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Rapper Common's White House appearance lacking in class, decency: Palin.

Washington, May 12 (ANI): The White House's decision to host rapper Common at a celebration of poetry has been described by former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate as lacking in class and decency.

Palin was happy to jump into the fray Wednesday night in a lengthy television interview almost entirely dedicated to the controversy surrounding the invite to the rapper poet.

"We thought we were to be united under the leader of the free world, Barack Obama in tamping down racism and inciting violence - and cop killing certainly - and killing a former president," Palin said on Fox News, interspersing references to some of Common's lyrics that have been targeted by the right.

"All those things that this rapper has glorified and is known for certainly reflects a lack of judgment on the White House's part," she said.

Common has come under attack for some of his past lyrics, including those about a former Black Panther who was convicted for killing a police officer.

White House press secretary Jay Carney, however, defended the decision to invite Common, pointing out that the rapper has "spoken very forcefully out against violent and misogynist lyrics."

According to Politico, Common kept things pretty tame when he took the stage in the East Room at Wednesday night's "Evening of Poetry" along with other musicians, poets and artists.

The hip hop artist - dressed in a slate gray suit - delivered lyrics to a rap song that began with words from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and also included praise for the president who was seated in front of him.

"I woke up with the sunshine, a sunshine I'd never seen," he began, reciting his poem without any hip-hop beats. "There was light at the end of it, reminding me to forever dream. I was dreaming I walked into the White House with love on my sleeve and love for each and every one of you remind you to believe."

Concluding the poem, he went on to mention President Obama by name: "One King's Dream, He was able to Barack us."

Common did not acknowledge any of the controversy surrounding his performance. Before leaving the stage, he simply said, "Thank you very much, I appreciate being here."

The evening featured other artists including Jill Scott (whose presence at the event was also called into question), Kenneth Goldsmith and Aimee Mann, who sang two songs for the crowd that included First Lady Michelle Obama, Second Lady Jill Biden, Sen. Michael Bennet, Reps. Ed Markey and Barbara Lee.

Comedian Steve Martin also performed, pleasing the crowd with his bluegrass band The Steep Canyon Rangers.

In his remarks at the event, President Obama also chose not to address the Common controversy.

Obama said: "As a nation built on freedom of expression, poets have always played an important role in telling our American story." (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:May 12, 2011
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