Tag Archives: ll cool j

2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival - Day 2 - Backstage

Brad Paisley accidentally wore a Confederate flag into a Starbucks and wrote this song

So country singer Brad Paisley and Sam Hanna from NCIS LA have joined up to put out a song decrying the state of race relations these days, putting most of it down to a misbegotten clinging to the past and misunderstanding of white and black today.

First, anybody besides me have the urge to laugh uncontrollably every time you hear the name “Brad Paisley”?

OK never mind. It’s not his fault. At least I hope not. And Sam Hanna is really rapper LL Cool J, who frankly oughta know better.

On the other hand, it’s quite a gutsy move for “a white man coming to you from the southland” to even speak about race like this. And on the other other hand, the song falls so far short of what I’m sure Brad and Cool hoped that it probably just gives the racists another white sheet to hide behind, because it doesn’t seem much more than another attempt to ease white guilt by saying “everybody does it.”

Brad’s been taking a lot of heat for it, of course, so I shudder to think what kind of heat he might be taking had the song actually been better. The song’s called “Accidental Racist,” and frankly, that’s just a stupid title for a song about a guy who wore a Confederate flag into a Starbucks and expected the barista not to think he was a fucking bigoted asshole.

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

Really, Brad? Y’know, Lynyrd Skynyrd once stopped using that damn flag to promote themselves because they were tired of being equated with racists. But the racists got pissed and wouldn’t come to their shows anymore, so they started using it again.

I think the only thing Brad meant to say is that it’s black folks’ fault if seeing the stars and bars upsets them.

confederateflag

And LL Cool J. He has a rap part in this song. He raps that he won’t judge Brad’s “red flag” if Brad won’t judge his “do rag.” Seriously? Is there any kind of correlation between a do rag and the battle flag of the Confederate States of America, which seceded from the United States of America so they could continue to enslave a particular group of people? I didn’t think so.

But that’s not the worst part of LL Cool J’s rap. The worst part is his saying that if Brad will forget about his “gold chains,” he’ll forget about the “iron chains.” Really? Really? How on earth can those two things be equivocal, except that they both involve something worn by an African American?

See, here’s the thing. Brad’s part of the song is kinda whining about how he keeps getting blamed for something done in the past by people who are now dead to other people who are now dead, and it has nothing to do with him.

‘Cause I’m just a white man
Living in the Southland
Just like you, I’m more than what you see
I’m proud of where I’m from
And not everything we’ve done
And it ain’t like you and me to rewrite history
Our generation didn’t start this nation
And we’re still paying for the mistakes
Than a bunch of folks made
Long before we came
Caught somewhere between southern pride
And southern blame

LL Cool J’s part is about how a lot of white people just look at black people and think they’re out to rape and murder them, which is pretty much true. But they both say we should all just sit down, have a beer and get over it.

Dear Mr. White Man, I wish you understood
What the world is really like when you’re living 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 dogging invisible white hoods
So when I see that white cowboy hat, I’m thinking it’s not all good
I guess we’re both guilty of judging 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

Now, there’s some good points there, don’t get me wrong. And it’s a start. It’s just a pretty damn weak start. Do rags don’t equal Confederate flags. Gold chains don’t equal iron chains. And no, Sherman’s march (which was not conducted by African Americans, please remember) does not equal hundreds of years of enforced slavery followed by Jim Crow and institutionalized racism that did not end with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

It’s not so much the past racism that bugs people as the present racism. The white south does go to great lengths to pretend that “bygones are bygones” and we’re all starting off on a clean plate, but the truth is, we ain’t. Not by a long shot. So, Brad, while you ain’t proud of everything that was done in your name by your ancestors, you are still wearing the very symbol of the crap that was done in your name by your ancestors. Quit trying to pretend it’s just the innocent symbol of a southern rock band.

Cool, man, them saggy pants just look stupid. I don’t think you’re up to no good if you’re wearing em. I just think you’re an idiot. And it doesn’t matter what color is your skin. Do rags? Gold chains? Seriously? Did you have to search down that deep into stereotypes to find something to falsely compare with the pure hatred and disrespect for human beings represented by that flag?

No matter how hard you want to believe it, guys, this is not some post-racial world. It’s still pretty damn fucked up. It’s still racist and sexist and homophobic and don’t even get me started on the Christianists who think they’re persecuted.

And yeah, the south gets too much of the blame for racism. Every time something happens here, every time somebody uncovers a rural Georgia town of less than 1,500 people that still has segregated proms at its high school of 70 kids, the Yankee haters go berserk with the “too much bigotry in the south” bullshit. One guy said “You wouldn’t find this in New York City!” That’s true. But you also don’t find it in Atlanta. Or Birmingham. Or Charleston. Or Charlotte. Or Nashville. Or Louisville. Or Richmond, the former capital of the CSA. Maybe not even in Jackson, but I can’t say that for sure. And there are other forms of racism to be found in places like New York City.

I could pull up links to all kinds of godawful things that have happened in the north to prove my point. I did, once, years ago, when I got offended by a New York group that call itself “Southerners in Exile.” I basically called them cowards for running off to the Big Apple and hiding in that mass of humanity instead of staying down here and fighting. And turning a blind eye to the bigotry of the north.

