We want to hear what you think about this article. But to do that Paisley would have to be more interested in a challenging conversation and less interested in a comforting lecture. His video game resume is endless, including characters in World of War Craft, Dota 2, Grand Theft Auto, and Minecraft. Accidental Racist is a misinformed attempt at a discussion on race that betrays Paisley’s own words. When the joke was told his gleefulness flipped to profound sadness —a look forever burned into my memory. After a reunion catch-up, I explained the reason for my call, sharing the camp van story. There's Dead Prez. You might think it’s cool, you might think it’s chummy. Strive to treat teammates, coaches, officials, opponents, and anyone else in your life the same—respectfully—regardless of differences. My camp group—the “Panthers”—were sitting in a van waiting to be driven to some off-campus activity. “The joke”—and the look on my campmate’s face—taught a critical life lesson. 7 Gaslighting Phrases Used to Confuse and Control, The Psychology of Deception: Asking Questions to Spot Liars, What To Do (and Not Do) After You’ve Been Cheated On, Psychology Today © 2021 Sussex Publishers, LLC, How Face-to-Face Disagreements Hijack Available Brain Space, Millennials May Not Be as Racially Tolerant as They Seem, AI Neural Network Mimics the Human Brain on Psychedelics, New Principles to Reduce Child Sexual Abuse Risk. Rap is overrun with artists who've spent some portion of their career attempting to have "a conversation." Accidental Racist is a misinformed attempt at a discussion on race that betrays Paisley’s own words. And it’s more than that, too. Recently, I decided to find the victim of “the joke.”  A Google search quickly revealed a pleasant surprise—my old camp pal is famous. The point of racism is to rob black people of that right. Hot New Top Rising. A microaggression is an unconscious expression of racism, sexism, or other offensive set of beliefs. Fennoy and Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson. It would be no different than me assuming that Rachel Weisz must necessarily have something to say about black-Jewish relations, or me assuming that Paisley must know something about barbecue because he's Southern. Like "Ebony and Ivory," though, "Accidental Racist" does have the feature (or bug, depending on how you look at these things) of getting stuck in your head incredibly easily. “Yes, you do! I can understand why an artist like Paisley would be attracted to an artist like LL Cool J. I can't for the life of me understand why he'd choose LL Cool J to begin "a conversation" to reconcile. Please Subscribe. Hot. “Accidental Racist” Abstract An ongoing and rather controversial debate in the Civil War world is that over the rightful placement of the Confederate battle flag in American memory. In the latest segment on MTV's "Decoded," an online series that looks at race and social issues with a comedic lens, host Franchesca Ramsey explains the racist origin of six common words and phrases. He is David Fennoy— “Fanny” Fennoy to us 12-year-old day campers. LL Cool J has enjoyed a kind of longevity with which very few rappers can compete. “I don’t see color” is a common line from people trying to show (unsuccessfully) open-minded unity. “Rappers are using the n-word all the time,” Fennoy said. Hands Up, Don’t Shoot: No More Business as Usual. 2.2k. The misbehaviors discussed serve as disrespectful, daily reminders to black people that they are viewed and treated differently than other human beings. We were gabbing, laughing, and carrying on as 12-year-old boys do, when it happened—an ugliness I’ll never forget. It’s neither. Fennoy and I agreed that the “The joke” at summer camp was not intended to offend. 11 Tips for Talking to Someone You Disagree With. He could hold a huge party on Martin Luther King's birthday, to celebrate a Southerner's contribution to the world of democracy. It features American hip hop artist LL Cool J and was written by Paisley, LL Cool J, and Lee Thomas Miller Background and composition. I wasn’t sophisticated enough to get them,” Fennoy reflected. "I just think art has a responsibility to lead the way, and I don't know the answers, but I feel like asking the question is the first step, and we're asking the question in a big way. “I heard so many of them (racist jokes) they just all blend together,” Fennoy explained. "Accidental Racist" Song Clip 4/17/2013 Brad Paisley is so committed to kick starting a dialogue between blacks and whites that he starts one mid-song with LL Cool J. Fennoy attended a private, suburban high school, but lived in an inner-city neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. He could rock a T-shirt emblazoned with Faulkner's Light In August, and celebrate the South's immense contribution to American literature. But I wouldn't call up Talib Kweli to record a song about gang violence in L.A., and I wouldn't call up KRS-ONE to drop a verse on a love ballad. What is offensive to you? “You’ve got the white, middle class kid who grew up in the suburbs,” Fennoy explained. pinned by moderators. We were silenced, he in perceived anguish, me in hurt and shock. In the mid-'80s and early '90s, particularly, he was a dynamic MC. He could tell the world about the original Cassius Clay. Another form of unintended, accidental racism is when white people start talking or behaving differently then