Tuned In

Accidental Racist: How Bad Punditry Makes Bad Music

The Brad Paisley / LL Cool J song is like every "To be sure, both sides are guilty..." paragraph from a political story, set to a whiny soundtrack.

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Jerod Harris/ACMA2013 / Getty Images for ACM

Brad Paisley at the 48th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards on Apr. 7, 2013, in Las Vegas

The Brad Paisley, LL Cool J country-rap duet, “Accidental Racist,” is a very bad song,  a memorably bad song, possibly the worst race-relations single since GOB Bluth sat down with hand puppet Franklin to record “It Ain’t Easy Being White or Brown.” (“All this pressure to be bright / I got children all over town!”) But what kind of bad song is it? Bad musically? Philosophically? Historically? It is all those, in interlacing, force-multiplying ways. It is the Beethoven’s Ninth of cringe-worthy awfulness.

The song is not, at least, bad in its intentions; those good intentions strangle the song every second its whole nearly six-minute run. The song begins from the perspective of a white guy* who walks into a Starbucks wearing a Confederate-flag T-shirt. (Your first warning sign: this is a country song set at a Starbucks.) He notices the African American barista giving him side-eye over his shirt. Our white guy tries to explain that he wears the flag because he loves the South–and Lynyrd Skynyrd–not because he hates black people. LL’s character tries to explain how the flag, the banner of states that fought for slavery, makes him feel regardless: “I see that red flag and I think you wish I wasn’t here.”

*Some critiques of the song have said the narrator is “Paisley.” And Paisley himself has said he based the song on an experience going out in public with an Alabama shirt bearing the Stars and Bars. But one thing country singers have in common with hip-hop artists is that people don’t give them the same credit for having distance from the characters in their songs as they would, say, Bruce Springsteen.

So far, so well-meaning. We ought to try to understand people different from us. Country star and hip-hop star, trading lyrics and sharing billing for peace. Don’t pre-judge! Don’t assume the worst of people! What’s not to like?

Oh God, so much. The sappy ballad arrangement that sets up the confounding metaphors (“The red flag on my chest is somehow like the elephant / In the corner of the South / And I just walked him right in the room”) and clunky lyrics (“I wasn’t there when Sherman’s March turned the south into firewood / I want you to get paid, but be a slave I never could”). The basic misrepresentations of history, such as describing Reconstruction as mainly being when “they… Fixed the buildings, dried some tears.” The seriously questionable assumptions about the Starbucks employee dress code: (“Just because my pants are saggin’ doesn’t mean I’m up to no good” “Don’t judge my do-rag”).

But the major problem of “Accidental Racist” is also the major problem of a lot of well-intentioned punditry and journalism. To avoid alienating its audience–here, country-music fans–it sets up a string of false equivalencies. If one side has to bear some burden or confess some bad history, an equivalent must be found on the other side, because, well, it’s only fair, even if it’s not actually equivalent.

Thus: yeah, white Americans enslaved black people for 300 years, but then again, Sherman burned the South! (Um, in the war against said slavery? And, um, I believe he was a white guy?) Yeah, Abraham Lincoln was a hero, but hey, “RIP, Robert E. Lee”! Yeah, black people still suffer from the assumption that they’re criminals, but white Southerners get assumed to be racists, which… hurts their feelings? Sure, we could argue back and forth all day about who enslaved who! But bottom line, white and black people are “still paying for the mistakes / That a bunch of folks made / Long before we came.”

Well… all right. But maybe a line or two acknowledging that for some people, the bill worked out to a hell of a lot more decimal places than it did for others?

The thing is, I don’t doubt that everyone involved here knows that slavery and hurt pride are not equal afflictions. But as Alan Scherstuhl writes in the Village Voice, Paisley probably wants to be careful not to make his country audience feel picked on or disrespected. (As Scherstuhl writes, Paisley has a history of celebrating multicultural America, in much better songs like “American Saturday Night,” which I wish everyone rightly hating on “Accidental Racist” gets to listen to someday.)

So he does what journalists do when they don’t want to seem “biased” and alienate their audience: he “balances” the setup even if it’s sharply tilted in real life. “Accidental Racist” is basically every “To be sure, both sides are guilty…” paragraph in a political story, this time set to a syrupy, whiny tune. And it probably alienated far more people than it would have otherwise.

Whatever it has to say about race and culture in America, “Accidental Racist” is–accidentally–a classic example of how good intentions can ruin a work (and a message). As a cautionary tale, at least, this bad song is very good.