But I won’t do that here. It’s off topic, and I’ve strayed too far from the topic already.

Brad, Cool, nice try. Next time, though, get real.

Troubled waters

Ruh roh. Looks like the Grand Old Party is having some serious problems.

Couldn’t happen to a bunch of nicer guys.

First, Tony Perkins, the Jim Dobson protege who heads up the Family Research Council, calls on members to stop donating to the Republican National Committee.

I’ve hinted at this before, but now I am saying it–don’t give money to the RNC. If you want to put money into the political process, and I encourage you to do so, give directly to candidates who you know reflect your values.

Tony’s all upset onaccounta the RNC paid $2,000 for some young studs to go to a simulated lesbian bondage strip act. He’s also ticked off that the RNC hired Ted Olsen to do some legal work for them — because Olsen, a tried and true conservative — argued in favor of gay marriage before the California Supreme Court in the Prop 8 challenge.

Sarah Palin’s ticked at the RNC too. They won’t take her name off an invitation to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, where she will be speaking. Seems she thinks the invitation makes it sound like she’ll be attending fundraisers, which she won’t. She’ll just be speaking. And for a handsome fee, I’m sure.

Speaking of Palin, y’gotta love Fox News, which hired her to host an interview show. Only apparently she won’t actually be conducting the interviews. Those will be recorded god knows how long ago. LL Cool J got wind of this and protested, so Fox sent out its usually snippy response, referring to Cool as “Mr. Smith,” his real name being James Todd Smith, and saying they are surprised he wouldn’t want to be a part of something that’s so positive and wishing him well with “his fledgling acting career.”

Of course, Republicans really have nothing to worry about. Thanks to decades of Republicans screwing with things like education, Americans are now, by and large, pretty stupid, having  been trained their entire lives to believe anything Republicans say, no matter how insane or obviously untrue.

Gotta hand to ‘em on that. To turn millions of rational, thinking adults into couch potato dunces with no ability whatsoever to look at a situation and think it through — on their own — well, that’s quite an accomplishment. It must be true the good guys always finish last.

Also love the Republicans and Teabaggers now falling all over themselves to get distant from the violent, racist, bigoted base. One guy, holding a sign that used the “n” word, actually told reporters he hadn’t seen any racist slogans or anything at Tea Party rallies. Maybe that’s because he was standing behind his own sign.

Others claim nobody called John Lewis “nigger” or Barney Frank “faggot.” They also claimed nobody spit on Emmanuel Cleaver, or they did until a video showing the incident turned up. Nothing like film at 11 to put a stop to that nonsense.

And of course, not a one of the lot said anything about Republican congresscritters egging on the protesters.

They’re also falling all over themselves to get distance from the Christian terrorist cell the FBI busted up in Michigan. Well, except for those who aren’t. They’re saying it’s a free speech issue. Never heard any of ‘em say anything like that about the underwear bomber. Wonder why?

And somehow, I just don’t think building bombs and preparing to kill law enforcement officers is a free speech issue. Call me crazy.

And everybody’s talking about CNN’s ratings fall. Interesting thing about that. CNN’s numbers — the number of views that count in the ratings — hasn’t changed much since last fall when the network was actually beating Fox in some of the night time demographic. What has happened is that there are significantly more viewers for cable news now than then — and virtually all of those new viewers are watching Fox.

Funny thing, that change happened almost overnight at the end of 2008. Right after we elected a black guy president. I’m not sayin’, y’all, I’m just sayin’.

Now, I don’t believe that all Republicans and Teabaggers are scum. I believe that some of them genuinely believe the non-bigoted things they’re saying, when they’re not being bigoted. But I’m pretty damn sure that most of that number have been snookered.

The problem is that it’s pretty clear they oppose things that Democrats support because they fear somebody will get something they don’t deserve and they’ll have to pay for it. And the problem with that is that they think they’re the ones who can decide who’s deserving and who’s not.

There’s the decider for you. How’s that fair and balanced-y thing working out for ya?

Which reminds me. The Catholic Church. Boy oh boy. Well, that’s probably an inappropriate thing to say, or maybe just a pun. Anyway, they’re screwed up the … never mind.

There was a prophet once, kinda Nostradamus-like, who prophesied about the popes who’d be coming up after his pope, Celestine the something. The current pope, Papa Razi? Next to last. Could it be true?

But Bill Donohue, the one-man Catholic League, thinks everything’s just fine with the Catholic Church. Like Tony Perkins. Bill is another guy who just can’t let go of the gay thing, though.What is it about these conservatives that makes them so obsessed with other people’s sex lives anyway? Bill says the church doesn’t have a child abuse problem, it has a homosexual problem, because, apparently, all gay men are pedophiles, something the rest of us know isn’t true because we’ve seen the studies that show most pedophiles are straight, even the ones who abuse boys.

But the quivery-joweled Donohue is another one of those mal-informed folks who can’t be bothered with facts.

No, that would be just too much trouble. Better to leave facts for the weak. Why mess up a perfectly good tirade with silly little facts, huh? Nobody’s gonna believe ‘em anyway. We’ve been taught better than that.