Emancipation Day, the day that Lincoln officially freed the slaves, is as tough a time as any to talk about race relations. We find our nation still embroiled in racially charged national debates, mainly immigration (and, in many ways, gun control).
We have come a long way since the Civil War, but as Brad Paisley and L.L. Cool J’s song, Accidental Racist, can attest, we’re still a long way out from being a post-race society. If you haven’t heard the song, think carefully before you choose to. It has received plenty of flack from the 24-hour news networks, been slammed on SNL, and made LL Cool J look like an Uncle Tom. However, for good or bad, its reception among the Brad Paisley crowd has been exceptional.
Here’s the song:
Here’s Brad and Double L trying to defend it:
No matter what you make of the song (it’s really bad), Paisley and Mr. Cool J are right in regards to its role in starting a conversation that we, as a country, are not comfortable with having. The entire song is about the unspoken things that many people feel when going about their day-to-day lives.
Many of those who feel this way have been told to shut up by the Republican party in recent years for making them look racist.
So, without having to suffer another song like this (LL Cool J and Brad Paisley have already made another song, unfortunately), how do we start talking about race like adults?
That’s the question.