Brad Paisley and LL Cool J recently teamed up to release the song “Accidental Racist” in an effort to cure racism in America and bring the Country and Western crowd and the Rap people closer together. Good intentions, yes? Maybe…
Not being much of a fan of either C&W or rap I think the song stinks from a musical point of view. Much worse, however, is that it completely fails as a Kumbaya piece and makes a mockery of our nation’s history, comes very strongly across as an apologia for Southern racism, and stereotypes blacks as saggy-pantsed gangstas.
The theme of the song is a black Starbucks barista who is offended by a rebel-flag t-shirt wearing patron. We find out through the song that it’s just a big misunderstanding on both sides, the t-shirt only means the redneck likes Lynyrd Skynyrd, we should all hug and try to respect each others’ backgrounds and just get along.
Well, it ain’t that simple. The flag of the Confederate states was conceived solely as a symbol for those who so hated the idea of giving up their right to own African-Americans as chattel, that they were willing to go to war and secede from the Union. It is just as disingenuous to brandish the rebel flag and claim racial innocence based on “southern pride”, “cultural heritage” and other such nonsense as it would be for someone to fly the Swastika and say it’s just a symbol of Alpen Pride or Lederehosen History. Worse, actually, because the swastika is an ancient symbol hijacked by Nazis; the rebel rag has never meant anything other than white supremacy and enslavement of blacks.
There is no substantive difference between the four t-shirts pictured below. If you wear either one, you are all of them.