25 comments
Hollamann
Hollamann

After reading and listening to a lot of talk about this song the last few days, I think like Poniewozik says, the intentions of the song were good.

The execution on the other hand was just terrible.

Either way, it's got people talking I suppose.  It's incited heated arguments on internet comment sections and messageboards all across the web.  It's got people talking on the tv, on the radio, pretty much everywhere.  So that's good.

The song is a blunder to be sure.  Brad, a guy who's hits include "Check You For Ticks", "Online", and "Alcohol", and LL Cool J, who was never much for hard hitting eye opening hip hop, outside of "Mama Said Knock You Out" of course, are surely not the best two people to be tackling such an issue.  Kudos for trying for sure, but I just can't believe anybody on Paisly's PR team didn't stop and say, "Hey, maybe it's a bad idea to have the clown prince of country music tackle such a serious issue."  As for LL's PR people?  The minute they saw the "gold chains, iron chains" line they should've just said, "Nope.  This is not happening."

I can't fault them for trying.  But from the name, which to me is the worst part, on throughout the lyrics, you've got to wonder who the hell didn't see the backlash coming?

cobright
cobright

Mr. Poniewozik has a lot of complaints about this song but most of them are based on his inference and not anything actually stated in the lyrics. This strikes me as lazy 'journalism' at best, even if I share his dislike for tune.

The big allegation is several supposed 'false equivalencies'. No where in the song does it suggest that white people and black people had an equal burden or bad history. That might be the message this critic heard but I see nothing in the song that would lead me to believe that this was an implicit message.

Truly, all of the most horrible things Mr. Poniewozik claims the song says are not said explicitly at all and rely on his interpretation to exist. To put that another way, he's putting words into the songwriters' mouths. Worse, he's choosing very incendiary words so that he, and those of a like, mind may pen their outrage. Which is very convenient because a hack job gets far more views than a positive review.

This part will eventually get a little nitpicky but bear with me. I could forgive Mr. Poniewozik's writing as merely a difference of opinion. He listened to the same song I did and came to far different conclusions. Truth is, I'm eager to paint country singers and southern white folk as racist. I'm from Michigan but have spent a lot of time in the south and have seen the special love for the past many hold on to; Not all or maybe even most but many; a significant number. You'll see racism anywhere you care to look for it, of course, but there is a comfortable form of racism that is peculiar to the south. That's my experience anyway. Maybe its this authors as well. I can't say. Or better put, I can say but I won't because that would be dishonest.

So maybe this author comes by his views honestly. I could believe that if it weren't for him getting SO much of the inconsequential stuff wrong too. Just plain reading errors, misinterpretations based on the author not understanding basic grammar and syntax. For example... Does the black guy in the song say he wears baggy pants to his job at starbucks? Does he suggest that the white guy assumed he was 'up to no good' when that white guy met him in starbucks? No. Their meeting in the starbucks is described in the past tense but LL's line about his pants is in the present tense. Paisly begins the song with a reminiscence about something that happened previously and relates it to the present message of trying to get through this subject with dialogue instead of assumptions.

Does Paisly say that reconstruction was MAINLY about fixing some buildings and drying tears? That would be pretty dismissive indeed. Mr. Poniewozik commits a crude fallacy here in presenting a list as as if it were inclusive. Without direction either way one should ALWAYS assume a list is not all inclusive, ESPECIALLY when that list is an obvious literary device.

It is doubly offensive that Mr. Poniewozik breaks this songwriter's balls (wrongly) about historical accuracy then claims that, "white Americans enslaved black people for 300 years". There is no correct way to interpret this statement. On it's face it is wrong because The no American nation existed until 1776 (none populated by white people anyway) and ownership of blacks became illegal as a matter of national law in 1865. How many years is that? He could have said that blacks were owned by white people IN America, but it would still be incorrect to say this lasted for 300 years. The first African slaves arrived in the American colonies in 1610, still more than a century short.

Apparently it's easier to create a controversial message and claim someone richer and more famous than one's self said it than it is to listen to a song for what it actually says.

Hack.

1Kiti
1Kiti

I liked the song. My take is if you don't like it don't listen to it. I also believe that the drama and controversy over this song is ridiculous. It's funny had the drama not started I would have never heard it. What I took away from it was, basic truths - don't judge others and don't hate. I applaud Brad Paisley and LL Cool J.

WaitReally
WaitReally

These comments...

