Is "Accidental Racist" the Worst Song Ever?
So you're a song producer, and Brad Paisley and LL Cool J come in and say they want to sing a duet called "Accidental Racist." What do you do? Do you say "Fat chance, kids"? Yes? Then you have more sense than the producers who actually okayed this song. Oh wait—Brad Paisley produced this song. That explains stuff.
The song basically laments the difficulties of being a white man in the south who identifies himself as a southerner and with the culture—but not the racism—that exists there. Confused? Let's throw Paisley the mic:
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
Paisley and Cool J stand behind the song, saying they are all about love, and this song was written to spark conversation. But lyrics like these, sung by LL, are rubbing people the wrong way:
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
If you don't judge my gold chains,
I'll forget the iron chains.
If you don't judge my do-rag,
I won't judge your red flag.
RIP Robert E. Lee but I've gotta thank Abraham Lincoln for freeing me, know what I mean.
As Ellen said on her talk show when Paisley tried to explain the song, "I don't think people know what is going on. Explain what is going on."
Because to some, this wasn't sparking conversation, it was borderline justifying racism. (And not to spoil Paisley's fun, but he is from West Virginia, a place that did not want to secede from the Union. But youprobablyknewthatalready.)
The YouTube video has mysteriously vanished from the interwebs, but you can listen to the song here.
Maybe we're being too harsh. What do you think of the song? If this isn't the worst song ever, what is? Is wearing a Confederate Flag on a t-shirt okay?