they usually do because they are interacting with someone black. A camper—whose name will not be identified—told a horribly racist joke. card. There was a daily barrage of other offensive comments and behaviors, mostly not intended to be offensive— “without rancor,” as he put it. Seated directly across from me was the only black kid in the Panthers. Don’t wait to be told you did something disrespectful. That’s how country singer Brad Paisley begins his new song “Accidental Racist,” an earnest tune Paisley ostensibly wrote as a means of helping to heal the nation’s continuing racial tensions. He attended Howard after Macalester. He grunted in disgust at the n-word punchline and to my confused surprise, didn’t remember a thing about the incident. Why 'Accidental Racist' Is Actually Just Racist The assumption that there is no real difference among black people is exactly what racism is. “Accidental Racist.” The title of the new Brad Paisley-LL Cool J collaboration alone is enough to signal “proceed with caution” for discerning first-time listeners. It’s propaganda. Accidental Racist — Lyrics. Here are some ways. In an artform distinguished by a critical mass concerned with racism, LL's work is distinguished by its lack of concern. “There were certain comments I didn’t quite understand at the time. The entire fight is to get white people to respect the fact that Mos Def holding a microphone is not LL Cool J holding a microphone, that Trayvon Martin is not De'Marquise Elkins, that wearing a hoodie and being black does not make you the same as every other person wearing a hoodie and being black. It’s an example of the ignorance of Americans and the unwillingness to even try to understand racism, let alone do what needs to be done to end it. You have these little moments as a country where it's like, 'Wow things are getting better.' "Pink Cookies" is dope. You got used to them calling you that (the n-word), and you calling them that, but when you’re in a different group you can’t do that.”. “Use your brain and just be yourself,” advised Fennoy. We define racism—here—as disrespectful, and/or hurtful behavior—often accidental and unintended—triggered by some perceived difference in another person. Well, for starters? There are two little channels in each chorus that really steal the pie. Why? By truth ... 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 … There's Talib. He could hold a huge party on Martin Luther King's birthday, to celebrate a Southerner's contribution to the world of democracy. There's Kendrick Lamar. And then you have one where it's like, 'Wow, no they're not.'. Brad Paisley hopes something good will come from all of the controversy surround his new song "Accidental Racist.". And they may even—among themselves—call each other the n-word. Fennoy asked to hear the joke. In the mid-'80s and early '90s, particularly, he was a dynamic MC. He could tell the world about the original Cassius Clay. It was “without rancor”—an act of ignorance—but still hurtful. "I Shot Ya" is dope. He played football at Macalester College (MN). And every one of them contributed to this great country. Hint: Saying “I don’t see color”—and similar remarks—is insulting and showcases ignorance. He could insist that Tennessee raise a statue to Ida B. *I DO NOT OWN ANY OF THIS* ALL RIGHTS GO TO BRAD PAISLEY AND HIS LABEL. I can be a racist, an unintentional-system-supporting racist.. Where Did It Start and How Does It End? A call to Fennoy’s agent resulted in a return call from “Fanny” within minutes. Posted by 1 year ago. One of them is, 'We're still picking up the pieces, walking on eggshells, fighting over yesterday,' and the other is, 'Paying for the mistakes that a lot of folks made long before we came.' There is no such thing as “unintentional” or “implicit” racism, because racism is always for the sole purpose of sustaining the power of whiteness “Don’t use the n-word—ever,” advised Fennoy. Which is fine. His career has blossomed beyond the record industry to include music and film. “I stopped hearing them, mostly, when I went to Howard University,” an Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Being such a provocative symbol both in terms of history and race relations, its ‘true’ meaning and … When we accidentally disrespect, listen openly to those offended, take responsibility, learn, and change your behavior. Fennoy—living in Los Angeles—is a superstar in the video game/cartoon Voice Acting world. Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. This new duet between Brad Paisley and LL Cool J, "Accidental Racist," is getting beaten up pretty badly on the intertubes. Our differences, our right to our individuality, is what makes us human. It was really obvious to me that we still have issues as a nation with this. Fennoy emphasized that these comments were not of distain nor dislike, but of ignorance. Racism smacked me in the face for the first time in 1964. The title had me nervous: racism is the exercise of power so you can’t really be an accidental racist though you can benefit from and receive white privilege without attempting to. His career has blossomed beyond the record industry to include music and film. Don’t risk insulting people for a few moments of thinking you are cool. “I don’t think they were in full knowledge of what they were saying,” he explained. (I am still partial to the "I'm Bad"/"Radio"/"Go Cut Creator Go" era.) You’re