Accidental Racist lyrics by Brad Paisley, 22 meanings, official 2019 song lyrics | LyricsMode.com
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Brad Paisley – Accidental Racist lyrics
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 /lyrics/b/brad_paisley/accidental_racist.html

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Accidental Racist meanings Post my meaning

  • m
    + 91
    Matt Bryant
    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.
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  • t
    + 43
    Tom Heary
    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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  • p
    + 30
    Pete Sheppard
    Read the lyrics. I like them. They represent the change in thinking that has taken place and is ongoing. People forget that it really takes time for an entire generation of people to change on the inside. Laws and mandates are the outside. A country singer and a rapper acknowledging and discussing racial attitudes? How can that be bad? Obama talks race and its 'historic'. These guys do it and it's wrong? I say it's a good song and it's good people are talking, not doing drive-bys or lynchings.
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  • h
    + 10
    Hannah Barton
    So many badly made points here. But instead of getting into a debate on history, I'm just going to go ahead and point out that your 70% statement is astoundingly incorrect. I don't know if it's your knowledge on African geography or what, but your lack of research on something so easy to look up makes you seem a lot less intelligent than you'd like people to think and makes the rest of your statement much less credible (if the addition of your last paragraph isn't already enough).
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  • c
    + 8
    Christopher Walker
    Noel Bailey: It's nice that you want to think like this. But to talk about "sons of THE new south,". To promote "rebels," both of these suggest a connection the slave-south and not country-south. It may be that people want to be country-south. But they have not chosen the words that indicate a change from slavery-south. Valuing 'country' roots is different from valuing 'the south. '
    Being from a southern state is different than flying the Confederate flag. Being from the south does not make anyone a racist. Pretending that the Confederate flag holds no racial tones is harder to view as 'not racist. '
    And when other people shout "the south will rise again," technically that is talk against America. Some might argue it's treason. Suggesting the overthrow of the United States. Not that you or I would ever do those things ;)
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  • d
    + 7
    Daniel Bendure
    Some of you do realize that the Klan also has a history of using the bible during their meetings right? So by using the Klan excuse to put down the flag, you must also condemn the bible as well. If your an atheist, I guess that would be your favorite past time, but for me I am a proud Christian southern man with ancestors who fought under the confederate flag. If you're not from the south or don't have confederate roots, it's okay if you don't understand because you are supposed to be ignorant of it. Someone like me has a flag because I am proud of my ancestors for standing up to what they felt was an oppressive government, the exact same thing every American forefather did against the British. I am proud my ancestors had the guts to rise up knowing there was a chance they may not come back, which one didn't. I fly my flag because of this pride, not because I feel my race is better than another. I often look at people who discredit and call it racist as being jealous that their ancestors never did anything great or anything they can be proud of them for. Its a sign of respect our confederate dead. Do you think the confederate poor that fought in the war owned slaves and plantations? If you do, I have some beach front property in Tennessee that I can sell you.
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  • n
    + 4
    Noel Bailey
    Wrong! Not pride of slavery or racisms but pride of being from the south being raised country! Its hard to move forward socially when everyone thinks if you come from the south your a racist! This song holds truth buts that ppls problem they dot want to face the truth! People in the south are different just like people up north and people to the east and west so font hate bc we are Gods country and love our southern pride!
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  • j
    + 3
    Joel McDermott
    Curtis, if you've taken such a course (which I have) or read up on it (ditto), it would be much more helpful for you to summarize what you learned that Cory and Dustin failed, in your eyes, to understand. I absolutely agree with Cory and Curtis that Kelly's comment seems a complete non sequitur in this thread. I actually suspect she meant to post it in response to another person's comment.
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  • k
    + 2
    Kim Cothren
    You people are so funny, I know black people who wear shirts with the Confederate flag on them! It is really not that big of a deal. The reason racism will never end is because you people are too sensitive and won't let it end. Suck it up and get over it. Where I am from black people are killing black people on a daily basis and whites are killing whites. Oh there was a skin head group of 4 who murdered a man a few weeks ago, and the victim was white. Yall need professional help, lmao Everyone who has a job and pays taxes is a slave to the government, doesn't matter what color you are. And the slaves of the 1800s were also slaves in Africa, they were treated better by their owners in the us than their African owners. Don't use Wikipedia as a dependable source of information, you and I can add to it, therefore it is pretty much useless. Lmao.
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  • a
    + 2
    Aaron Elliott
    I know that "we" are all just so damn smart that we can dissect this to pieces. How about we take this for what it is? An attempt to nicely say "Hey all you stupid jackwagons who won't let this die..Let's move on." It wasn't me or you who was a slave owner or slave. It is part of our history. Lets learn from it and move on or we will be doomed to repeat it in some form. And in case you haven't noticed. Open your eyes because we are all headed towards a form of slavery in this country, its just called something different.
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  • m
    + 2
    Matthew Wetta
    Lincoln didn't free anyone. He enslaved unwilling citizens into his Army of personal vendetta. The Civil war was about one thing: States' rights nothing more. I'm not sure how it would have played out without Lincoln but killing and slaughtering innocent people to claim your empire is not just, for any cause.