White people trying to explain the true nature of racism, which if I'm reading correctly, all seems to filter down to, “It doesn't exist."

Look, the song isn't bad because there's no such thing as racism. There is. The problem with Accidental Racist-apart from being a monumentally terrible example of musicianship-is that it essentially follows the same logic as the people in this thread: Racism was bad and our ancestors messed up pretty big but in the end they all suffered equally because of that whole slavery thing. Racism is an outdated mode of thinking, amirite?

Let me be one to let you know that if you either (A) Think that racism is an illusion, or (B) that whites and blacks suffered the same from slavery, then its safe to assume that you aren't of the race that was enslaved, the side that is still dealing with the lasting consequences and still finds itself the subject of racism on a regular basis. That or you're LL Cool J.

Beersheva
Beersheva

It's a song for an audience that he knows would like this kind of message so that he can get more money from them. Show business.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

I'm going to probably take some heat for this, but I believe EVERYONE is racist.

I know I am.  Why?  I see "different" when I look at someone who isn't my skin color.  That's it.  It's not like it bothers me that much.  It's certainly not that I act on it or say, "Hey, you're Black, or Asian or Hispanic and I'm not!"  Anyone who says they don't notice the racial difference is LYING or BLIND.

People are people.  We all came from the same place - that is to say millions of years of evolution in a TRIBAL ENVIRONMENT.  We have been selectively bred to survive as tribes and we each seek our own tribes.  Way back then, they all pretty much looked like you did.  They painted themselves the same way, dressed the same way and when all that was washed off, they looked the same color.  Anyone who wasn't from the tribe was distrusted and likely had to undergo elaborate rituals to become a member of the tribe.  Considering that tribal unity and cooperation in the face of natural disaster was one of the factors that allowed us to survive, this inherent distrust of strangers wasn't racism.  It was survival.

Today, if you put a bunch of people of different races into the same room for any social gathering, you'll eventually see most of them cluster by races, if all other things are equal.  While we've begun to substitute the racial tribe for other kinds of tribes - religious, political, social, etc. - we are still genetic slaves to the tribal impulse.  Some are better at ignoring that impulse than others but we all feel the tug if we are at least honest with ourselves.

So we are all, to some degree, racist.  It's how we ACT that determines our expression of our inherent racism.  One CAN be racist - to see the difference  - and still successfully fight the "they're not from my tribe" impulse.  But to stand there and say you don't care about the color of someone's skin denies them their race, customs and heritage in many cases. Race defines many people.  Caring about race is exactly that - to take note and be accepting of it.  

But there is that tribal bond we seek today which stands in the way of this more civilized approach to our evolutionary handicap.  We have different races, different religions, different customs, different traditions.  Mankind evolved where different often meant deadly and our reactions to seeing "different" can't be denied.  Only by embracing the fact that we are all part of the same tribe, that the differences strengthen us and that falling prey to the notion that JUST because they're not the same race they're bad weakens us, we can overcome the tribal instinct that's in all of us simply by making the tribe bigger and inclusive of all.

SteveCharb
SteveCharb

COMING THIS SUMMER
Narrator:  They came from different worlds.  He's a mediocre country music singer.  He's a mediocre rapper/actor.  They couldn't be more different.  But when fate pushes them together...
Da Chief: You two knuckleheads call yourselves musicians?  Well, guess what?  From now on, you're partners.  
Narrator:  They're the only ones...
LL Cool J:  We've got only 72 hours to solve race relations in America!
Narrator: ...who have what it takes...
*car tires squeal*
Brad Paisley:  I thought you said you knew how to drive this thing!
LL Cool J: Hold on tight!  
Both: AAAAAHHH!!
Narrator:  ...to get the job done!
SFX: *gunfire*
Brad Paisley: This one's for General Lee!  
SFX: *BOOM*
LL Cool J:  Get some!
SFX: *KABLOOIE*

Narrator:  Starring LL Cool J. Brad Paisley. Nicholas Cage.  Rosie Perez. Nicholas Cage. And Nicholas Cage.  With guest appearances from Kofi Annan, Cornell West, and Ted Nugent.  
Cornell West: The advancement of my years precludes tolerance for this ludicrous drivel
Ted Nugent:  Yeah, and I'm gettin' too old for this sh--
Narrator:  This summer, don't miss... ACCIDENTALLY RACIST.  
Disclaimer: This film is not yet rated.

