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Being an Accidental Racist is No Excuse!

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of AllHipHop.com 

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LL Cool J may indeed be hard as hell, but this is a battle for which he clearly didn’t prepare. He rocked the bells of my brain on his verse in Brad Paisley’s new song Accidental Racist.

I’m saying though…really: “accidental racist?” The name alone is ludicrous. If someone was accidentally being racist and doesn’t stop the racist actions it’s no longer an accident!

Now, I’m not upset that they made the effort. More effort needs to be made to address the vestiges of privilege and oppression still remaining in our society. I agree with Paisley that artists have a responsibility to fostering change in society. And to shoulder that responsibility, artists must be informed.

Accidental Racist or Excused Ignorance?

Accidental Racist is a misinformed attempt at a discussion on race that betrays Paisley’s own words. He says he’s not trying to rewrite history, but the lyrics of this song do exactly that!

In Accidental Racist, Paisley makes an appeal to glorifying Confederate Culture. He makes that claim because he (and his generation) had nothing to do with the issues (i.e. slavery, lynching, KKK terrorism, etc.) that associated Confederate culture with racial tyranny. Yet, such a claim completely ignores the “Invisible Knapsack” of White Privilege. Such a claim demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of reality.

Paisley claims that Whites are “still paying for a bunch of ‘mistakes’ that a bunch of folks made before” his generation came. First, those “bunch of folks” didn’t make “mistakes.” The Institution of Slavery and the system of Jim Crow segregation were the workings of intentional racists…not accidental racists. Further, he doesn’t say that his generation is returning the privilege their Whiteness has accrued. Paisley’s generation didn’t have to contribute to the issues that gave meaning to the Confederacy because the “blessings” of privilege have already been established and the “Progressive Investment in Whiteness” has long been solidified.

He calls himself a “proud Rebel son,” and tries somehow to make that not offensive. Forget the racial overtones of notions of the Confederacy and Rebels. How about the fact that the Rebels were as anti-American as one could be? Did they not take up arms against their government? Did not the Rebels secede from the Union?

Yet, right into that anti-American…anti racial tolerance expression, walks LL Cool J…completely oblivious to what’s happening around him.

Don’t get me wrong: I understand why Paisley would reach out to LL Cool J for this. LL is the only of HipHop’s pioneers who is still relevant. I mean…he was in “Krush Groove!” He may not have Jay-Z’s money and social standing. But, LL Cool J was one of the ones who made it possible for Jigga to exist.

Accidental Racist KrushSo of course it makes sense for Paisley’s Accidental Racist to feature LL Cool J. As plain as that is to see, you’d think (I thought) LL would know better. For, Ladies Love Cool James comes onto the track and begins to show how misinformed he really is!

Rather than an Accidental Racist, LL displays accidental ignorance. And that ignorance is irresponsible. For instance, LL compares “do-rags” to the Confederate Flag. Really?! When have “do-rags” ever been responsible for rallying mobs to take the lives of White people? Meanwhile, the “Red flags” have raised countless orchards of Strange Fruits for the harvest. What kind of comparison is that, LL?

Yet, he didn’t stop there. LL goes further to say, “if you don’t judge my good chains, I’ll forget those iron chains!” (Forgive me Lord, but…) WTF?!?!

Accidental Racist Hoods

If you don’t judge my hoodies, I’ll forget your white hoods?

So, LL Cool J is willing to forget slavery if White people will allow him to wear gold chains without scrutiny? C’mon son! You’ve got to be kidding me.

The Emancipation Proclamation was issued a mere 150 years ago. We are less than three generations removed from the Plantation. A mere 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others led the March on Washington. Yet, the Accidental Racist further demonstrates his need for education by stating on Good Morning America that we should not be “victims of something that happened SOOOO long ago!” Rather than being a true friend and providing him with a much needed education, LL Cool J demonstrates his own need for an education by exclaiming his approval of that comment.

