Late last week, Common went on The Daily Show with John Stewart to discuss the 50th anniversary of Selma’s Bloody Sunday, under the general theme of the current state of racism in America. Being the kind of conscious artist he is, I wasn’t completely shocked to hear him talk about love and forgiveness in the concept of creating racial harmony because it sounds great, it appears to be completely non-inflammatory and it is easy for anyone to wholeheartedly applaud. But, like most issues involving race, it is far more complicated than applause-break-worthy sentiments wrapped in niceties and flattering colloquialisms.
Essentially, Common plays racial apologist by saying that Blacks need to love white people. His logic is if Black folks could appease white people’s apprehension by “extending a hand in love,” then they can feel at ease to accept that hand and join us in creating a healthy, loving, and non-discriminatory world. While it’s the type of comment that will make liberals and conservatives, men and women, and the young and the old join together to hoot, holler, and cheer, it’s ultimately a sentiment rooted in utter bullshit.