GafKerg
GafKerg

The tragedy isn't that the song takes a light-hearted approach to a serious problem--a number of comedians, from Lenny Bruce to Dave Chappelle, have successfully made a joke of racism.  The problem is that after so many failures, America hasn't yet learned its lesson: that rap and country music don't mix without ruining both.  Shame on you, Brad and LL.

MattThaden
MattThaden

Racism is only a problem when people act on it, stereotypes are simply literary devices, if you don't wish to be associated with such stereotypes, simply act accordingly and when people see you, they would not be presumptuous in assigning you a stereotypical label. Presentation is the first thing people notice about a person, after that actions determine everything, just because people wear doo-rags and chains doesn't mean an educated person can't tell the significance and individuality of each of those people.

Even a set of bloods, each may wear red rags, and chains, or however they would like to dress, but each can see one may be selling drugs, working the trap, others may be enforcing territory claims, others may simply be associating with like minded people and attempting to strengthen community ties. Simply because people look the same, doesn't mean each one is the same, Christian bale as American Psycho was an outlier in the population of men in suits, however still a possibility, one simply cannot assume all men in suits murder and rape people. The same thing could be said in that while some gangsters do murder people, it is a select few whom actually commit the crimes, while most maintain smaller, however still more or less dignified or at least acknowledged societal and political positions.

To hold the assumptions that all people associated with a gang are murderers, criminals, or drug dealers, couldn't be farther from the truth, just as an Army may have soldiers, it also includes many people are simply employees or associates who are people working together to see munitions, supplies, and other necessities for daily life are met, in order for the whole unit to function properly.

The mistakes are made when the ignorant only see the issues from one side, where as one may see gangsters enforcing themselves with guns and subversion as problematic to American lifestyle, a similar claim can be made against the US Armed forces, whom do similar things unto countries of the middle east, enforcing territory with tactics similar to martial law, seemingly to the local people of Iraq or Afghanistan using their firepower to enforce their own sway, even toppling local infrastructure; just as a local gang of bloods working on expanding their territory from a traditional collection of hoods into a more established framework encompassing the supply of illicit needs, grey and black market business opportunities, and subsequently commanding the respect of those under their dominion, any person who can command equivocal power is treated just as a mayor or police chief may be respected, leaders of the gang just as easily command that same respect, if not more, when looked upon by denizens of the areas they hold personal sway over.

TomCollins
TomCollins

Abraham Lincoln and Sherman did more to keep racism alive than any other people. The war was fought by men that were forced to fight. They had no choice unless they were rich and could afford to have someone go to fight for them. Ninety nine percent of these men never owned a slave nor worked with slaves. Because of Lincoln's impassive will to be elected and fervor to ,shall we say, get on with it, hundreds of thousands of good men died when with a little more time there would have been the same outcome of the war anyway. Slavery was on it's last leg and the South did not want to secede from the Union, they just wanted to run their own affairs. Affairs of the few rich plantation owners. If  Lincoln would have been more of a diplomat, the common people would have abolished slavery just like the North. Sherman marched through the South raping, killing, pillaging and burning after the war was technically over. He did this to mostly innocent and undefended women, children and old men.  Because of all of this, huge amounts of animosity was developed and passed on from one generation to the next. When the smoke cleared, the people blamed the only people they could think of for the loss of their husbands and sons and property, the black people.  The black people were treated, in some cases even worse. The south built some of the worst chain gangs the world ever knew and called it justice. They could throw a black man onto a chain gang for his entire life with very little reason. All of the racism then and now is born from that war, which could have been avoided. War then was no less real than it is now, the soldiers just suffered more. Agree with me or not, I laugh when I hear anyone holding these men in high regard. There were other ways out of that war and consequently this terrible racism we've had to live with for 150+ years. I'm sorry, but I feel no obligation for my past ancestors deeds and I judge people today on their own merit.

d2sdonger
d2sdonger

People have too much time on their hands. Get a job!

MichaelHoward
MichaelHoward

Tom Petty's 'Southern Accent' pretty much covers Paisley's side of it. Chuck D intelligently responds to the history of abuse, not only for blacks, but those who are less able to defend themselves or rise through the system.

QuinBagwell
QuinBagwell

Absolutely right, we have become the land of the sensitive and the home of the offended, especially if a white male is speaking . In fact the white male is the only person who is still considered fair game to even joke about. Displaying a confederate flag doesn't make a person a racist, any more than wearing a feather in your hat makes you able to fly. People need to lighten up and get over themselves. And stop making an issue of harmless country songs.

