White House Defends Common, Ray Nagin to Release Katrina Memoir and More

In today's link roundup: Why Common is still invited to the White House; five "nonthreatening" rappers, explained; Nagin writes tell-all Katrina book; and more. 

Common (AFP/Getty Images)

White House defends CommonCommon is still welcome at the White House to read poetry, despite criticism from the right. Press Secretary Jay Carney -- while admitting that the president doesn't endorse all of his lyrics -- explained that Common is "known as a socially conscious hip-hop artist" who has previously been celebrated, he added pointedly, "by a lot of mainstream organizations and fair-and-balanced organizations like Fox News, which has described that music as very positive." Common, he said, "has done a lot of good things. You can oppose some of what he's done and appreciate some of the other things he's done."


Five nonthreatening rappers Fox News should be afraid of: In response to the fuss that conservative news outlets are making over first lady Michelle Obama's decision to invite Common to the White House poetry event, theloop21 has compiled a list of rappers who should be taken "off the terror list." Each description includes a note about any media controversies with which the artist has been associated, and, in a condescending note to those think everyone in hip-hop is equally scary, a "threat level" (Kanye gets a 4 for "verbal assaults"; Common gets a -3).


African-American ministers support the DREAM Act: Sen. Richard Durbin has reintroduced the DREAM Act, a bill that would allow access to affordable postsecondary education, opportunities for military service and potentially a path to full citizenship for undocumented immigrant students. African American Ministers in Action, an alliance of African-American clergy supporting social justice, civil rights, and reproductive health and justice, issued a statement in response today, saying, As people of faith, we cannot stand by while young people are treated like criminals for nothing more than hard work and a desire to be part of the country they know and love. The DREAM Act is a common-sense solution that would remove barriers preventing honorable young people -- who were brought to this country as children through no fault of their own -- from going to college, serving in the military and contributing to society."


Ray Nagin to release tell-all Hurricane Katrina memoir: Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's memoir, Katrina's Secrets: Storms After the Storm, will be released on June 8 on Amazon.com, according to his Twitter feed. Nagin took a lot of the blame for the city's poor immediate storm response and stalled recovery process, and a statement on his website about the book suggests that he wants to set the record straight. CBS News reports that the book appears to be "a bit of a flip-flop" by the mayor. In Spike Lee's 2010 sequel to his 2006 Katrina documentary, he said, "I'm not into writing a big tell-all thing. I don't think that serves any real purpose."

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.    

The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.