The shortsightedness of LL Cool J’s lyrics is emblematic of an even larger problem: celebrities opening their mouths and speaking out without being properly informed. Now, true, we can’t have it both ways. I have been a critique of celebrities being silent on issues of social import. So, on one hand it is great that Brad Paisely and LL Cool J decided to approach this topic. Racism is far from dead and needs to be addressed if we are to ultimately kill it. But, the dialogue of the song does nothing to correct the Accidental Racist so that he might become a Intentional Anti-Racist.

Artists do indeed have a responsibility to lead societal change. And to be responsible with that community trust, artists must take this duty seriously. That means not just being good at your art, but also being well-read and well-informed. If Paisely recognizes that he is an Accidental Racist, then he must use his art to encourage others to be Intentional Anti-Racists. And if LL Cool J is being asked to join his friend on this song and in this effort, then as a friend he has a responsibility to help restore his friend to wholeness…yet, LL simply serves to give cover to the Accidental Racists’ intentional ignorance.

Accidental Racist LLThis is far more problematic because we are talking about LL Cool J. I mean LL dropped his first album in 1985, when HipHop was still “pure” and had purpose. Before the deadly beefs and über misogynism, LL Cool J was part of the culture where HipHop was fun and informative. So, if LL Cool J can miss the mark when it comes to the responsibility of the art form, what are we to expect from the 2Chainz’s and Young Jeezy’s of the world? Maybe Canibus should have taken the mic off his arm, and protected LL from himself?

HipHop and emcees must work to restore the community trust, and again become responsible stewards of the people and their legacy. We need artists who won’t be flippant with history and current events.

Because of culture and the stains of culture, we are left with Accidental Racists, Accidental Misogynists, and Accidental Bigots of all sorts. Shouldn’t our task as artists be to bring some intentionality to undoing those vestiges of hatred?

For more, go to http://www.jahbread.com

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  • Romia Blue

    wow! well said…just speechless

  • RichFromBX

    Agreed, what LL said on that “song” was some of the most absurd crap any rapper has ever said…the song itself is absurd but c’mon – you’ve read way more in to that song than what it deserved…what this one fool has to say is not a reflection of any group or sub-group, it’s his own perception… Paisley’s lyrics are no more representative of white people anymore than LL’s lyrics are of black people – stop talking about this piece of sh!t song and let it go away in to the grave of obscurity to never be heard from again…

  • MuthaFuka Jones

    Damn. I really…………am at a loss for words. This article summed it up for me. I have respect for LL’s past contributions to hip hop………………….but this sht right here?!?!?! C’mon fam………

  • Lamar Star

    Great article

    • SAY WORD

    • Lamar Star

      I bet some nigga logged out of one account and logged back into another just to give me two thumbs down. LMAO

  • Synista

    well maybe LL FOOL J will play Christopher Dorner to try and regain some support after this gross miscalculation.

  • TALK_BOSS

    Edogz response in 3….2….1

    • >>KaPow<<

      I'm on the other side of the issue.
      Glad LL made the song & chose the lyrics, otherwise, it wouldn't be as hot of a topic.

      LL isn't as misinformed as the author.
      The "Rebels" were rebelling against what he have today in government, and only a High School graduate or above, thinks the Emancipation Proclamation "FREE'd" the slaves…or thinks they are free now.

      Drop outs know they need permission for everything in the land of the free….they also know permission co$t!

  • Guest

    Emotional article. If we gonna cry about everything there’s never gonna be good relationships between different and race. Plus LL is just playing the concept of the song here.

    • $43624040

      N1ggers will never be tolerated or accepted by human beings. They’re just too filthy, feral, and primitive.

      The only way for n1ggers to truly be safe, is to be segregated away from all human beings. The only problem is, n1ggers are parasitic, they cannot survive without their human hosts.

  • Q.

    1000% ETHER.
    This small elite group of Hollywood Blacks get so used to having money, fame and acceptace in elite white social circles, that they actually start believing that racism aka white supremacy has somehow magically come to a close. ERR!–WRONG.

