Not So Common? New Jersey School Cancels Common as Commencement Speech

| April 3, 2015 | 0 Comments


While rapper/actor Common can get over the past with genuine ease, The State Troopers Fraternal Association Of New Jersey does not. It was announced that Common would give a Commencement speech at Kean University on Monday but by Tuesday that had all changed.

Kean University spokesperson had this to say about the change in direction.

“The students expressed interest in Common because he composed the Oscar-winning song ‘Glory’ with our prior commencement speaker John Legend…While we respect his talent, Kean is pursuing other speaker options.”

Reading that statement it seems as if the university only knew Common as John Legend’s friend. While Kean University may just be learning who Common is, the state police department have been very aware. The New Jersey state police were never a fan as they have been vocal in their concerns for having Common being the speaker due to the lyrics in his 2000 song “A Song For Assata”.

Assata Shakur a.k.a. Joanne Chesimard, was convicted in 1977 of killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Forester. The department claimed Shakur and other Black Panther party members opened fire during a traffic stop. Shakur would escape jail and find refuge in Cuba. When Cuba and the United States began to try to assemble a diplomatic relationship many called for the extradition of Assata back to the US, which Cuba has refused. Back in 2011, Republicans lost their mind when Common was invited to the White House and they used this same song to paint Common as a rapper who glorifies violence.

Extend your hand in love Common, that is how everyone is going to forgive and forget right?

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