    The South didn't want to fight - just to be left alone. It was the Union who implemented that horrible segregation culture and it was the Union judges who enforced Slavery in the first place. Of course, ultimately, Africa is to blame for creating the slave trade. 70%(80?) of all slaves came from the Congo, which is still killing its' own people today.
    Blacks in America are very lucky we brought their ancestors here. People die trying to get into this country and people are starving to death outside of this Country. It wasn't the best immigration policy but at least it was immigration and not genocide.
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  • U
    + 1
    Unregistered
    I completely agree with Matt Bryant, and to add to his eloquence i would add that the Confederate flag only exist when the South secedes to preserve slavery and white dominance over Black people. Its was born racist and was used to promote white supremacy after the Civil War as well. Brad Paisley can say it means something different now, though isn't he from West Virginia? the state that succeeded from Virginia because it didn't want to be apart of the Confederacy. It isn't like the Swastika that was a symbol long before Hitler used it with a such much different grotesque meaning. It was always used to promote white supremacy, so I don't know if it could ever really change to mean something different, as it wasn't used in the South prior to the Confederacy, its completely wrapped up in slavery.
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  • k
    + 1
    Kyle Murchison
    Geoffrey Thorne wow you are so brainwashed by leftists, its just pathetic. The civil war was about state rights, not slavery. Slavery was a peripheral issue, which happened to benefit north by their opposition to it. Your understanding of slavery is grossly skewed. You act like black slaves built America, but they didn't, it was pioneers and families that braved the frontier that did. It wasnt the rich plantation owners, it was the people that had to fight against the wilderness who built the country.
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  • n
    + 1
    Noel Bailey
    I agree with what you said about the south will rise again! Idk why people say that! But it is time to start moving forward and letting go! I don't go around swinging the confederate flag but that is apart of history and being from the south and not to mention the civi war was bc of wanting to be a differrent country where people had different beliefs at that time in america! At this time america was formed and even though we havecame along ways from that day its still apart of the south. It was a time that known of us will ever understand and unfortunatly ppls stupidity and ignorance created this but reality is there is racist everywhere in other countries and in history! And southern pride has to do with country people who work hard loves being from the south says yes ma'am no ma'am loves muddin and huntin. Rasied in church and values conservative traditions. That's all lol I was called a redneck by someone who doesn't even know me and never been called one and theres nothing wrong if you are a redneck but this persons from a different country and its funny how people make fun of rednecks and yet they arent being racists?! This songs great at hey this is my culture that's urs lets respect each other btw lil waynes from the south and he rocks the rebel flag.
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  • a
    0
    Andrew Schwegler
    Cole is completely rightâ€"Even though the "Rebel Flag" was never actually an official CSA flag and it wasn't even identified closely with "southern heritage" until it was used to rally against the civil right movement in the 1950s. Butâ€"back to my pointâ€"the Virginia Battle Flag (as it was) isn't like the Swastika flags from the Nazi party. The CSA lasted less than 5 years where as the Third Reich lasted over 20... so, if there's a "claim to history/tradition" to be had (there isn't) it goes to the swastika.
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  • s
    0
    Stormi Reid
    Okay, so racism is something one learns from the people around you. Look in a Sociology textbook people. Will you really call a 5yrold racist because he is mimicking what is around him? And, its not really like the white man dragged Africans out of Africa all the time. Africans sold other defeated Africans. Its both races fault in a way.
    The flag is just a flag. It only has meaning if you really assign it. I see the flag as like. A country folk thing.
    Both people need to learn to stop the prejudgement. The "oh they are thing XYZ"continues the tension. Also, if one doesn't conform to his own groups norm, then the group itself will sanction the individual. Example: a black and white person are really good friends in the "Deep South". When they are out in public people of both colors look at them funny, like its not right.
    Each race needs to stop the Pity Party. I'm white, never owned a slave, not racist. What do you want me to do? Pay my black friends for being black because there may be a possibility an ancestor was a slave? "a son should not be blamed for the sins of the father".
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  • c
    0
    Christopher Born
    So flying the American flag also means you're owning things like the School of the Americas - where we taught para military forces in latin america how to torture and use scare tactics to do everything they've done to the natives down there since the 70s and 80s?
    You should be well aware of everything that your own symbols mean before condemning others. Apply your own judgment against the american flag in the same way. I think you'll find it wanting. But you (or at least many other people) are proud to be americans, despite that, not because of or including that.
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  • e
    0
    Eric Harris
    If you are to take that stand, then you have to take the mirror image and using the song as an example-you see a kid sagging. He is up to no good. You can't burn books because you don't like the message, you get to learn from them and decide your own points of view. You can't rewrite history or pick and choose-blacks sold blacks into slavery and the whole world has had slaves at some point. With that, how long are those of us that came after that era supposed to pay the price. Now since your picture is promoting g** marriage, why wont you and the deviant gays let all people marry. The Mormons with multiple wives? How about non-nuclear family members? I am not advocating thee ideas, but one that is supposedly so open and enlightened as yourself ought to see that you are simply walking a party line and have not truly opened yourself up to the full spectrum of conversation on any topic.
