The issue of racism in the United States started and flourished inthe past centuries, even though, it survives to date people no longerview it in terms racial superiority rather they stereotype againstpeople of different race(Witt 318). A good example is the songAccidental Racist, which expresses racist remarks that are not onlyoffensive to black people, but also reminds them of the horrors,their ancestors went through during the days of slavery. AccidentalRacist was originally written By Lee Thomas Miller and Brad Paisleyand featured LL Cool J. The song generated heated argument of themessage it is trying to drive in: Southern pride and the way youngwhite Americans are still looking for a way out of what theirforefathers did. In the song, Paisley appears wearing a T-shirt withthe colors of the confederate flag mostly used to symbolize thesouthern states that oppressed black American.
In the song, LL Cool J says that if his gold chains are overlooked,then maybe he might forget the iron chains placed on his forefatherneck during slavery. This ridiculous and offensive too, to comparethe two and even suggest the horror of slavery to be forgotten justlike that. People ought to learn from these horrors rather thanforgetting them. Another prejudiced offending line is the comparisonbetween the red flag and do-rag (headgear) whereby a harmlessheadgear is compared to a flag used to symbolize support for slavery.Although the two artists meant to show racial solidarity, the messagedriven by this song was racist and offended to the black community(Boromisza 232).
The music genre for this song is a mixture of pop and country music,and sociologists like to refer to it as hick-hop. Even though thiskind of genre has not existed for long, the listeners love it becauseit’s fun and simple. Moreover, this kind of genre reaches out todifferent races, age, socioeconomic and gender. It merges twodistinct American music types and is an important part of theAmerican culture thus representing American values of fusion ofcultures and down-to-earth relatability.
The cultural message driven by accidental racist is that of racialinjustice. The African American suffered injustice due to their skincolor this song acknowledges that which is a good thing. However,what is wrong with the song is the fact that it exaggerates this tosound like it is embracing the racist cultural artifacts such as theconfederate flag. Even though this song gives a glimpse of whatracism is popularly understood to mean there is still more to be donein order to find a hearing point (Williams 1).
Racism is part of the American history, and its impact is felt evento date thus cannot be taken as lightly as the song seems to suggest.Ignoring its implications in favor of interpersonal relationship isone of the major reasons why racism is still persistent to date. Thefusion of country music with hip hop ought to be able to deal withthese complexities and not obscure the issue as “Accidental Racist”song does.
The significant of music is helping a musician express themselves ina way that they can’t in normal talking and give the listenerssomething to listen to. Moreover, music makes life enjoyable, and itis the key to creativity. However, when used to drive an offensivemessage music can be destructive and cause hatred among people. Inthe song Accidental Racist, the African americans are looked upon asmorons who ought to forget years of oppression while as the whitecommunity from southern states are made the victims of carrying thedeeds of the forefathers. All in all, the song should never have beenproduced because it opens healing wounds of pains caused by racism.
Boromisza-Habashi, David. Hate Speech As Cultural Practice. ,2008. Print.
Witt, Jon. Soc 2014 Update with Connect Plus Access Card.S.l.: Mcgraw-Hill, 2014. Print.
Williams, Jarvis J. One New Man: The Cross and RacialReconciliation in Pauline Theology. Nashville, Tenn: B & HAcademic, 2010. Print.