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To the man that waited on me at the Starbucks down on Main, I hope you understand
When I put on that t-shirt, the only thing I meant to say is I'm a Skynyrd fan
The red flag on my chest somehow is like the elephant in the corner of the south
And I just walked him right in the room
Just a proud rebel son with an 'ol can of worms
Lookin' like I got a lot to learn but from my point of view

I'm just a white man comin' to you from the southland
Tryin' to understand what it's like not to be
I'm proud of where I'm from but not everything we've done
And it ain't like you and me can re-write history
Our generation didn't start this nation
We're still pickin' up the pieces, walkin' on eggshells, fightin' over yesterday
And caught between southern pride and southern blame

They called it Reconstruction, fixed the buildings, dried some tears
We're still siftin' through the rubble after a hundred-fifty years
I try to put myself in your shoes and that's a good place to begin
But it ain't like I can walk a mile in someone else's skin

'Cause I'm a white man livin' in the southland
Just like you I'm more than what you see
I'm proud of where I'm from but not everything we've done
And it ain't like you and me can re-write history
Our generation didn't start this nation
And we're still paying for the mistakes
That a bunch of folks made long before we came
And caught between southern pride and southern blame

Dear Mr. White Man, I wish you understood
What the world is really like when you're livin' in the hood
Just because my pants are saggin' doesn't mean I'm up to no good
You should try to get to know me, I really wish you would
Now my chains are gold but I'm still misunderstood
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
Feel like a new fangled Django, dodgin' invisible white hoods
So when I see that white cowboy hat, I'm thinkin' it's not all good
I guess we're both guilty of judgin' the cover not the book
I'd love to buy you a beer, conversate and clear the air
But I see that red flag and I think you wish I wasn't here

I'm just a white man
(If you don't judge my do-rag)
Comin' to you from the southland
(I won't judge your red flag)
Tryin' to understand what it's like not to be
I'm proud of where I'm from
(If you don't judge my gold chains)
But not everything we've done
(I'll forget the iron chains)
It ain't like you and me can re-write history
(Can't re-write history baby)

Oh, Dixieland
(The relationship between the Mason-Dixon needs some fixin')
I hope you understand what this is all about
(Quite frankly I'm a black Yankee but I've been thinkin' about this lately)
I'm a son of the new south
(The past is the past, you feel me)
And I just want to make things right
(Let bygones be bygones)
Where all that's left is southern pride
(RIP Robert E. Lee but I've gotta thank Abraham Lincoln for freeing me, know what I mean)
It's real, it's real
It's truth



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/brad_paisley/accidental_racist.html

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  • k
    +201
    Kathy JaserApr 9, 2013 at 7:00 am
    as USUAL, people are so quick to get offended they don't understand these lyrics are NOT racial..he's trying to say there should be more mended fences not small minds all ready to get nuts.
  • g
    +182
    Geoffrey ThorneApr 9, 2013 at 6:19 am
    the confederate flag is the same, exactly the same, as the nazi swastika. there's no getting around that. you can't hold on to the part of that legacy you like and then expect people to ignore the rest. You wear that flag, you own all of it. whether you like that or not.

    if you can't accept that fact, there is no conversation to be had.
  • m
    +87
    Matt BryantApr 9, 2013 at 6:01 pm
    I understand what Paisley is trying to say. He wants to mend fences without having to change the core of who he is, and also while expecting that those on the other side should not have to change themselves either. And he's really making this discussion a microcosm of "Northern vs. Southern" attitudes, saying that maybe there's still some room for reconciliation.

    It's a good thought, but Paisley is being naive to suggest that the confederate flag shouldn't mean anything, and that it should be "all good." I've always wondered why some Southerners feel like they need their own flag, and not just ANY flag, but THE flag that represents owning people to the descendants of all the people who were ever "owned" in America's past. Isn't the AMERICAN flag good enough? Doesn't the Stars and Stripes also represent freedom, and independence, and perseverance, and equality, and intensity, and patriotism, and all of those qualities that those Southerners feel are embodied by the Stars and Bars? Stars and Stripes aren't good enough, so they have to wave a flag in everyone's face that is as divisive as any one symbol in our entire nation's history? The South has to be "special" enough to get their own "Southern Flag." Someone please tell me what the Confederate Flag represents that is different from what the AMERICAN flag represents.

    And THAT is just one reason why everyone thinks the South is still fighting the civil war.
  • s
    +55
    Serena ShirleyApr 8, 2013 at 9:36 pm
    I never owned a slave, and there's not a black person alive today who ever was a slave, so take your Neil Young lyrics and your overwhelming need to have an opinion about everything, and put it to good use elsewhere, instead of trying to start arguments about a fight that has been over for decades.
  • t
    +44
    Tom HearyApr 9, 2013 at 8:23 pm
    Wrong. The major cause of the Civil War was the secession of the states of the South. The reason for the secession was the election of Abraham Lincoln, and the perceived threat to the expansion of slavery into the west by his election. Without expansion into the west, eventually the southern states lose power in the Senate and House and they felt eventually slavery would be outlawed if their power was reduced in Congress. Lincoln campaigned on a platform of blocking the expansion of slavery into states where it didn't exist. He never threatened slavery in the existing slave owning states until later on well into the Civil War. He evolved on the issue. But originally he most definitely opposed the expansion of slavery. Slavery, or more precisely the expansion of slavery, was the major and root cause of the Civil War. Throw away your libertarian clap trap. Libertarians and neo Confederates sure do make strange bedfellows.

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