The politics of a Beastie Boy’s passing

Updated
 
The politics of a Beastie Boy's passing
The politics of a Beastie Boy's passing
Getty Images

As of this morning, the most popular item on the conservative Washington Times’ website was this piece from Joseph Curl, headlined, “Hip-hop legend MCA passes on; Obama says not a word” (thanks to reader R.P. for the tip).

I’ve come to expect the right to go after President Obama for just about everything, but I have to admit, I didn’t see this one coming.

Adam Nathaniel Yauch, “MCA” from the Beastie Boys, died Friday, after a lengthy bout with cancer. He was just 47. The Washington Times piece expressed annoyance at Obama because the president didn’t mention MCA’s passing.

[H]alf-white Barack Obama (exactly my age) didn’t say a word, even though he was talking to college kids that day…. Funny the “coolest president ever” doesn’t say a word about the passing of MCA. Weird and kinda sad, actually. […]

The president took time from his busy schedule to comment on the passing of black musicians. When Whitney Houston, a longtime crack addict, died this year, the White House put out a statement…. And when accused pedophile and drug addict Michael Jackson died in 2009, the White House weighed in with the president’s thoughts. […]

Mr. Obama is said to have 2,000 songs on his iPod, but he’s never mentioned the Beastie Boys. Too bad. He could learn so much from them. Still can.

So, let me get this straight: Obama’s lack of a reaction to MCA’s death is evidence of the president’s … racism? As far as this newspaper columnist is concerned, the “half-white” president – why Obama’s racial diversity is relevant in that sentence is unclear – only cares about the deaths of African-American musicians?

Dylan Byers, to his credit, noted, “[L]et’s get bent out of shape reminding him that the President doesn’t comment on the passing of every musician, nor is he expected to. Let’s also remind him that Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston – whose deaths, Curl notes, the President did mention – sold far more records (an estimated 750 million and 170 million, respectively, versus the Beastie Boys 20 million). Chill, Curl.”

That’s good advice.

The politics of a Beastie Boy's passing

Updated