So, people went nuts today online about the new Brad Paisley/LL Cool J collaboration “Accidental Racist.” I was flying and didn’t get to listen to it until quite late in the day. I hadn’t intended on commenting, but now I have to.
I’ve seen a lot of criticism of the song, both for its social commentary and for its creative qualities, but I’d like to focus in on what the song is really saying at its heart.
It portrays white Brad Paisley walking into a Starbucks and then apologizing to the barista (not sure if he’s meant to be black) because the Confederate flag on his Lynyrd Skynyrd T-shirt suggest that its wearer might be racist.
This is the “accidental racism” of the song. “i wear the Confederate flag to express Southern pride,” some say, “not to be racist.”
And if that was that, we might have a different discussion about the agreement of the meaning of symbols. But the song goes on.