Accidental Racist: A Translation For Everyone Else #whatiwrite #accidentalracist

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Well now, this particular song is getting everyone all internet-mad. Most of the people getting mad haven’t even listened to it, of course. But that’s hardly a new thing. How many people read The Satanic Verses before they burned it? About thirty seven of them (source: wikipedia). Well, being the fair and balanced, apolitical, centrist human being that I am, I’ve taken the bullet for all of you. Not only have I listened to the tune, I’ve studied its lyrics and provided this helpful interpretation. The song (if you can find it all all now) is performed by Brad Paisley and LL Cool J; an ebony and ivory pairing for the post 9/11 generation. Except Stevie Wonder is probably less short-sighted than either of these fuckers.

(translated parts are in SHOUTY CAPS, to go with your anger)

To the man that waited on me at the Starbucks down on Main, I hope you understand
When I put on that t-shirt, the only thing I meant to say is I’m a Skynyrd fan- STOP MISUNDERSTANDING MY ARTISTIC LEANINGS, UNSKILLED COFFEE-JOCKEY
The red flag on my chest somehow is like the elephant in the corner of the south- I FUCKING LOVE METAPHORS. AND ELEPHANT? THAT’S THE GOP LOGO! DOUBLE DEEP
And I just walked him right in the room- NOT LITERALLY THOUGH, BECAUSE AN ELEPHANT WOULDN’T FIT IN A STARBUCKS
Just a proud rebel son with an ‘ol can of worms- A CAN OF RACIST WORMS, AND MUSIC IS MY CAN OPENER
Lookin’ like I got a lot to learn but from my point of view- HERE COMES THE DEFENSIVE SHIT!

I’m just a white man comin’ to you from the southland- I’M ‘JUST’ A WHITE MAN. THE MOST OPPRESSED OF SOCIAL CLASSES
Tryin’ to understand what it’s like not to be- I AM REALLY NOT PUTTING A LOT OF EFFORT INTO UNDERSTANDING IT
I’m proud of where I’m from but not everything we’ve done- KFC: GOOD, KKK: BAD
And it ain’t like you and me can re-write history- UNLESS YOU MEAN THE HOLOCAUST. THAT SHIT NEVER HAPPENED
Our generation didn’t start this nation- IT WAS LIKE THIS WHEN I GOT HERE, MA!
We’re still pickin’ up the pieces, walkin’ on eggshells, fightin’ over yesterday- JEEZ, WHY DO I HAVE TO STOP SAYING ‘N*****’ AROUND ‘N*****S’?
And caught between southern pride and southern blame- WHY CAN’T I TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE GOOD THINGS OTHER PEOPLE DID IN THE PAST WITHOUT BEING REMINDED OF THE SHITTY THINGS THEY ALSO DID?

They called it Reconstruction, fixed the buildings, dried some tears- THEY BEAT US, BUT REFUSED TO COMMIT GENOCIDE ON WHAT WERE ESSENTIALLY THEIR OWN PEOPLE. BOO!
We’re still siftin’ through the rubble after a hundred-fifty years- I’M NOT ONE TO HOLD ONTO THE PAST OR ANYTHING
I try to put myself in your shoes and that’s a good place to begin- HUHUH, NIKE AIR JORDANS, PROBABLY. HUHUH
But it ain’t like I can walk a mile in someone else’s skin- WE’RE NOT ALLOWED TO MAKE SHOES OUT OF NEGRO SKIN ANY MORE’

Cause I’m a white man livin’ in the southland- HAVE I MENTIONED MY RACE YET?
Just like you I’m more than what you see- I AM ENTIRELY DRESSED IN FLAGS THOUGH, SO I UNDERSTAND YOUR CONFUSION.
I’m proud of where I’m from but not everything we’ve done- FUCK THOSE DIXIE CHICK TRAITORS!
And it ain’t like you and me can re-write history- GOD KNOWS WE TRY, THOUGH.
Our generation didn’t start this nation- MY FAVOURITE FILM IS BIRTH OF A NATION
And we’re still paying for the mistakes- PAYING FOR THOSE N***** WELFARE CHECKS!
That a bunch of folks made long before we came- BUNCH OF FOLKS WE STILL ADMIRE AND SING SONGS ABOUT
And caught between southern pride and southern blame- IT’S A HARD KNOCK LIFE, FOR US

