Earlier this month, David Carter, a white teacher from Milpitas High School in San Jose, California, was caught on video dressed in blackface, and he was put on administrative leave for it.
Carter was impersonating Common for a classroom Halloween presentation at the time and delivered some of the words from his Microsoft commercial.
Common was also asked about Carter during a chat with TMZ last week, and the rapper said administrators shouldn’t only look at a teacher’s academic qualifications, but their level of sensitivity and emotional intelligence.
“It’s important that teachers and people who are educating our children are well-educated themselves on things that deal with history, culture, emotional history,” Common explained.
“I think we need to look at the teacher, the administration and people that we have leading our children in classrooms and make sure they’re fully equipped,” he added. “Not with just academic things but also have emotional intelligence and understanding.”
The “Like Water for Chocolate” rhymer also said he’d like to meet with the San Jose teacher, because he believes what he did is a teachable moment.
“I would love to hear what makes you think you can go out and do that,” stated Common. “I’ll break it down to him. … This ain’t acceptable. This ain’t happening, and I would let him know what it is.”
On Nov. 7 Carter spoke to NBC Bay Area about the video and admitted wrongdoing.
“I would become the hip-hop artist Common doing the Microsoft AI guy,” he explained. “I had no intention to come across as blackface and my actions were perceived that way and offended so many people. I’m truly sorry and I apologize.”
“As a teacher I constantly go over the top to engage my students in learning,” added Carter. “I went too far … I recognize my mistake. I ask anybody who has been adversely affected by this, and that’s a lot of people, to give me another chance because my heart is in the right place.”
Common also spoke to NBC Bay Area about Carter and said he first discovered the video when his daughter sent it to him.
“Blackface lacks understanding of what black and brown people go through,” he said. “I believe in forgiveness, understanding and compassion to the point where I’m willing to sit and talk with the individual and also bring others who can dig deeper into the education of what blackface has come from.”
Carter is still on administrative leave, as the Milpitas Unified School District hasn’t made its decision on whether to terminate him or not.