I just suffered through the almost 6 minutes of Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s “Accidental Racist” song to write this post for y’all.
Where do I start with the ridiculousness? I could just post the lyrics and be done but that’s totally not the Sprocket way. If you’re lucky enough to have missed any news about this song this week, let me break it down for you.
Brad Paisley is all “just because I’m proud of my Southern roots and wear a Lynyrd Skynyrd shirt with a Rebel flag on it doesn’t mean I’m racist on purpose, I just like the band. Cut me some slack Black folks, racism was over like 150 years ago jeez. I just wanted Starbucks.” (I”m paraphrasing)
With lines like “I’m just a white man coming to you from the southland. Proud of where I’m from not but everything we’ve done,” and “Our generation didn’t start this nation…” you really feel this white man’s pain. (NOT paraphrasing)
And to prove just how unracist he is, he gets the most hardcore Black guy available to record tracks like this. LL Cool J. You know, the bald guy from NCIS that used to rock Adidas and insist his mom said to knock you out. Like 150 years ago jeez. LL is like “Dear Mr. White Man…” then goes into some bullshit like “if you don’t judge my du rag, I won’t judge your red flag.” “If you don’t judge my gold chain, I’ll forget the iron chains.”
As a black Southerner I think I mostly take offense to LL acting like he understands what it’s like being a Southerner and deal with that special blend of Southern racism. Period. He mentions the “relationship between the Mason-Dixon needs fixin’”. Get out our business. Also, that doesn’t even make sense.
Clearly we are still having race issues when states are just now removing Jim Crow language from their constitutions. And remember the Twitter outrage from young Americans about President Obama being re-elected? So yes Brad Paisley, people are going to take offense with your Rebel flag at Starbucks. Isn’t that the point of the flag? To boldly state your affiliation to all those within viewing distance. And while some feel that this flag simply represents pride in Southern roots, most others understandably just think you’re a racist. On purpose. Deal with it.
I want to be understanding about this song. I want to believe that Brad Paisley is honestly a confused white man and doesn’t see why blacks and whites can’t get along because slavery was a long time ago and we all just need to move forward. I want to think that people wearing a Confederate flag are innocent and just stumbled upon being racist. Give me a break. How can racism be accidental? It’s not accidentally embedded into the minds of youth continuing this viscous cycle.
Maybe the song shouldn’t be called “Accidental Racist”. Maybe it should be “White People Problems”, or “Are We Still Talking About This?”, or “I mean the president is black, what more do you people want?”, or the “I Have One Black Friend” anthem.
Have you listened to this song? Is it just bad music or do you really think Paisley honestly thought he was doing his part to help the race relations in this country? Or did you like the song and I was being racist on accident? What about the other races? Do they feel left out? Will there be a Part 2 with Chingo Bling or PSY to bridge the gap with the Mexicans and Asians?
RIP Robert E Lee!
(y’all, LL really says that. I hope to say it more in everyday conversation. So maybe I did get something from the song.)