(Here’s LL Cool J’s bit)
Dear Mr. White Man, I wish you understood- JEEZ, I HOPE THIS ISN’T A BAD CAREER MOVE. LIKE WHEN I DID ACTING
What the world is really like when you’re livin’ in the hood- I LIVE IN A BIGGER HOUSE THAN CARLTON BANKS
Just because my pants are saggin’ doesn’t mean I’m up to no good- IT’S A THING GANGSTERS DO TO SHOW THE POLICE THEY AREN’T CARRYING GUNS
You should try to get to know me, I really wish you would- I LOVE HAVING INTELLECTUAL CONVERSATIONS WITH REDNECKS
Now my chains are gold but I’m still misunderstood- WHOAH. CHECK THAT FUCKING METAPHOR. SHIT’S DEEP
I wasn’t there when Sherman’s March turned the south into firewood- WOULD HAVE BEEN AWESOME IF I WAS THOUGH
I want you to get paid but be a slave I never could- I’M GETTING THE MONEY FOR THIS UP FRONT, RIGHT?
Feel like a new fangled Django, dodgin’ invisible white hoods- INVISIBLE… WHITE? ERM, I SEE NO COLOUR! (SAVED THAT SHIT)
So when I see that white cowboy hat, I’m thinkin’ it’s not all good- EVEN WORSE WHEN THEY’RE WEARING FEDORAS, AMIRITE?
I guess we’re both guilty of judgin’ the cover not the book- I’M JUST BEING NICE NOW. WE ARE TOTES LESS GUILTY THAN YOU. READ A BOOK
I’d love to buy you a beer, conversate and clear the air- I COULD BUY AND SELL ANY OF YOU HICKS. CASH MONEY, BITCH
But I see that red flag and I think you wish I wasn’t here- I NEED TO RETHINK MY RESTAURANT CHOICES

I’m just a white man- I FEEL I NEED TO REITERATE THIS POINT
(If you don’t judge my do-rag)- I’M STILL STREET, YO
Comin’ to you from the southland- I LITERALLY HAVEN’T GOT A PASSPORT
(I won’t judge your red flag)- I 100% WILL JUDGE IT
Tryin’ to understand what it’s like not to be- IT’S ALMOST AS IF I NEED TO DO RESEARCH
I’m proud of where I’m from- I’M FROM THE SOUTH, YO!
(If you don’t judge my gold chains)- I’M PUTTING THIS LINE IN AGAIN. IT’S GOOD
But not everything we’ve done- I WASH MY HANDS OF HONEY BOO-BOO
(I’ll forget the iron chains)- DUDE, I AM FUCKING DEEP
It ain’t like you and me can re-write history- HISTORY IS WRITTEN BY THE LIBBBRRELLS!
(Can’t re-write history baby)- I HAVE KILLER FUCKING ABS

Oh, Dixieland- NOT DIXE CHICKS THOUGH, UGH
(The relationship between the Mason-Dixon needs some fixin’)- I AM A HIP-HOP KEATS
I hope you understand what this is all about- BECAUSE I’VE BEEN CRYSTAL CLEAR SO FAR
(Quite frankly I’m a black Yankee but I’ve been thinkin’ about this lately)- POETRY OVER BEATS
I’m a son of the new south- SORT OF LIKE ‘NEW TIDE’. WHITER THAN EVER
(The past is the past, you feel me)- I AM SHITTING ON THE GRAVES
And I just want to make things right- FOR WHITE PEOPLE
(Let bygones be bygones) OF FOUR MILLION SLAVES
Where all that’s left is southern pride- I AM ESPECIALLY PROUD OF THIS SONG
(RIP Robert E. Lee but I’ve gotta thank Abraham Lincoln for freeing me, know what I mean)- THE PAST IS IRRELEVANT. EXCEPT THAT BIT
It’s real, it’s real- IT’S REAL TALK, CHILD
It’s truth- I HAVE A TENUOUS GRASP ON THE DEFINITION OF ‘TRUTH’

 

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