Diana West

The controversy over the White House invitation to rapper Common to perform at an event organized by Michelle Obama was a little different. Opposition was diffuse from the start, derided more than hammered for being both uncool and unschooled as all-knowing critics asserted Commons was "mild" next to other foul-mouthed rappers. Why, he was a pitchman for Lincoln Navigator, Gap and PETA! This was supposed to be a veritable Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. But such a seal means nothing when the "mild" rapper's oeuvre includes a shameful paean to real-life cop-killer Joanne Chesimard, aka Assata Shakur (slain rapper Tupac Shakur's aunt, by the way). After the New Jersey state police came out against Common's White House performance, the opposition took on a gravity I don't think will disappear any time soon.

Dave Jones, a 33-year-veteran and president of the New Jersey State Troopers Fraternal Association, laid out some atrocious facts about Chesimard, Common's muse, to ABC's Jake Tapper. In 1973, Chesimard, glorified in "A Song for Assata" by Common, "executed Trooper Werner Foerster with his own gun after he was already shot and didn't represent a threat to anyone," Jones said. "And after she shot him she kicked him in the head to the point that hours later after she was picked up his brain was still part of the remnants on her shoe."

Note to GOP presidential candidates: This is a Big Deal. Even after the White House spoke to Jones about Chesimard/Assata's murder of the 34-year-old state trooper and father of three on the New Jersey Turnpike 38 years ago, the invitation held, and without apology. "The President does not support and opposes the kinds of lyrics that have been written about, as he has in the past..." White House press secretary Jay Carney said, trying, lamely, to have it both ways. "In regard to the concerns by some law enforcement, this President's record of support for law enforcement is extremely strong...."

Not if he invites someone who glorifies a cop-killer into the White House. I don't think we, the people, like this kind of ugliness, and particularly not in the White House. Dictatorial academia may be able to silence its dissenters, but the political Establishment still has to answer to us, eventually. Assuming we care and don't forget.


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).