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."
Salon.com calls the song “bizarre” and said the tune implies that "Reconstruction was a failure."