“Bol goes out of his way to defend Imus, et. al. but bashed a brother like Common, completely out of context. Your discussion is simply out of context and cynical.” – TPAR, who’s for the people (read the terrorists)
Does it strike anyone else as odd that in the wake of the Don Imus incident, Common of all people was being put forth as a paragon of virtue in the hip-hop community? If I’m not mistaken, he was the only rapper who was even invited to speak at Oprah’s post-Imus town hall meeting on race and gender issues in hip-hop?
I suppose if I wanted to, I could sit here and rattle off any number of reasons why this was so utterly hypocritical, including his numerous instances of gay bashing up to and including his most recent album, Finding Forever, despite the fact that he supposedly came to terms with his homophobia five years ago on Electric Circus; or any number of lines of his that could be viewed as misogynistic, going all the way back to his line about how he housed more bitches than Spelman, at the very beginning of his career, which is especially ironic, since some… um, ladies from Spelman were a part of the aforementioned town hall meeting, though I doubt any of them have heard Can I Borrow a Dollar?
But since TPAR made it a point to note that he felt I was being hypocritical, since I defended Don Imus’ freedom to call a black woman a nappy headed ho, if he so pleases, I think it’d be instructive to focus specifically on the numerous instances in which Common has expressed his disdain if not outright Daniel Carver-style hatred of the white race. A few examples of this include his comments in the UK magazine about Rastas dating white women, and his line on the Roots’ Things Fall Apart lamenting the number of white people who show up to his concerts, as well as a line on this dis record “The Bitch in Yoo” (which could be viewed as wrong for any number of reasons), in which he takes Ice Cube to task for having the sheer balls to even associate with white people. Yikes!
Since TPAR brought it up, the difference between what Don Imus did and what Common has done and continues to do, and hence the reason why I didn’t find it hypocritical to criticize him after I had already come to Don Imus’ defense (sort of), is that I don’t find what Don Imus said particularly racist. Racially insensitive? Sure. As genuinely racist as suggesting that black men shouldn’t date white women, white people shouldn’t attend hip-hop concerts, and black rappers should no longer be considered “real” if they associate with white people? Hell no! If Don Imus would’ve said anything along the lines of some of the shit Common has said over the years, there wouldn’t have been any discussion about whether or not he should be fired.
If you think about it, all Don Imus did was express an aesthetic preference for white women compared to black women. I mean, obviously that’s insensitive, and I’m not saying he’s definitely not a racist, but the guy can still have an opinion, right? Last time I checked, the Bill of Rights didn’t contain any language having to do with one’s right to be lusted after by Don Imus. Also, since when did the person or group of people a man prefers to have sex with have anything to do with anything other than who he prefers to have sex with? In the song “Real People,” from Be, Common puts forth that he’s more progressive or whatever because he prefers to bang black chicks, but if that’s the case, then wouldn’t that make Strom Thurmond more progressive than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr?
If what I just said sounds retarded, that’s because it is. If Don Imus finds a group of black women with fair skin and straight hair more attractive than a group of black women with dark skin and nappy hair, then that’s his opinion. If you don’t like, then don’t listen to it. But just because you don’t like it doesn’t make it racist (regardless of what Oprah). What is racist is the kind of shit Common has been saying in his music for years now. The fact that so many people have turned a blind eye to it or not even noticed to begin with is a testament to the utter lack of critical thinking in the hip-hop community, especially among the kind people who go about with these holier than thou attitudes. Like TPAR.