Country music mega-star Brad Paisley has a new single out titled “Accidental Racist” and it’s ruffling some feathers.
In the song, Paisley talks about wearing a shirt with a Confederate flag on it as a symbol of “Southern pride,” not because he is racist. The entire song seems to be about not judging a book by its cover and assuming someone holds a certain point of view because of the way they look or because of what a certain group of people may have done in the past.
Here’s a portion of the lyrics:
“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 rewrite history / Our generation didn’t start this nation / We’re still pickin’ up the pieces, walkin’ on eggshells, fightin’ over yesterday.”
Rapper LL Cool J also performs in the song, relating to Paisley’s experience:
“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.”
LL Cool J also admits that he too is “guilty of judging the cover and not the book.” He tells Paisley in the song if he won’t judge his “red flag” if he doesn’t judge his “do-rag.”
Paisley addressed the song in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying he has “no interest in phoning it in” with his music.
“I think that [the song] comes from an honest place in both cases, and that’s why it’s on there and why I’m so proud of it. This isn’t a stunt. This isn’t something that I just came up with just to be sort of shocking or anything like that. I knew it would be, but I’m sort of doing it in spite of that, really,” he said.
He went on: “I’m doing it because it just feels more relevant than it even did a few years ago. I think that we’re going through an adolescence in America when it comes to race. You know, it’s like we’re almost grown up. You have these little moments as a country where it’s like, ‘Wow things are getting better.’ And then you have one where it’s like, ‘Wow, no they’re not.'”
Listen to the song below:
The Huffington Post claims the song may make you “cringe” and provides several reactions from outraged Twitter users. Are you offended by Paisley’s new song?
Featured image via Wade Payne/Invision/AP