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Brad Paisley’s “Accidental Racist” Called “The Worst Song Ever” — Fair?

Country singer Brad Paisley's song with LL Cool J, "Accidental Racist," has not-so accidentally sparked some debate online. Brad tweeted that he hopes his upcoming album "triggers emotions. I hope you feel joy, heartache, triumph, surprise; you laugh, cry, nudge someone beside you. I hope the album rocks you, soothes you, raises questions, answers, evokes feelings, all the way through until Officially Alive."

However, some people are outraged by the new song, which approaches sensitive issues from the perspective of a white man (Brad) who is proud of his Southern roots and a black man (LL) who sings lyrics like "If you don't judge my gold chains/I'll forget the iron chains."

In the song, Brad tries to differentiate between the Confederate flag as a sign of Southern pride from the Confederate flag that some still see as a sign of slavery and oppression from the Civil War.

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Dodai Stewart of Jezebel called it "The Worst Song Ever." "Why?" she writes. "Well, for starters? It is a mournful ballad about how hard it is to be a white man."

Here's a sample of the lyrics:

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

... 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)

As Jezebel writes, after sharing more lyrics, "In all seriousness, it is valid to want express that you're proud of your family and hometown/homestate/homeland. It is valid to say that you're proud of being Southern but not proud of what the South has done. It's fine to sing sad, terrible songs about how you can't wear your Confederate T-shirt/Swastika armband/Klan hood. Just don't expect anyone to feel sorry for your misguided ass. The country is still a white-centric patriarchy in which minorities are underrepresented in government and media."

Do you think Brad was trying to get anyone to sympathize with him, or just sharing his own point of view as best he can? At least he's trying to start a conversation instead of acting like there’s nothing to discuss — or do you think he and LL did more harm than good with this song?

Sources: Jezebel,, @BradPaisley

04.9.2013 / 08:33 PM EDT by Gina Carbone
Related: News, Music, Weird News

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