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by Yvette Carnell
Just as politics makes for strange bedfellows, so do music collaborations. Brad Paisley is a country music star mostly known for his brand of honky-tonk, while LL Cool J. is a rap legend, and together they joined forces for a duet that defended the Confederate flag and drew the inexplicable conclusion that judging slavery is the equivalent of judging a rapper’s gold chains.
The song, “Accidental Racist“, begins with Paisley making an apology to a Starbucks employee for wearing a Confederate flag t-shirt. But it’s more of a non-apology than an apology since Paisley goes on to justify why he’s wearing the shirt. “When I put on that t-shirt, the only thing I meant to say is I’m a Skynyrd fan” crows Paisley.
Paisley then calls himself a “proud rebel son” and wonders why he can’t wear his Confederate flag without being blamed for what Confederate soldiers actually fought for. Can’t we all just get along?
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
LL Cool J then begins rapping about how all’s forgiven if he’s not judged for his urban attire:
If you don’t judge my do-rag / I won’t judge your red flag / If you don’t judge my gold chains / I’ll forget the iron chains… Let bygones be bygones.
It’s hard to say what’s worse, Paisley rationalizing his love for the Confederacy or LL Cool J. cosigning such foolishness.
And alas, that’s how we end racism in America… by letting rappers wear their gold chains and white country singers wear their confederate t-shirts. Thanks LL and Brad……….for absolutely nothing.