Racism is alive an well, not just in America, but all over the world….
It’s a strange perspective to have on life really. To dislike or even hate a person or people group based upon the color of their skin or their cultural background. Logically, racism is completely illogical. Yet, despite lacking sound reasoning, racism has caused nations to be torn to pieces through war and millions to be killed, all in it’s name.
As evil and as divisive as the actual practice of racism is, the only thing it has not divided is everyone’s agreement not to do anything about it. It is almost like there is a universal conspiracy to refrain from productively discussing putting a real end to racism.
Sure, we talk about it -among our own people groups. And we talk about it when someone makes racists comments or presents racists behavior. But what are we doing to end it? With all of the technology we have in the world, you would think that racism would be “outdated”. Like, haven’t we evolved? Apparently not.
While most people concentrate on slavery being the main issue around racism, it is actually Segregation that has produced the societal mess you see today. Segregation in this country ended legally, but not psychologically, socially, emotionally and in many cases physically. Thus, racism never really “ended”; we just chose to ignore it.
When it comes to our feelings as individuals and what can be done to make changes, it seems that the only feelings/voice that matters are those of the “victim” or the oppressed in the situation. The one society and history has deemed the wronged and thus the only one permitted to openly discuss their side of things.
This “one-sided” conversation about racism hasn’t gotten us anywhere. If anything, it has made things worse. The lack of proper dialogue among all parties merely keep the oppressed (victims) in a state of oppression, whether they want to or not. Thus empowering the oppressors with a position of authority; whether they want to or not.
The new song “Accidental Racist” by Brad Paisley featuring LL Cool J, has created a little stir around the internet. There has been some backlash over the lyrics of the song. You can read the many posts, even some YouTube commentaries (yes…..) about the why people don’t like the song through Google. I’m not going to post any of it because I think they are over reactions; but I will say what my grandmother used to say:
“a hit dog is gonna hollar!” Meaning, when you hit somebody with the truth that they don’t want to face, they’ll hollar! They will scream, kick, fight, and do whatever they need to do to keep the truth at bay and the lie alive. Racism is not a secret in this country, but we have been lying to ourselves about it for decades. Accidental Racist has hit America dead in the mouth, and she does not want to deal with it-so she’s hollering! Time to face some truths…..
In an interview by Entertainment Weekly, Paisley said, “…..symbols mean things, and I know one thing: It just doesn’t do any good to blatantly do things and be like, ‘Just get over it.’ That’s not what we’re saying. This is a very sensitive subject, and we’re trying to have the discussion in a way that it can help.
As the song also says, it’s time to stop walking around on eggshells and say what we feel. Both sides. Not in a nasty or derogatory way, but in a way that will allow both sides to move forward.
As an African American woman, let me say that I applaud the efforts of these two men. It took some real balls for a white man from the South to take on a topic like this. And as far as I’m concerned, he did a great job.
Ok, now let’s look at the song……..
“Cause I’m a white man livin’ in the southland/Just like you I’m more than what you see/I’m proud of where I’m from but not everything we’ve done.”
The Lyrics-didn’t bother me. I totally get where Brad was coming from. He was trying, as best he could, to say that he wasn’t a racist; that he didn’t agree with slavery or the part his ancestors played in slave ownership; that the Confederate flag on his shirt was not intended to offend anybody; that they both should be proud of their heritage; that he couldn’t possibly understand what it meant to be African American or any minority in this country; that he wished things could be different; AND that he was sorry he offended the guy.
That’s a lot to say in a song! And I think it was powerful.Yeah, the lyrics weren’t “perfect” but you can’t tell me you didn’t get it.
The Music and Vocals-were on point! Brad is an amazing singer and a hell of a guitar player. He said in an interview that this song was not a gimmick, and it comes through in the song. I say it all the time, “if you want to know what I’m thinking, I can tell you; but if you want to know how I feel, I’ll have to sing it to you.” Conviction and sincerity can come across while you are singing a nursery rhyme and sincerity is oozing out of this track.
The Rap-The masterful flow of LL Cool J is unmistakable-sexy and raw. (the man is rapping about pants saggin’, and all I see are those lips….lord.) BUT, it didn’t fit with this song. It was out of place and kind of took the song out of sync. Actually, I think this is why a lot of people didn’t like the song. Not that LL’s rap was bad, but that it threw the song off. I think it would have been better if they each did their own song, kinda like a “song and response” sort of thing, instead of putting both pieces together, it would have worked better.
You can find Accidental Racist on Brad Paisley’s latest album, Wheelhouse, which drops today. As I said earlier in the post, the YouTube version was removed, but I found a audio version on HipHop Wired.
Chex it out and tell me what you think.