Brad Paisley from Accidental Racist: I’m just a white man comin’ to you from the Southland.
Troy Fonner: Bringing people together. Yeah, that’s what music’s done for hundreds of years.
Maggie: Brad Paisley’s latest song, Accidental Racist, is stirring up quite a bit of controversy, even in Paisley’s hometown of Glendale, West Virginia.
Jessica Sall: Well, I think it is a little risky because most of the racist people are going to hate him now. But the people who understand it are really going to like it.
Paisley from Accidental Racist: We’re still paying for the mistakes that a bunch of folks made long before we came.
Maggie: In his six-minute track, Paisley attempts to tackle modern-day race relations with some help from LL Cool J.
LL Cool J: Dear Mr. White Man. I wish you understood what the world is really like when you’re livin’ in the hood.
Maggie: Critics are calling the song everything from “bizarre” to “horrible”.
Paisley: I’m proud of where I’m from.
LL Cool J: If you don’t judge my gold chains.
Paisley: But not everything we’ve done.
LL Cool J: I’ll forget the iron chains.
Maggie: Paisley says he was motivated to write the song after someone criticized him for wearing a t-shirt with the Confederate flag on it. The Confederate flag was used by the South during the Civil War. And while some still see it as a sign of slavery, others say it stands for Southern pride.
Paisley told Entertainment Weekly, “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.
Maggie Rulli, Channel One News.
- Why do you think Brad Paisley and LL Cool J recorded this song?
- Can there be such a thing as an accidental racist?
- What kind of effect do you think this song has on most listeners? What does the Confederate flag make you think of