Braid Paisley, Accidental Racists, and an Overly Sensitive Society

 

The internet is up in arms about Braid Paisley and LL Cool J and their accidental just-joking-not-just-joking duet, “Accidental Racist”. Clearly, they’ve never heard “I’m Still a Guy” by Mr. Paisley or they’d be offended that Paisley is accidentally sexist as well.

Or maybe the same could be said about country music in general. Racism. Sexism. Both are fairly rampant. The chorus of “Beer for My Horses”, a catchy, albeit typically country/pop tune by Toby Keith, states: “Grandpappy told my pappy, back in my day/Son, a man had to answer for the wicked that he done/Take all the rope in Texas/Find a tall oak tree, round up all of them bad boys/Hang them high in the street for all the people to see “. Is this a why-can’t-we-do-em-like-we-used-to nod to lynching? I would say yes… so, who’s accidentally racist now?

I heard recently that a teacher from BC is trying to ban whale bone artwork at the Vancouver Maritime Museum because it features drawings of naked women. She referred to these 19th century drawings as ‘whale bone porn’ and is moving toward getting these pieces removed from the museum.

Both Brad Paisley’s so-called music, and these frankly quite beautiful stories told in romantic drawings on whale bones, aren’t society’s ills. I don’t care what anyone says. I don’t care that it’s supposedly allowing racist ideas to run wild in the Southern States. I don’t care that children are looking at naked bodies in a museum (which is somehow a new concept?). I just don’t care. Why? Because of freedom of speech. Because neither of these examples have hurt anyone or anything. Brad Paisley hasn’t lynched a black man or made any overt statements that we should reintroduce slavery. To the best of my knowledge he hasn’t given any of his hard-earned money to the KKK. And the Maritime Museum is not prominently featuring hardcore pornography that is found on 18+ websites. Because kids today aren’t nearly as innocent and sensitive to nudity, let alone violence, gore or foul language as some ‘caring’ adults seem to think they are. No. This is the decade of hand sanitizer; overzealousness surrounding playground safety; someone introducing the idea that junior league sports should no longer include scoring or winning. This is an over-sensitive, too-politically-correct world that we’re living in.

Brad Paisley, regardless of how you feel about his songs, writes a lot of stuff that’s funny. Or at least, it’s supposed to be. And why aren’t we just talking this song the same as any of his other songs? Because we’re an overly touchy group of people. We can’t laugh at offensiveness anymore. We can’t take something as a piece of art anymore. In a world full of violent video games, graphic movies, special effects that can essentially get anything dirty and R-rated and intensely aggressive and brutal across to audiences, and do, we’re upset about Braid Paisley being accidentally racist. Come on, world. Come on.

Sweating the small stuff negates larger issues of racism, sexism, inequality, and censorship in the real world. Are we going to waste our breath lambasting a celebrity’s little viral joke when there are much more real, pressing issues to discuss? Some of which we can’t even name because they’re not out in the open. Or we’re simply blissfully choosing to ignore. Don’t let Brad Paisley take away the thunder or venting power from something or someone who actually deserves the negative attention. And grow a pair, folks. Come on.

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