I like Brad Paisley so much (thanks, in part, to this song) that I really, really tried to give him the bestest benefit of the doubt for he and LL Cool J’s new single, “Accidental Racist.” Unfortunately, the more Paisley defends it, the more he continues to stick his foot in his mouth (LL Cool J, meanwhile, has stayed mum on Twitter, dropping Deepak Chopra quotes and leaving one of his “best friends” out on a limb).
There’s not much I can add to the conversation that hasn’t already been said, but I will say this: The song is being roundly mocked on the Internet, but there’s a lot of people that are going to eat this song up. They’re going to quote it back in tipsy conversations about race. They’re going to use it as a justification. It’s going to be their “GET OVER IT” rallying cry. I can totally see members of my extended Southern family dropping lyrics into their “I’m not a racist, I just like racist symbols” conversations.
Paisley, bless his well-intentioned, dim little heart, tries to defend the song in an interview with Ellen (which is met by Ellen with what I would describe as a respectful eyeroll), but the man doesn’t help himself when he begins his defense with a line that sounds a lot like “But I have a black best friend.”
Here’s the song.
And here’s a reminder of Paisley at his best.