There really is no need to regurgitate what has already been said about the new Bradley Paisley song on which LL Cool raps, Accidental Racism.
If you haven’t already heard or read by now, the new release is an ode to Robert E. Lee and the confederacy and is a modern day “Ebony and Ivory” of racial solidarity and good faith and hope for the future, wrapped in a quasi-catchy medley, slow melodic guitar strums and clumsy sophomoric lyrics.
For those who may be wondering what’s the big hullabaloo about and who are praising this effort as the much-awaited “Kumbaya” and “It’s a Small World After All” of 2013, here’s the deal.
Confederacy, Jim Crow south, the Industrial revolution, Slavery, The Civil War are all complex topics and moments in United States history that have shaped America’s modern society, with the effects of each still seen today. We can start with the absence of generational wealth that could have been built during all those years of uncompensated labor. Then, there is the fact that many slave owners descendants today are benefiting greatly from free labor built upon the backs of slaves. There’s more. Google it.
Therefore, to fragment all the varying multifarious elements that contribute to the United States’ often contentious and forever evolving racial history and current reality, then to reassemble and compress them into an oversimplified solution via this song is just a bit too much for most.
The song is unapologetic, but perhaps aloofly in the way it passes the buck and minimizes the reasons why African Americans have and will remain for a long time disapproving and unaccepting of the Confederate flag.
It’s the “get over it, the past-is-past, let me continue to worship and adore my Confederate ancestors and quit punishing me for the ills of my forefather’ness” of it all that will never ever pass muster.
But to the supporters hailing praise and decrying liberals for finding fault in what they deem is a good earnest attempt at solidarity and racial unity, listen up.
Despite all that Robert E. Lee meant to the South and the sons of the south and all the patriotic and warm and fuzzy nostalgic feelings he summons up, the fact remains, for better or worse, the South fought the North in the Civil War under that Confederate flag to keep its slaves.
Not the “Gone With the Wind” version of slavery, the gritty, depraved, “Django” version.
The descendants of said slaves will never be able to put aside that very true fact. What is up with constantly expecting them to? Just let it go.
While many, though not all, will avoid casting blame on Southern descendants, some of slave owners, for their past, they will be hard pressed to just forget, and accept the symbol of involuntary servitude, bondage and subhuman treatment.
For those reasons, among others that several have already pontificated upon and will later espouse after me, Accidental Racism is just not the way to go.
The heart may be in the right place, but the thinking that went into it was infantile and underdeveloped.
Try again. Um, maybe on second thought, let’s just not.