same video is on the White House’s website, again with no Common. We can only assume that this clip was from a live feed. At the end of the full version President Obama is heard thanking Common for his performance. I would think a more appropriate thank you especially amidst the unjustified controversy his invitation caused would be to not omit his performance footage. As one of the comments on the full video from the White House’s YouTube channel puts it “Kind of funny how Obama starts off by saying “a nation built on freedom of expression” and they cut Common’s part………….”
The White House issued a statement regarding the cited lyrics that critics took issue with. “While the president doesn’t support the kind of lyrics that have been raised here, some of these reports distort what Mr. Lynn stands for more broadly,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney. “One of the things the president appreciates is the work Mr. Lynn has done with children, especially trying to get them to focus on poetry as opposed to some of the negative influences of life on the streets.”
Common took to his Facebook page to give his take, “Politics is politics and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I respect that. The one thing that shouldn’t be questioned is my support for the police officers and troops that protect us every day. Peace yall!”
According to ABC News, before Common exited the stage President Obama gave him a “big hug.” Unfortunately we couldn’t see it because Common wasn’t included in the White House edit.
President Obama & Poets At The White House (Full Video)