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New country song creates racial controversy

Kailyn Gallagher, Opinion Editor

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With the recent Boston tragedy there is some hope left to be had that people are good. Two celebrities this month aimed to use their fame to raise awareness and try to put an end to racism.

On April 9th, country music star Brad Paisley released his new song which features hip hop star and actor, LL Cool J. The song is titled “Accidental Racist.” The song has created controversy and sparked debate among fans.

The goal of the song was to start communication between blacks and whites, and put an end to racism. While the song has surfaced the subject and made people talk about it, was it done in a way that would truly make a difference?

Various talk shows including Good Morning America, The view, and The Colbert Report have done segments on this song. In one segment that was shown on ExtraTv, LL Cool J clarifies that their intent was never to say slavery was okay, like some of the lyrics may suggest; “If you don’t judge my gold chains, I’ll forget the iron chains.” The intent of the song was to get people to realize we as a country need to forgive some of pain so we can move forward and be a more united nation, says LL Cool J.

“Our generation didn’t start this nation,” is a statement about the time that has passed since slavery was abolished. It is not the current generation that owned, or sold slaves; the song says we should let bygones be bygones simply because it was so long ago that this all happened and we should just forgives all of the racism.

The song certainly has its’ flaws, but the intention behind it seems very genuine. With all of the upset this song has caused it is clear that this is a topic worth talking about. It has been shoved into the back of the closet for decades and people put on a happy face. There is still racism towards blacks from whites and prejudice towards whites from blacks.

This of course is not the situation everywhere, some places have moved beyond it more than others, but it still happens. The two stars were aware that there might be some backlash from the song but they believed that it was worth the risk to shine some light on a piece of history that isn’t just in text books.

Some, who disliked the song, have decided to mock it. Stephen Colbert, from the Colbert report, did a short parody of the song. He called it, “Oopsy-daisy Homophobe.” While the rendition was comical, it undermines the intended message Brad Paisley and LL Cool J aimed to send. Both starts have gone on the record stating that the song is not perfect; some critics have called it “stereotypical,” and said it contains too much “bigotry.”

With all of the negative attention and drama that is drawn to most stars these days, like the Kardashians, or the cast of Jersey Shore, it is refreshing to see celebrities use their fame for good. It is easier to get the attention of the masses on a touchy subject when you have a large fan base who will listen.

Will the song end all racism? No, most likely it won’t, however, the intention behind the song itself was good even if the song is not.

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The student news site of Saint Anselm College
New country song creates racial controversy