Some students irked by politics and Obama support at homecoming concert

Many University of Miami students expressed outrage and disappointment as unexpected political discussion and support for Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama crept into a supposedly nonpartisan Homecoming 2008 concert, which featured hip-hop band N*E*R*D and hip-hop duo Kidz in the Hall, Friday night.

Both N*E*R*D and Kidz in the Hall have publicly endorsed Obama and showed support for him at the concert by displaying an “O” hand symbol, encouraging youth to vote for Obama, wearing Obama t-shirts and criticizing President George W. Bush.

A group of students reacted to the artists’ political messages by chanting, “More rockin’ and less talking,” while others later spoke of their concerns.

“I think it’s inappropriate to impose your political views on vulnerable kids who are still indecisive about their political views,” said junior Gabriella Bevilacqua, who added that she was surpised to hear N*E*R*D frontman Pharrell Williams comment about the U.S. economy in the midst of the concert.

Jerry DiChiara, a junior, said that he and his friends left the show “as soon as [the perfomers]started talking about Obama.”

“I went to homecoming last night to have fun and not to worry about problems like the economy and the election,” DiChiara said. “There was no need for politics at a school spirit event.”

DiChiara added that if the event “had been advertised as a political rally,” such as rapper Jay-Z’s rally for Obama earlier this month, then “it would have been okay.” Homecoming, however, was not advertised as such.

“With the election less than two weeks away, I think it’s only natural that a band with a large platform would mention their political views. It is also no secret that Kidz in the Hall have been vocal supporters of Sen. Obama throughout his entire campaign, going so far as to record a song, ‘Work To Do,’ that the campaign supported,” said Matt Marcus, the president & CEO of Kidz in the Hall’s management company Major League Entertainment.

Some concertgoers, such as junior James Patrick, chose not to pay attention to the political talk whatsoever.

“It was still a great show,” Patrick said. “I feel like if you let [the politics]get to you, you’re being overly negative.”

Austin Gilbert, a junior, agreed that the show “was a blast,” but still disagreed with the political nature of the performance.

“I thought it was the wrong time and place,” Gilbert said. “[To hear about politics] was just not why people came to the show.”

October 26, 2008


Chelsea Kate Isaacs

4 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Some students irked by politics and Obama support at homecoming concert”

  1. Martin Bevan says:

    This is a very important election, one of the most important in American history.
    America is facing enormous problems. It’s hard to imagine any social situation 96 hours before the election where opinions don’t come up.
    Vote early!

  2. There4theMusic says:

    Did any of you actually see the show? They played some music, some people danced on stage, some kid did backflips.

    The concert was incredible. Let you know when they are here next time.

  3. berry says:

    TO : “GET OVER IT”: Gabriella Bevilacqua is an amazing person, beautiful and most importantly a lot more well informed than you are. The Times? What a rag. Keep reading left winged biased media and getting your facts from really inspirational celebrities like PHARRELL. It’s obvious that you’re brain washed and can’t think for yourself, so props to the celebrities: their tactics worked on herd-like people like you. So keep walking around in circles taking cues from the other cows in the herd in front of the line. You’re pathetic.

  4. GetOverIt says:

    Celebrities have a right to voice their opinion. If I had a microphone and a large audience I’d do the same thing. It’s called freedom of speech; if “Joe the Plummer” has the right then so does Pharrell. Get over it and stop being so uptight. Stop acting like petulant little children and act like an adult. If you don’t want to hear other’s opinions then tell me what gives you the right to voice yours and not them, not matter the situation? Hmmm?

    And this girl…ugh, what a moron! [“I think it’s inappropriate to impose your political views on vulnerable kids who are still indecisive about their political views,” said junior Gabriella Bevilacqua, who added that she was surpised to hear N*E*R*D frontman Pharrell Williams comment about the U.S. economy in the midst of the concert.] So University of Miami students are vulnerable kids eh? Are you joking? How funny that you were able to insult yourself whilst trying to stand up for yourself at the same time! Hello moron! Clearly you are a vulnerable child…go read the Times if you need help with all your indecision, but don’t IMPOSE your indecisiveness on our entire student body. I for one, have already made my decision. #1: You are a moron Gabriella. #2: Pharrell can have whatever opinion he pleases. #3: I am voting for Obama.


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.