    Hint: ANYTIME YOU HAVE TO ASK ANOTHER MAN TO ACCEPT YOU FOR BEING YOU, YOU ARE TAKING THE POSITION THAT YOU ARE NOT ON EQUAL FOOTING WITH THAT MAN AND, CONSEQUENTIALLY, NOT FREE.

    “if you don’t judge my gold chains, I’ll forget those iron chains!” LMAO

    I still got love for the brotha L, but son played himself with this one.

    • Vic Sage

      Word dawgs.. well said…he damn sure took an L with this sad take…” ‘Forget about the iron chains?! ” this sht is up there in regards to ignorant sht said uncut like some raw..” Word is born…

      • $43624040

        N1ggers need to be forcibly reminded of their place in our world from time to time.

    • $43624040

      White Supremacy is not racism, it is merely natural law. Those with the power, use said power to continue possessing it.
      White Privilege: n1ggers need not apply.

      • Q.

        LOL Feel free to kill yourself at your earliest inconvenience. Thanks in advance.

      • ZO

        Why is this itty bitty dicky even reading an article on this website? I’m sure there are plenty of white websites where you can express your “superiority” lol over other races….. Go there now

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  • It takes a strong mind to endure. I’m still in the midst of it and fight to keep my wits. When you grow in the black perspective, you learn and internalize the black perspective. After being drench in the white perspective for so long, you start to slowly soften your stance in see things their way. L.L. needs to get back to queens. Have a dinner with his family or something. The guy who played “majestic” on get rich or die trying said that he was so brainwashed he joined a white supremist group. He has been out of queens 20+ years now and in Hollywood listening to their crazy point of view. Think he cracked.

  • in leui of the Christopher Dorner comparisons, he’s trying to quick-change his image

  • don king

    this is 4 me the most bs record of the year! i cant stand dumb songs without a message, but i even more dislike songs, that try 2 hard 2 have a message or have a dumb 1. this track is a total fail! from the lyrics, 2 the music, forcin rap n country together… LL fucked up big time! how he gon put a verse on a song named accidental racist, with brad singin his “my forefathers were racist assholes, but u have 2 accept me praisin their history n creations” lyrics??? n LL comes with those kindergarten rhymes, wich doesnt reflect in anyway what racism means 2 the victims of it??? “If you don’t judge my gold chains, I’ll forget the iron chains” this makes LL look like an uncle tom 2 me!!!! should have been an anti racist, pro black n white friendship song, but it turned out as just another corny country song.

    • It’s fuggin’ country music….did you really expect a banger?

      ‘Chet spread like wildfire, and sparked a dialogue, would it have been better if LL ripped the mic & no one heard it or talked about it, all BDS spins going to YMCMB & Officer Ricky?

      The civil war was about slavery, that is true, the South wanted slavery 100% for Blacks and the North wanted 25% ( Or whatever the income tax rate is ) slavery from everyone.

      It might be hard to accept, but before the 14th amendment, only SLAVES needed permission to ride horseback / Drivers License, Eat / Hunting ~ Fishing license….Working permit, Business permit, Travelling papers…..technically speaking…..Margret Thatcher’s backed, FW DeKlerk’s racist South Africa, came to America to study Jim Crow, ( Down South ) and then made it their official policy, as APARTHEID, pronounced “Apart Hate”, which translates into English as “Separate but Equal”. <<(Plessy vs Ferguson & Brown vs Board of Education
      ( 1954 )

      While Brad Plaisley? brings out they paying for mistakes they didn't make, which is true, it goes without saying, they benefiting from them too.

      "Cause while South Africa continues to fight
      We try our best to look more and more white
      Proof that the blacks have been stripped of their core"

      …KRS ONE – The Homeless

      Slavery aside, since the issue isn't slavery, only a difference in TYPE of slavery, which was already unconstitutional, (Different debate – 3/5 Human, Tax / Election purposes) was the country FREER before the 14th amendment passed or now?

