I am about to tell everyone why they should relax about this Brad Paisley/LL Cool J song... No Really...
Here's the thing: "Accidental Racist" isn't racist. I understand what Ta-Nehisi Coates is saying, Really I do. But...
It's ridiculous, sad, devoid of any reality,and above all, just horrible. But racist is kind of a stretch.
OK Pressing Play...
To the man that waited on me at the Starbucks down on Main, I hope you understand
When I put on that t-shirt, the only thing I meant to say is I'm a Skynyrd fan
The red flag on my chest somehow is like the elephant in the corner of the south
And I just walked him right in the room
Just a proud rebel son with an 'ol can of worms
Lookin' like I got a lot to learn but from my point of view
Hey You, The guy that called him a racist... I blame you for this song... and everything that's wrong with it.
Playing the chorus...
I'm just a white man comin' to you from the southland
Tryin' to understand what it's like not to be
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 pickin' up the pieces, walkin' on eggshells, fightin' over yesterday
And caught between southern pride and southern blame
Where's my Manners... the G.O.A.T. is about to drop his 16 Bars... LL Cool J Ladies and Gentlemen:
Dear Mr. White Man, I wish you understood
What the world is really like when you're livin' in the hood
Just because my pants are saggin' doesn't mean I'm up to no good
You should try to get to know me, I really wish you would
Now my chains are gold but I'm still misunderstood
I wasn't there when Sherman's March turned the south into firewood
I want you to get paid but be a slave I never could
Feel like a new fangled Django, dodgin' invisible white hoods
So when I see that white cowboy hat, I'm thinkin' it's not all good
I guess we're both guilty of judgin' the cover not the book
I'd love to buy you a beer, conversate and clear the air
But I see that red flag and I think you wish I wasn't here
First of all, he's a child star. He got his first deal at 16. That means his money came to him before he became a full fledged grown up. That makes a difference because the acquisition of money changes your angle of vision on things, especially race. That being the case, although he has some idea of what race does, many adult situations can be washed over with Rick Rubin as your boss...
Next, this verse sounds like it comes from an individual that is trying to make Bigotry/Prejudice/Racism (whichever word you prefer even though the don't mean the same) easy. Racism isn't easy at all and can't be solved with a 4 minute horrible song. OK so now why I don't think the song is racist.
I'm about to go old school... yep, the 90s: Medallions, HBCU Shirts, and Bamboo Earrings (of course)...
If, In fact we listen to what all the revolutionaries said when we were in college (while yelling "Black folks can't be racist"), that prejudice is having negative feelings against a group based on Race and Racism is the power to adversely alter their life (Through Laws or deeds), then this song isn't racist. See, Simple...
Neither Brad Paisley or LL Cool J are known for their progressive stances. so just consider this song as what happens when a white guy and apparently Carlton from the Fresh Prince make a song together. Both clueless about the realities of race relations in this country from Paisley's believe that racism was technically over 150 years ago and LL Cool J's belief that Lincoln actually freed Slaves...
Feel Better? Your welcome, glad I could help...