Open Letter To Common

AllHipHop Staff

Did Common Misspeak Or...

There's a saying that Black celebrities do not want to put an end to White Supremacy, but rather improve their position in it. In a society where a behavior power system controls every aspect of social activity such as economics and entertainment among others, the pressure of accommodation is a day by day decision of resistance that can succumb to compromise at any moment. This brings us to the subject of rapper Common. Known for his conscious themes and thought provoking lyrics, Common stirred a hornet's nest with recent statements on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, that the power structure of racism-White supremacy would end if Blacks would "extend a hand of love" towards White folks in America. For many who have taken to Twitter to express discontent, its counterproductive to socio-political consciousness and accommodationist in nature to put sole responsibility of racial harmony on an oppressed group of people; an institutional disparity perpetuated by the dominant racial class in society. Such notions have proven it self a philosophical failure in the past.

It is said that history is the best teacher. This was the exact mistake of the Civil Rights Movement in the mid 1950s through mid 1960s in particular; the idea of appealing to the oppressor's conscience and emotion through love and affection. Nevertheless the conditions of so called Blacks in America continued to persist through lynchings by law enforcement, Klansmen; poor education, joblessness, abject poverty, and political misrepresentation. The idea of integration which essentially was supposed to imply an amalgamation of so called Black people into the economic and political structure of America, had proven nothing more than a tactic of assimilation into White American cultural norms and neutralization of Black self-reliance and independence.

Civil Rights Activist, Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) understood this better than anyone and redirected the Civil Rights Movement on May of 1966 towards a philosophy of Black Power; an ideology that addressed the White power structure and institutions of White supremacy rather than moral suasion. Anyone who would institutionalize oppression of a whole nation of people for centuries apparently did not have a conscience or morale from the beginning and therefore engaging one's conscious sensibilities were futile. After the assassination of Dr. King Jr. the Civil Rights Movement birthed a new consciousness of liberation movements that focused on dignity, cultural pride, independence, and political sophistication towards a revolution in the current power system that reached its apex as a movement in 1975.

Common has made a fatal mistake that exposes his vulnerability to his position of privilege by suggesting a nation of people revert back to failed notions of the past. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting a different result, this would be such. We can't appeal to the conscience of the White Power Structure who perpetuates the unemployment disparity towards African Americans at 10.3% (see, or the billion dollar enterprise of the prison industrial complex where private owned prisons create a demand for Black male incarceration, and even the education system where Universities have nefarious investments at hundreds of thousands in shares to both the Correction Corporations of America (CCA) and GEO group; The two biggest prison corporations; True empowerment with any nation throughout ancient history has always taken place from a people's ability to come together first. That people or nation would then produce a cohesive culture and civilization among one another and then share it with the world for the forward flow of human history.

Come to the light Common.

You're expected to know better.

This originally appeared on Hebrew Vision News.