Legendary rapper L.L. Cool J. and country crooner Brad Paisley have teamed up to create “Accidental Racist,” a song that talks from the point of view of a white man from the South, who wants to wear a T-Shirt with the confederate flag on, which if you don’t know has long been associated with slavery, oppression and racism, and a black man who gives his point of view on the subject. The song has been heavily criticized by the social media who are seriously questioning if it could possibly be satire.
After listening to it, this is my overall opinion. I’m glad Brad Paisley and LLCool J got together and recorded the song, because this is exactly how a lot of white people feel, they are tired of being made to feel guilty for slavery. My beef with this point of view is this……….. because of this black people feel guilty for talking about slavery when it’s a serious part of their history which still effects them today, there are also a lot of positives to be drawn from slavery like black people sticking together, fighting oppression and the heroes and heroines such as Fredrick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and others that went unmentioned, we need to talk about it to stop it from happening again.
Here are some lines from Brad Paisley in the song
“When I put on that t-shirt/The only thing I meant to say is I’m a Skynyrd fan.”
(Paisley is referring to Lynryd Skynyrd, the band behind the infamous and ubiquitous “Sweet Home Alabama.” )
Well, instead of wearing a confederate flag T-shirt, Paisley could always wear a Lynyrd Skynyrd T-shirt that, I don’t know, doesn’t feature the flag. It’s about being a fan of the band, right? White people need to realise the confederate flag to a black person is like a Swastika to a Jew.
“I’m proud of where I’m from/But not everything we’ve done/And it ain’t like you and me can re-write history/Our generation didn’t start this nation/We’re still picking up the pieces/Walking over eggshells/Fighting over yesterday”
No you can’t rewrite history but you can understand that you are still reaping the benefits of white privilege, Europe and the US is rich off slavery, and the issues that came into play, to stop those good ol’ white Christians from feeling guilty about slavery all those years ago, still seriously effects the black community today, like being called half human to justify lynching, beatings and rapes, black people were literally written out of history, told they came from nothing, and still to this day are denied jobs because of the colour of their skin.
Unlike what white people like to think, black people don’t like to talk about slavery and this is the reason why there are problems, because they are still effected by slavery in a way that is rarely addressed, standards of beauty, black relationships, black on black killings etc talking about slavery isn’t to make white people feel guilty it’s to heal and to make sure it never happens again, the same way that Jews talk about the Holocaust. It’s not fair to forget about slavery just because white people feel guilty. For once it’s not about them.
All black people as a whole want is a level playing field and the same opportunities as everyone else without comprising who they are, like black women having to straighten their hair just so they can work in the workplace, we are not all the same we have differences and it’s the differences that makes everyone special and learning about peoples differences that makes life worth living.
LL Cool J represents black people in the song but to be honest he’s too old and irrelevant these days, as you come to realize with this line
‘If you don’t judge my do-rag/I won’t judge your red flag’
How can you even compare a do-rag to a red flag from the South and are do-rags still in fashion?
He then continues to ad lib through the rest of the song lines like this………..
‘If you don’t judge my gold chains/I’ll forget the iron chains’
How can you even compare gold chains to the iron chains that were put around slaves necks and feet. If LL Cool J’s gold jewellery can be overlooked, so can all of slavery, so if you have gold chains and jewellery that makes up for slavery?
LL goes on to encourage us to let bygones be bygones (he literally says that), he shouts out Robert E. Lee and thanks racist Abraham Lincoln for freeing him.
It’s funny how people seem to forget about the things that happened after slavery, like CONTELPRO who flushed the ghettoes with drugs in the 70s which is something that still effects people to this day, The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing where four girls were killed and the killing of Martin Luther king and numerous others, which were years after slavery. Racism has always been a boot on black peoples’ neck and until it isn’t there is no way I’m personally going to let bygones be bygones.
So………. my conclusion is, it was a nice try and I’ve got respect for both of them for trying, but to be honest it still leaves a lot of questions unanswered., but hopefully this is a step forward to clearing the air between white and black people.
The song was released Monday, one day before Paisley’s album “Wheelhouse” hits stores.
I really would love to hear you opinon on the song and this article.