Dear Sarah Palin, we smelled the stench of desperation and traced it down the Twitter hallway. It led us to some foul words about rapper Common. It started when Michelle Obama scheduled a poetry event at the White House and invited several poets, including Common. Conservatives immediately had their panties in a collective bunch, citing that one time Common referenced violence in a poem.
Now, we realize that you and your Fox News brethren may need a little education in our world, so we'll do our best to help. You already know that Common is a rapper from the South Side of Chicago, one of the best to ever do it, and all that good stuff.
Well, here are a few things you may not know about Lonnie.
MAYA ANGELOU IS HIS HOMEGIRL
Did you know that the legendary Maya Angelou endorsed Common as a solid human being? Are you aware that Dr. Angelou never cosigns people publicly? Did you know that she spoke these words about Common's influence:
The truth is, we make a mistake when we think that generations can be separated. The truth is, you need me so that I have shoulders you can stand on. And you need me so that you have shoulders somebody else can stand on. We are one. And to separate us and decide that we'll be polarized, is ridiculous, it's stupid, and it's dangerous.
Do those words mean anything to you? Do you even know who Maya Angelou is? Either way, she uttered those words about Common and praised his courage and his music and his all-around awesomeness. Did you know that she also gave a stamp of approval to Common's charity organization, the Common Ground Foundation. Are you aware that Common runs a charity organization?
COMMON IS FOR THE CHILDREN
It's true, that foul rapper Common runs a charity organization for at-risk youth in underserved communities. You didn't know that, did you? Well, he does and it's a legit organization with a functioning Web site and everything, not some B.S. tax write-off with a lame site that only works on Sunday. It's called Common Ground, as in, it's actually possible for people of different backgrounds to find shared interests without slinging shit every second to see how many flies you'll catch.
Are you aware that Common is not just a rapper, he's a man who's committed to helping kids find various outlets of creative expression? Are you proud of him for giving back to his community in a positive way?
HE RUNS A SUMMER LEADERSHIP PROGRAM FOR TEENAGERS
Did you know that Common funds something called a Lighthouse program in the summer and fall? The programs last between 6-12 weeks, and educate kids through activities that foster healthy living, leadership skills, technological awareness, creative expression, and other valuable life skills. Are you proud of him for challenging kids to become responsible citizens in their community? I bet you are, or are we giving you too much credit?
HE PROMOTES HIV/AIDS AWARENESS
Did you know that he's an active member of the "Knowing Is Beautiful" movement which promotes HIV/AIDS awareness throughout the world? You didn't know that, did you?
HE PROMOTES LITERACY THROUGH A NATIONAL BOOK CLUB
Have you ever heard of the "Readers ARE Leaders" movement? That's a program Common started to promote literacy in America. Did you know that Common launched a national online book club named The Corner, after one of his songs about those corners he's been protecting kids from for years? Did you know that reading helps kids develop critical thinking skills?
You love stats, don't you? Well, here's one for you: One out of every four American children will grow up not knowing how to read. Did you know that low literacy costs the U.S. $225 billion each year in non-productivity, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment? Are you proud of Lonnie for helping America reduce that cost?
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Oh, well, to hell with Lonnie and his book club. What a pathetic loser to have read poetry at the White House. Obama's aides will need a truckload of Purell to clean up the White House after that filthy rapper defiles it with his sagging, baggy pants, Timberland boots and diamond chains.
Who cares if he teaches kids how to read, or shows at-risk youth how to harness their energy for creative expression? He's a rapper at the end of the day. And one evening, a very long time ago, he read a poem that had violent themes in it.