(CNN) - Brad Paisley and LL Cool J broach sensitive topics in their new collaboration, "Accidental Racist," and it's left some critics hoping the entire song was an accident.
The track is part of Paisley's new album, "Wheelhouse," and was sparked by the reaction the country star said he received after he wore a shirt with the Confederate flag on it to showcase his adoration for the band Alabama.
“I was called a racist on Twitter for that,” Paisley told The Tennessean. “That was the beginning of this song: Me thinking, ‘Am I a racist? Is that all it takes?’"
Brad and LL should be applauded for their very creative and provocative collaboration. The song regarding "accidental racism" was not intended to be conceptually sophisticated or historically accurate. Many Americans are neither conceptually sophistocated or historically competent. They are not social scientists specializing in race relations. Their lyrics are speaking more about white and black prejudices. Racism is deeply engrained in our self concept with regard to race. It is not possible to determine this based on a Confederate Flag on a t-shirt. However, as a nation, highly influenced by the popular media, we continue to be in denial and hypocritical about the past and present state of race relations.
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at email@example.com.
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