“Ebony and Ivory” this song is not. Brad Paisley and LL Cool J got together and decided to bury racial tension once and for all. The result:
Edit: The video of the song was taken down (how unexpected?) so instead I’ll post this video of Brad trying to explain what the song meant on Ellen and struggling (how unexpected?)
It appears that all it takes to end racial friction (particularly between confederate flag shirt wearers and “do-rag” wearers) is to conclude that General Sherman destroying towns during the Civil War more than makes up for holding a race of people in bondage for hundreds of years with the willingness to fight and die to keep that system in place (and leading to the war that caused said general to destroy towns).
What isn’t explored is any sense of self reflection on the part of Brad Paisley on whether it is appropriate to wear a symbol of so much pain and divisiveness. Its message is simply “Look, I’m sorry you are offended by my shirt and what it represents but I don’t mean it like that.” and what it’s really saying is “get over it.” Neither message feels particularly enlightened, and despite LL Cool J’s lyrical acceptance of his “apology”, it doesn’t seem to be enough to justify continuing to feel okay with the confederate flag.
The idea that if a wrongdoer or a justifier of that wrongdoing (“justifier” not being a word) can find any example or instance of an inverse wrong suddenly makes it even is common but foolish. During the Trayvon Martin media frenzy, George Zimmerman defenders were quick to cite examples where African Americans killed white people as if that some how absolved George Zimmerman of wrongdoing (it doesn’t).
Where’s Tim McGraw and Nelly when you need them?
- Brad Paisley and LL Cool J Team Up For “Accidental Racist,” Which You Should Listen to Immediately (complex.com)