Country singer Brad Paisley claims that his new song "Accidental Racist” (video below) explains his difficulties displaying “Southern pride," especially while wearing a Confederate flag t-shirt.
“I just think art has a responsibility to lead the way, and I don’t know the answers, but I feel like asking the question is the first step, and we’re asking the question in a big way," Paisley told Entertainment Weekly. "How do I show my Southern pride? What is offensive to you?"
Paisley performed the song with rapper LL Cool J to let “bygones be bygones” when it comes to the South and racism.
In the song, Paisley sings: "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," Paisley sings. "Our generation didn’t start this nation / We’re still pickin’ up the pieces, walkin’ on eggshells, fightin’ over yesterday."
LL Cool J then joins in with a rap: "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."
The reaction has been negative so far with HuffingtonPost.com stating the song “will probably make you cringe."
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Salon.com calls the song “bizarre” and said the tune implies that "Reconstruction was a failure."