Where do I begin with this? I’m sure that Brad Paisley had good intentions when wrote this song, attempting to create a bridge between Confederate Flag waving Southerners and anyone who thinks that they might be racist for doing so. However, with the silly, heavy-handed, lyrics and questionable verses from LL Cool J, it makes me wonder how anyone could have possibly looked at this song, and thought it was a good idea.
Paisley just tries to defend the actions of every Southerner since the Civil War (He literally includes a portion of the song about Reconstruction and Sherman’s March.) including what other people may just think is racist (not just because it is actually racist, and Brad Paisley wants to be proud of his Southern heritage while ignoring slavery and racism).
Then LL Cool J steps in, seemingly apologizing for black stereotypes while claiming that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. I would tell Mister Cool J to practice what he’s preaching, but it seems like he has worse problems when he says: If you don’t judge my gold chains, I’ll forget the iron chains. …Really? Really, LL Cool J? Do you think that seems like a fair trade? “Oh, jeez. Well, Mister Paisley, I think that if you allow me to perpetrate Black stereotypes, I’ll forget about the entire subjugation of my race!”
I can definitely see why this generated criticism, backlash, hatred, and the well-deserved mocking it received with various parodies, such as Stephen Colbert’s “Oopsie Daisy Homophobe” and the Saturday Night Live sketch that claims the ill-fated song cured racism altogether. I think they should both be ashamed for this song which comes off as a lazy defense of a culture that glorifies racism as slavery at the best of times, and just willfully ignorant at the best of times.