In 2013, American country artist Brad Paisley and hip hop artist LL Cool J wrote the song “Accidental Racist”. The song discusses racism and plants the idea that hate doesn’t drive out hate, only love can. Within the song there are two characters, a white southerner and a black barista that are trying to overcome racial prejudices. Throughout the song, ideas of forgiveness and compassion are planted within the lyrics. When asked to expand on the song in an ABC News interview with Paisley and LL Cool J, Cool J said that we as citizens “[shouldn’t] forget slavery [but we should] forget the slavery mentality, forget the bitterness, and get better”. Although both artists have received criticism for addressing such a controversial topic, they both say that they are proud of the song and the discussion the song is creating within the world. respect the history but open our hearts to move forward
I personally not only appreciate this song and the idea behind spreading this message of acceptance, but I also appreciate how the artists are treating the song after the criticism they received. When the song dropped in 2013, they had many headlines and interviewers telling them that writing this song was not a good idea, morally wrong, and inappropriate. But through all these opinions being thrown at them, they continue to support the message they are sharing. The continue to stay strong to the movement and I really appreciate that.
Relating this song to my Censorship post I made earlier this week, I think it’s very interesting that people are willing to criticise and almost censor a song that two extremely famous artists created. I also think it’s very interesting that no one really called out opposers of “Accidental Racist” and said that it was wrong for them to be criticising the song. Most people agreed that this song was a bad idea. In nearly every interview I watched of this song online, there were plenty of opinions stated saying that this song was a bad idea, and they should continue writing other music of other topics. This song dropped three years ago. We say that we have made a lot of progress as a country, and are leaning towards accepting everyone and seeing everyone as humans and not for how they look, but I believe without meaning to this song proved us wrong. We still have a lot of work to do and a long way to go to reach acceptance.