      ********************************

      • don king

        no i didnt expect this 2 b a banger, neither LL rippin the mic (even tho i dont think it would have been negative 4 the spins). but if u touch a subject like racism, u gotta do it the right way! i know thats almost impossible, but if u cant do it, just leave it alone. this whole concept of the record n how they went at it, doomed it 2 fail. u cant mix country n rap, it just doesnt work. also brad didnt want 2 step on any1s shoes n LL did the same shit. but how u gon make a song bout a controversial subject, while tryin 2 b as nice 2 anybody as u can? thats just not realistic n makes the whole thing corny!

        on the whole slavery part i agree with u 100. we r all slaves 2 our goverments.

      • I disagree, the song is the topic of discussion everywhere…..they did something right.

      • don king

        if the expectations r that low 4 a song with racism as its topic n LL on it, u can see it that way. but out of that angle, u could also say chief keef is good 4 chicagos gang violence, cause he made alot of people talk bout it again. that still doesnt change the fact the music is wack n gang violance went up! but oh he must have done something right lol. dont u see how LL paints the black man as a complete stupid stereo type? Dear Mr. White Man, my pants are saggin, my chains are gold, don’t judge my do-rag, don’t judge my gold chains, I’ll forget the iron chains. wtf??? django also sparked a discussion, but it still wasnt necessary 2 drop the n-word over 100 times. this song makes people think bout racism again n that can b good, but in my opinion it still could have been a way better song.

      • Hard to support it when you compared it to Chief Keef, LOL~N, but still, I support Robert E. Lee, because if the South had one, we would have only had to kill him to be free.

        Did LL sell out?
        If so, it was a while ago!

  • Chris Dorner done lost his mind making country music

  • the song has every media outlet in the US talking about race, the ugly stuff, not the Obama PC stuff. That’s long over due. The young people born in the 80s – 00s don’t even fully grasp why every media outlet is talking about it. That’s why it had to be made, so the dialogue could continue on a broad scale, in all the dark places and in the light. Don’t beat up Uncle L for not being Chuck D and I won’t beat up allhiphop for not having Chuck D on here everyday and promoting Most of My Heroes Don’t Appear On No Stamp…my brothers.

    • $43624040

      Don’t n1ggers appear on food stamps?

      Be happy you’re even alive, we could have easily killed off all of you worthless n1gger apes when we ended slavery.

      • TEE TWIN CITY

        Didn’t your mother n sister appear on my dick just saying be grateful now your here

  • DMV703

    Another dumb allhiphop bias column based on subjective opinion. This song brings awareness for people who think racism is dead and gone. Why don’t you go directly to the source and dissect the song instead of bashing it with your own interpretation of it.

  • Rico

    Even as one of my favs from the Golden Era, LL is wrong for this one. But lets not make like LL was one of the most informative, concious emcees in the 80’s and 90’s either! He was the braggadocio, ego driven emcee. While his contribution to the culture is undeniable, he wasnt necessarily the one you looked to for social issue commentary in his rhymes (with the exception of a few songs, i.e “Illegal Search”).

    He’s the same one who caught flack back when alot of artist were talking about ‘Black Empowerment’, and ‘Knowledge of Self’, he was still talking about sippin’ champagne, the hottest whips, gold chains, and all out bragging. In some essence, he largely contributed to the hip hop we are witnessing today. More excess, and little focus on informative issues.

    • DJ7

      Word is born fam….He was a Jay Z b4 Jay Z was Jay Z

  • holla

    Washed up rap nigga

  • jacksjus

    LL definitely was representing himself and himself only on this record.

  • $43624040

    Okay, this needs to be cleared up, once and for all.

    Most human beings hate n1ggers, be have no problems with any human beings at all. We must come to understand, that n1ggers are not human beings.

    Hating n1ggers does not make you a racist. It just means you have good taste.

    • TEE TWIN CITY

      I agree … I have good taste in guns n shooting racist crackers

  • $43624040

    Love the picture of that little treyvon lookalike n1gger with a pistol in his face haha… never bring skittles to a gun fight! #StandYourGround

  • $43624040

    Food for thought: There is no such thing as an accidental n1gger.

    • TEE TWIN CITY

      But ll accidentally shoot your cracker ass ! Take hour sheet off

  • Abrasive Angel

    LL Coon J