Brad Paisley, who is a country star for those of you who aren’t fans of the genre like I am (don’t judge me, damn it! “Honkeytonk Badonkadonk” is LYRICAL GOLD), wrote a song called “Accidental Racist” and no, this is not a late April Fools’ joke; this is a real song with instruments and lyrics and producers and drums and everything!
Without meaning to, I’m sure, Paisley wrote one of the most racist, slavery-dismissive songs you will ever hear in your life. And not only that, he somehow managed to convince LL Cool J, a BLACK MAN who I absolutely love (Agent Sam Hanna is badass), to rap on the track.
Why is the song racist? Because it makes excuses for the Confederate flag. It compares wearing a do-rag to wearing or displaying the Confederate flag. It hints that if we white people look past the gold chains, the black people will forget about the iron chains that enslaved their people. It, in my opinion, insinuates that black people need to get over slavery already. It’s been 150 years, after all.
I feel I need to say this again … I AM NOT MAKING THIS SHIT UP.
I worked for a decade at minority-assistive nonprofits and I can tell you this … TOO. SOON. Yes, 150 years is too soon. A race enslaved. Families torn apart. Rights trampled on. Chains. Whips. Too. Soon. Until racism no longer exists, until black people stop getting a second look when they walk through certain stores in certain neighborhoods, and until the pay gap and the education gap close … TOO. SOON.
Read about the Confederacy. Eleven states saw Abraham Lincoln elected and said to themselves, “This man is a threat to our ‘right’ to enslave black men, women, and their children,” and they seceded, officially formed their own country, elected a president, and created an official flag — a flag that was the visual manifestation of their desire to enslave an entire race. Brad Paisley comparing that flag to a do-rag is head-deskingly ignorant and inadvertently racist and this song needs to die right the hell now.
That said, in an effort to find a somewhat local-adjacent angle on this story, KDKA decided to talk to some West Virginians about this controversial song, as Brad Paisley is actually from West Virginia.
Let’s see what these West Virginian high schoolers and their teacher had to say about this song:
“I love Brad Paisley! He’s a really good singer and artist,” says Elizabeth Huff.
“I think that he’s trying to make a statement that we can all live on this world together and not have to segregate and try to be different,” Shipman [their teacher] said.
No, I’m pretty sure this song is saying, “Get over it already, man.”
“Bringing people together – that’s what music’s done for hundreds of years.”
“I think it’s a little risky, because most of the racist people are going to hate him now, but the people who understand it are really gonna like it.”
I believe the children are our future, and I am scared shitless.
P.S. “Scared Shitless” would be a great country song title. Get on that, Blake Shelton.