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  • s
    0
    Shanbria Oglesby
    This song is not the best but I get the message. It is in no way shape or form racist. However, some of the comments have me in shock! To say there is no black slave alive today, or we should get over it or we whine about it, or slavery saved Africans is shocking. If things like this were not said by many people we would not have any issues and this song would not have needed to be made. May everyone, black and white, with closed minds and hatred in their hearts be blessed.
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  • c
    0
    Chase Time
    I love Brad Paisley and I understand the message he is trying to convey is noble so I am not at all upset by the lyrics but I too understand how some would be put off by the lyrics. Brad doesn't acknowledge the entire situation, perhaps because he isn't well acquainted with it. He states in his song:.
    -We're still siftin' through the rubble after a hundred-fifty years".
    Although slavery was abolished nearly 150 years ago, slavery didn't end and neither did the prevailing ideas that existed with it. Black Americans we're still treated with disdain, considered a lesser creation, physically and emotionally abused, employed with a 'slaves- wage'.
    It was only 50 years ago that the Civil Rights movement began. Until then Black Americans were not allowed to vote, attend schools with White Americans, eat in the same restaurants, swim in the same pools, play at the same parks, use the same bathrooms, etc. We were still treated as a lesser creation by the majority (but not entirety) of White Americans.
    I am not yet 30 years old and live in Southern California but remember vividly that as a child I was exposed to racism by adults and peers, called by racial slurs, made fun of for physical characteristics common to Black Americans, ostracized and humiliated. As a pre-teen I remember riding in a car with my mother and a Hispanic friend and having to pull to the side of the road, turn off all the lights and duck down as though the car was parked because the resident Ku Klux Klan was riding down the neighboring street yelling and carrying on.
    The Generation we now live in is made up of many adults who are children of those who were on both sides of the Civil Rights movement, or perhaps as children were recipients of racism, and as such are still working through the fading ideals of their parents.
    I agree we should all work on moving forward, and in great strides we are; some (both White and Black) are just slower to recover than others.
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  • U
    - 1
    Unregistered
    The first issue is Paisley does not really take responsibility for his actions he instead shifts the blame over to the person interpreting the shirt he is wearing.
    Paisley goes on to say he can't -Rewrite history. " I feel like this is a cop out excuse for him not wanting to change. He says he is not proud of all the past but yet he is still embracing a very controversial sign for that part of the past. Paisley cannot have it both way he cannot have his cake and eat it too. He continues to say that he -Can't walk a mile in someone else's skin. " While this is true he certainly can try to have more empathy for this persons feelings instead of having a shirt that could offend this poor barista.
    Now we must continue on to ll Cool J's part. This part is really just not good. Cool J first off seems to be making things up as he goes along but the actual words are just so problematic. Honestly it seems that ll Cool J is accepting the blame for the interpretation. Cool J uses every stereotype of a man of color that he can think of. The -pants saggin" the -gold chains" and all of these do not necessarily depict what people really are or how they think. He goes on to say one of the worst lines in music I have ever head and that is -If you forgive the gold chains… I'll forgive the iron chains. " Let that sink in. So if I do not judge you for a fashion choice you chose to make you will say that whole slavery thing did not matter. Yeah that is bad. First of all what about the people who do not wear thsese gold chains do they not matter? And how on earth is that a fair trade off? It is not it is Cool J excepting the blame for issues that are not his fault. He goes on to say that he also -Can't rewrite history. " Again though this is just a cop out so that no issues will actually be fixed.
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  • c
    - 1
    Cathern Riggs
    Serena Shirley. Maybe you think the fight is over but your attitude proves it is not. Until we accept that slavery did evil and disgusting to the very souls of it's victims, that bigotry, sexism, and class-ism does this same kind of damage to it's victims. Until we acknowledge that slavery continues and we allow it (both here and in other countries) until all people understand and admit that such behavior as owning slaves is indefensibly wrong. The fight will never be truly over.
    I am so white that I almost glow, and have felt shame every time notice it for well over 50 years. At the age of 6 I lost a playmate and friend because the only hospital in the entire county was a "whites only" hospital. My friend dies because they did not approve of the color of her skin and refused her emergency life saving care.----- Few white people see or believe in the 'privilege' just being white gives them in life, but I see much of it and it shames me. ---- want to walk for a moment in a minority's shoes? Travel to where the very rich shop and try "just browsing" in a store, you will be able to feel how closely and suspiciously you are being watched and be offended at the implication that you are most likely going to steal something. This is a normal everyday shopping experience for many who do not fit into the 'middle to upper class, straight, white, christian' mold.
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    • m
      + 91
      Matt Bryant
      I understand what Paisley is trying to say. He wants to mend fences without having to change the... Read more →
    • t
      + 43
      Tom Heary
      Wrong. The major cause of the Civil War was the secession of the states of the South. The reason... Read more →

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