Country singer Brad Paisley's latest single, entitled "Accidental Racist," was largely maligned after its release yesterday -- but rather than back down from the criticism, Paisley has come to the defense of the song.
"Accidental Racist," which is an autobiographical story of a white southern man exploring what it means to be proud of his heritage, while also coming to terms with the latent racism that has marked the region since the Civil War. Almost immediately after its release, websites like Gawker and Seattle's own the Stranger took issue with the track, which features vocals by LL Cool J, for trying to sweep decades of institutionalized racism under the rug, and for equating prejudice against those from the south with racism against African Americans.
"The song itself is a lyrical disgrace," writes The Hairpin's Bobby Finger, "filled with awkward non-apologies and faux-pensiveness over the history of racism in the south."
Paisley took to Twitter to address the backlash.
"...As you buy this album, I hope it triggers emotions. I hope you feel joy, heartache, triumph, surprise; you laugh, cry, nudge someone beside you," the singer wrote, adding that "...I hope the album rocks you, soothes you, raises questions, answers, evokes feelings."
He then signed off with one final message:
"'Cause I wouldn't change a thing. This is a record meant to be FAR from easy listening. But fun. Like life. Have a ball, ya'll. love- brad"