not ingratiating yourself, you’re being annoying. A new theory aims to make sense of it all. TheAtlantic.com Copyright (c) 2021 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. “I’m not concerned with your liking me or disliking me. Such behavior—not maliciously intended—offends and interferes with success. “Up until then I was one of few black people around a bunch of white people,” he continued. It's important to know how to apologize if you've made a microaggressive comment in the workplace. A three-hour discussion about racism began. The focus—here—is not the systemic or institutional racism highlighted in the media, but rather, instances of interpersonal racism. We don't solve anything, but it's two guys that believe in who they are and where they're from very honestly having a conversation and trying to reconcile.". "I'm doing it because it just feels more relevant than it even did a few years ago. As such, LL Cool J and Brad Paisley's recent song "Accidental Racist" is a product of a confused post-racial America where the "national discourse" on race is moribund, twisted, tired, and empty. It is no different than the only black kid in class being asked to explain "race" to white people, or asking the same question of the sole black dude in your office. There's Black Thought. I downloaded song on itunes. But he did mean to reinforce a world in which Black people’s intelligence was never understood to match his. Participants must accept these differences and, respectfully, get along for sports to work. And of course, there is always the risk of a beat down. Sports participation requires respectful interaction with teammates, coaches, opponents, officials, etc. This isn't something that I just came up with just to be sort of shocking or anything like that. I know I shouldn’t have but I couldn’t help it. Rising. All I ask is that you respect me as a human being,” said Baseball Hall-of-Famer and integration icon Jackie Robinson. He could insist that Tennessee raise a statue to Ida B. We must be aware that what we say and do could be racially—or otherwise—offensive. (I am still partial to the "I'm Bad"/"Radio"/"Go Cut Creator Go" era.) The van erupted in laughter, except for the victim and me. The assumption that there is no real difference among black people is exactly what racism is. These people are not going to be exactly like you. Moderator of r/AccidentalRacism … “Don’t tell me you don’t see color,” Fennoy exclaimed. Wells. And so on. Being a team requires an all-for-one, and one-for-all approach, not differential treatment based on race, religion, politics, etc. “A lot of white kids love rap, so when they’re singing along, out it comes (the n-word). “You’re the white guy and maybe you’ve hung with a bunch of black people for years. It was a summer of protests and rioting—triggered by racial injustice—rocking America. card classic compact. And every one of them contributed to this great country. “Accidental Racist” is more than just a joke of a song. Our differences, our right to our individuality, is what makes us human. He's in private practice at Becker, Udelf, and Associates. The point of racism is to rob black people of that right. The du-rag/red-flag line Paisley cites at the end belongs to LL Cool J, one of the two guys "that believe in who they are." Sports and teams—like everything else—is no place for racism. Pop music is disposable by design. Why We See Racism in Others but Not Ourselves. You are not connecting—you’re being racist and looking foolish. "Accidental Racist" is a song performed by American country artist Brad Paisley from his ninth studio album Wheelhouse (2013). At times, we all behave in a manner that unintentionally injures. Who Gets to Decide If Language Is Racist? How could he forget? Hot New Top. OTHER EXAMPLES OF “RACISM WITHOUT RANCOR”. Every one of these people are Southerners. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com. One of the best liked kids in our group, he was happily engaged in our boyish banter. There's Chuck D. There's Big Daddy Kane. I was 12 years old, attending summer camp in upper-middle-class suburbia. Pop music is also a space for society to work through its collective anxieties, hopes, and dreams. My nickname was “Uncle Udy”—don’t ask. That’s b******t.    I don’t think people that say that have antipathy for black people, but they are clearly the people that see it (antipathy) but are in denial about it.”. (MORE: Accidental Racist: How Bad Punditry Makes Bad Music) I Googled it as I drove. Ironically, “the joke” incident occurred within days of the signing into law of the Civil Rights Act of 1964—on July 2—by President Lyndon B. Johnson, and the June 21 abduction and murders of Freedom Summer civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner in Neshoba County, Mississippi. David Udelf, Psy.D., has extensive and diverse experience as a clinical and sport psychologist, combined with 40-plus years of coaching. Brad Paisley made a song called "Accidental Racist," and it has instantly become The Worst Song Ever™. The entire fight is to get white people to respect the fact that Mos Def holding a microphone is not LL Cool J holding a microphone, that Trayvon Martin is not De'Marquise Elkins, that wearing a hoodie and being black does not make you the same as every other person wearing a hoodie and being black. 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