QuinBagwell
QuinBagwell

So if I follow your logic a race was enslaved not individuals, therefore even though slavery in this country was abolished 150 years ago , if you're black you're still a slave by race? I bet the Jews hate the sight of the pyramids.

JoeBlows
JoeBlows

@SteveCharb 

You hit the nail on the head. These conflicts have no meaning to me. That diatribe you delivered is the essence of what I see. 


I'm of the more recent generation. We don't think like the previous generations, and this crap about whites enslaving blacks has nothing to do with me or my generation. To me that would be the equivalent of going to Africa and hating black people there for selling American black people into slavery. Generations have passed, I don't care about skin color, and the digital world exists in whatever color I want to make my screen today. When I look at beautiful women, I don't see skin color. When I think about my ancestry, I know that we all came from a woman in Africa. To me, anyone who feels they are better than someone else because of how they look is nothing but a fool.


You made my day!

MattThaden
MattThaden

http://sigurrillos.bandcamp.com/track/injunkiller

Racism is something different than racial commentary or racial humor. Insensitive people and overly defensive people will always find things to be upset about, people too prone to being confrontational will only see the things they want to use to justify their own point, and disregard and ignore anything that actually would put their opinions in perspective. Ignorance simply blinds people enough to allow them to validate their actions, however foolish and baseless their claims are.

hivemaster
hivemaster

@TomCollins Wow, what a complete failure of slavery rationalzation.

Oh, and slavery was NOT on it's last leg.  The war went on probably an additional year simply BECAUSE the south STILL did not want to give up their slaves.

WaitReally
WaitReally

@TomCollins: 99 percent...sir? I would have to dispute that figure.

Also, if you want to be historically accurate, Lincoln had a comprehensive plan for restoration that would've left the South in a considerably better state than ended up being in, the problem being that he was shot in the head. Andrew Johnson was less forgiving of Southerners, and for the next 30 years the U.S. was gifted with a series of incompetent, corrupt, or in the case of Grant, constantly inebriated presidents in the history of the U.S. So please, don't blame Lincoln. If you're going to blame anyone, it should be John Wilkes Booth.

cobright
cobright

That's not what I'm getting at at all. My point is that the author of this hatchet piece executes the critical analysis skills of a 12 year old.

Of course displaying a confederate flag makes you a racist, that is the message of this song. The perspective voice  in this song comes to realize that this symbol he had always wore to celebrate his present love for the present south (and Skynard) has at the same time been a painful reminder to some of his fellow American's of a horrific past. He's admitting that he's been a racist, albeit an accidental one (hence the title) and he's asking for a little understanding for the people of his generation who are presently coming to terms with the present consequences of that history. 

More importantly, the song conveys a constructive dialog into the subject of this conflict, granted in the 'gee shucks' hokeyness of a country song. That the blatant racism that drove the creation of that imagery does not necessarily inform the decisions of the the current generation, one shielded to the point that they are often ignorant of the kind of pain it causes. 

The confederate flag was the banner under which many states fought explicitly for the purpose of preserving slavery and ensuring the subjugation of the black people. This was the icon that States like Georgia, Mississippi, S. Carolina, and Texas went to war under. These states' declarations of succession include specificity on their purpose in going to war being to preserve the slavery of the black man. I do not see any large scale acceptance for that reality (not the blame, just the reality of that history) in the average white southern Toby Keith fan (or whoever). Absent that, any position that suggests that blacks in this country should just get over it comes from a position of willful ignorance.

That's where this song goes, towards opening that dialogue. I just don't see the wholesale dismisal that this author does.


cobright
cobright

Yes. I can't speak for all of them, but in my experience it's a little offensive to suggest to a Jew that the building of the Pyramids was a good thing.

I'm sorry, did you really think that Jews by and large think the Egyptian Pyramids are a great thing?

Or do you think that the Confederate Flag is so popular in the south because they don't want to ever forget what horrible scum their ancestors were? Because if you frame the argument that way, and convince me of it, I'll fly a confederate flag tomorrow.

