On Thursday morning in New York City, rapper Common performed on the Girl Scouts of America float at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. On the surface, the performance shouldn’t have raised any eyebrows; however, some felt it was inappropriate.
In 2000, Common recorded a song with CeeLo Green titled “A Song For Assata.”
The Assata referenced in the song is Assata Shakur, aka Joanne Chesimard. Shakur was convicted in the late 1970s for the murder of a New Jersey State Police officer.
“What a disgrace that Macy’s had the left Artist know as “COMMON” who is a cop killer praiser. What a slap in the face to the NYPD today. I turned the station off after seeing him in the parade,” one Twitter user wrote.
Despite the stir, it seems people, for the most part, are getting over it.
Throughout the last decade, Common has routinely been chastised for recording the song, which he has always stood by. The furor surrounding Common began after he was invited to attend a poetry reading at the White House by former President Barack Obama.
Common was later disinvited from giving the commencement address at a New Jersey college over protests from the New Jersey State Police.
I was disappointed. I also recognize that things that I stand for and believe in, if someone doesn’t want me there for that reason, then I’m not going to go. If someone is saying, ‘We don’t want you here’ because I supported Assata Shakur, who is someone who I believe to be [innocent and consider] a freedom fighter [and] a woman who was a part of the Blank Panthers … Because I did a song about her, if they don’t want me to speak at a college because of that reason, then I mean, I still support her.
Despite a few complaints, Thursday’s performance seemed to go off without a hitch.
Instead of blasting his politics, many Twitter users found humor that Common was even there to begin with.
“I bet when Common was a struggling rapper, his big dream was to one day dance on a Girl Scout Float in the MACY’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.”