Accidental Racist?

By Tyler M. Bryant

When you think of country music, what comes to mind? Trucks? Old country dirt roads? Perhaps soulful stories accompanied with mullets?,

It's finally happening! (Imdb.com).
Sweet cliched salvation!! (Imdb.com).

Some people are quick to make sweeping generalizations not only about groups of people, but also about various personally-opposing music cultures. Thank God I’m naturally immune to such biases. There are few places and people from where/whom I could find a true country fan.

Maybe peopleofwalmart.com?
Maybe peopleofwalmart.com?

Brad Paisley’s “Accidental Racist” featuring LL Cool J shows that country fans are not always the recipients of judgement.

What evil hath you wrought with your mystical hat? (Countrymusicislove.com)
What evil hath you wrought with your mystical hat? (Countrymusicislove.com)

Personally, it saddens me to think that allegiance to the Confederacy of the Civil War is equated with “southern pride” in such a conventional sense. I would be proud of the rich academic and literary histories of the south, not the fact that nineteenth century plutocrats kicked off a war to help them keep slavery around.

LL Cool J doesn’t exactly serve as the moral bastion of rectitude himself in this tune.

Azlyrics.com
Azlyrics.com

It would be one thing if the speaker was just a Skynyrd fan, but the love he professes for his southern heritage makes it seem like he’s not over the Civil War. The juxtaposition with Cool J’s concessions of forgetting the “iron chains” if the white southern audience forgives his “gold chains.”

I like how he brings up Sherman’s March so as if to suggest that the historical incident is somehow sufficient justification for wearing “I would have fought to keep slavery around” flag t-shirts.

Although you gotta admit, that ripple effect is pretty epic. (Dixieoutfitters.net)
Although you gotta admit, that ripple effect is pretty epic. (Dixieoutfitters.net)

Brad Paisley is actually a really skilled guitarist, which in and of itself would make me want to get on the bandwagon of his fan base, but only if that wagon would have allowed Rosa Parks to sit in the front.

You wouldn't just NOT buy merch from this sweet old lady, would you? (Thenation.com).
Who would just NOT buy merch from this sweet old lady? (Thenation.com).
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