Usually when a celebrity gets prevented from speaking to college graduates its due to their scandalous behavior and brand.
However, Oscar-winning rapper Common was recently denied permission to speak to graduates of Kean University due to his political beliefs, and an old song he made in tribute of former Black Panther Assata Shakur.
Ain’t that some sh*t?!
Rapper Common recently caused a social media stir after an appearance on The Daily Show where he suggested that African-Americans “forget about the past” in an effort to move on from racism.
It’s Common’s own past, however, that Kean University is unable to overlook, the university canceling the Oscar-winning rapper’s scheduled commencement speech over concerns regarding the track “A Song for Assata,” found on his 2000 album Like Water for Chocolate.
The song is an ode to former Black Panther Assata Shakur (aka Joanne Chesimard), who in 1977 was convicted of murdering New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster during a 1973 shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike.
CBS New York reports that Kean University spokeswoman Susan Kayne has said that the booking was “made prematurely,” and that the school is actively seeking a replacement commencement speaker. The cancellation comes just one day after the announcement that Common had been selected to speak.
Common’s original booking raised the ire of New Jersey State Police as well as Chris Burgos, president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association of New Jersey, who called the choice a “slap in the face” to everyone involved.
“What is troubling here is that a state university that is subsidized with state taxpayer funds, is once again being questioned on their decision-making at the highest levels,” Burgos said.
Common won an Oscar earlier this year for Best Original Song for his song “Glory” with John Legend from the movie Selma.
Wonder if Common still thinks African Americans should “forget the past” now…….
Do you think New Jersey is wrong for preventing Common from giving his speech? Comment below. #MakeAStatement