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Music Thursdays: Brad Paisley’s Accidental Racist

Geek Alabama Music Thursdays

Who would have thought a duet with Brad Paisley and LL Cool J would cause so much controversy!  One of Brad Paisley’s latest songs is called “Accidental Racist.”  The song is off Brad Paisley’s latest record called “Wheelhouse.”  Since this song was released, it has caused a firestorm on social media!  Here is the song lyrics of “Accidental Racist.”

To the man that waited on me at the Starbucks down on Main, I hope you understand
When I put on that t-shirt, the only thing I meant to say is I’m a Skynyrd fan
The red flag on my chest somehow is like the elephant in the corner of the south
And I just walked him right in the room
Just a proud rebel son with an ‘ol can of worms
Lookin’ like I got a lot to learn but from my point of view

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 re-write history
Our generation didn’t start this nation
We’re still pickin’ up the pieces, walkin’ on eggshells, fightin’ over yesterday
And caught between southern pride and southern blame

They called it Reconstruction, fixed the buildings, dried some tears
We’re still siftin’ through the rubble after a hundred-fifty years
I try to put myself in your shoes and that’s a good place to begin
But it ain’t like I can walk a mile in someone else’s skin

‘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
And it ain’t like you and me can re-write history
Our generation didn’t start this nation
And we’re still paying for the mistakes
That a bunch of folks made long before we came
And caught between southern pride and southern blame

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
I wasn’t there when Sherman’s March turned the south into firewood
I want you to get paid but be a slave I never could
Feel like a new fangled Django, dodgin’ invisible white hoods
So when I see that white cowboy hat, I’m thinkin’ it’s not all good
I guess we’re both guilty of judgin’ the cover not the book
I’d love to buy you a beer, conversate and clear the air
But I see that red flag and I think you wish I wasn’t here

I’m just a white man
(If you don’t judge my do-rag)
Comin’ to you from the southland
(I won’t judge your red flag)
Tryin’ to understand what it’s like not to be
I’m proud of where I’m from
(If you don’t judge my gold chains)
But not everything we’ve done
(I’ll forget the iron chains)
It ain’t like you and me can re-write history
(Can’t re-write history baby)

Oh, Dixieland
(The relationship between the Mason-Dixon needs some fixin’)
I hope you understand what this is all about
(Quite frankly I’m a black Yankee but I’ve been thinkin’ about this lately)
I’m a son of the new south
(The past is the past, you feel me)
And I just want to make things right
(Let bygones be bygones)
Where all that’s left is southern pride
(RIP Robert E. Lee but I’ve gotta thank Abraham Lincoln for freeing me, know what I mean)
It’s real, it’s real
It’s truth

I thought Brad Paisley’s song was trying to distance the past South with the South I live in today.  150 years ago, the south was in a Civil War with the north.  At the same time, some people in the south had slaves and believed they had a right to keep slave labor and be discriminatory against people who were not white males.  The north destroyed the south and it took a long time to re-build during Reconstruction.  Brad Paisley is proud to be a southerner like I am.  Judging by the song, he does not agree with the views of people 150 years ago.  Brad also does not agree with people who are discriminatory against people with different skin colors.

Brad Paisley just wants to honor his southern heritage.  That’s why controversy was caused when he wore a t-shirt with the confederate flag a while back.  Some of the lyrics like “I’m a white man living in the southland” or  “It ain’t like you and me can rewrite history” is going to cause a stir with people.  But the south is not a hate filled place like it was 150 years ago.  This song was a dialogue between two men from different backgrounds trying to understand why the other believes the things they do.  There are people of many races living in the south.  Sure, each race has some beliefs that they believe in.  But all races in the south cooperates with each other.  

For the people who are offended by this song.  Have you visited the south like Alabama or Mississippi?  If not, you need to come on down and visit us!  You will not find people who are filled with hate and despises each other.  You will find people who cares for each other and would help you if you got in trouble.  I have friends who are white, black, Hispanic,  male, and female.  I will talk to anyone no matter what their race is.  This song between Brad Paisley and LL Cool J was done to show people that racism does not exist anymore and the south is a safe, great place to live!  Some people will find anything to complain about!

Here are two videos from The Ellen Show and The Tonight Show with Brad Paisley being interviewed.

2 replies »

  1. I’m a white male from the south and I’m not offended by the song but I disagree with you that racism doesn’t exist anymore. I hear it all the time, mainly from other southern white males that assume that because I share their color and their culture that I agree with them about their racist attitudes. I assure you I do not.

  2. I know there are some people (mostly older) who are still racist. But the majority of people are not discriminatory to other people anymore. Most younger people under 30 are not racists anymore and that will hopefully be good for the south.