QuinBagwell
QuinBagwell

Displaying a confederate flag doesn't make anyone racist. Maybe some interpret the flag that way but l can assure you many dont!The war was fought over a lot more than slavery. There was even a point in the war when Lincoln entertained the notion of conceding on the issue of slavery for the sake of the union. Im in no way defending slavery or racism , I just respectfully disagree with you on this point. After 150 years , it most certainly is time to get past it and move on. Not that it should be forgotten or excused,

QuinBagwell
QuinBagwell

Slavery is , was, and forever will be indefensible. The south was wrong, this is clear. I'm not defending the slavery position , I fully understand some peoples belief that the confederate flag has one representation and only one. For many southerners , there are other things represented beyond the shame of slavery, which have absolute nothing to do with slavery or any particular race, or any attempt to offend anyone. Surely a thinking tolerant person could understand this.

cobright
cobright

The nation doing business under the american flag quickly learned the poisonous nature of slavery and worked limit and reverse the spread of it within its borders. Some states found this proposition so onerous that they created a new nation under the banner of the confederate flag and went to war with the united states, largely, for the purpose of preserving their right to keep slaves.

S. Carolina, going to war under the confederate flag, states in its declaration of secession as a reason for leaving the union, "A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery."

Likewise Mississippi, which went to war under the confederate flag, states, "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery --- the greatest material interest of the world." and " There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin." This is in the opening paragraph, mind you.

Georgia went to war under the confederate flag, saying in its articles of secession  (emphasis by CAPS is mine), " Our Northern confederates, after a full and calm hearing of all the facts, after a fair warning of our purpose not to submit to the rule of the authors of all these wrongs and injuries, have by a LARGE majority committed the Government of the United States into their hands. The people of Georgia, after an equally full and fair and deliberate hearing of the case, have declared with EQUAL firmness that they shall not rule over them." and that theis seceesion is a result of the victory of the Republican party, "The prohibition of slavery in the Territories, hostility to it everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of all constitutional guarantees in its favor, were boldly proclaimed by its leaders and applauded by its followers."

Texas says it went to war, under the confederate flag, because the nothern states had become hostile to the slave holding states, "and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color-- a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States."

These are just four of the seceding states. The Vice-President of the Confederate States, Alexander Stephens, sums up why they must go to war under the confederate flag in a speech. saying, "The new [Confederate] Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions—African slavery as it exists among us—the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. . . .(Jefferson's) ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error.... Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery– subordination to the superior race– is his natural and normal condition."

That was the stated purpose of the war fought under the confederate flag. THAT is what the people declaring war and uniting themselves under the common image of that flag said about the role of black men in America.

So you think that celebrating that message, portraying that war banner in a positive light, or yee-haw-ing about the glory days of the rebellion ISN'T hurtful people who's gggg-grandfathers were chained to the bulkhead of a ship and bred and sold like cattle? 

Of course it will. You know it will. You just don't care. And that's cool too. I'm a firm believer that a person does not have a right to NOT be offended. But the confederate flag was the war-banner of a racist government, the icon elected by the PEOPLE of the south to represent them. This is fact, not opinion, and it doesn't stop being a fact just because the guy painting it on the side of his truck or Dodge Charger doesn't know it or refuses to acknowledge it.


Through dialogue I think the people of today's south can distill out of the history of that flag the value of their heritage and cast discard the ugliness that was committed under it. But that dialogue hasn't happened yet. At best you hear throw away lines like, "Sure slavery was awful, but...". 


No. Slavery was an act of barbarism, a human atrocity, and it was so important to the people of the south that they WENT TO WAR to maintain their right to preserve it. 

Can a good noble people do that? Can good noble people do such evil? If no, then why celebrate them?

QuinBagwell
QuinBagwell

What I believe the Jews may or may not think about the pyramids is of no consequence, My point was , slavery wasn't anything new or unique to the 18th and 19th centurys. To say that displaying a confederate flag makes you racist is completely ridiculous, several of the founding fathers were slave owners well north of the mason dixon , does it then make you racist to display an American US flag?

To say my ancestors from Georgia were scum, would be offensive to me if I was a sensitive type.My gggg grandfather fought in the revolutionary war, my gg grandfather was 12 when the civil war started , he was a doctors assistant through the war. My ancestors were not slave owners but were burned out and all their property taken or destroyed in Atlanta following the war. Forcing most to leave penniless and move to Texas. Of course black people were mistreated and abusued but not all southerners were wealthy plantation owners. My ancestors were anything but scum , and it's irresponsible to make such sweeping generalizations. The point is that's been 150 years, plenty of time to get over it since none of us were alive , and most of us never even met anyone who was alive then. So if you know any good redneck Texas jokes lets hear em. I bet I'll laugh , if I'm smart enough to get them! Meanwhile I'll leave the radio tuned to the country station, unapologeticly.