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Racism Today

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by minerva, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    I was searching the forum to see if there was already a general thread about racism in our various societies, but only found threads specific to soccer and racism. so with the debut of Brad Paisley's "accidental racist" song today, I figured it's as good a time as any to start a general thread about racism in our society. I'm listening to NPR's Talk of the Nation discussion of it right now.
    in case you haven't heard the song, here are the lyrics:


    Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/brad-paisley/accidental-racist-lyrics/#H2Lu0iJB5VSmSqYi.99



    Outrage over 'Accidental Racist' song by Brad Paisley and LL Cool J
    http://www.upi.com/blog/2013/04/09/...-by-Brad-Paisley-and-LL-Cool-J/4461365506403/
     


  2. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    It sure reads preachy but maybe it sounds better. Song lyrics often don't translate well into poetry.
     
  3. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    it's not terribly catchy.
    if the words sound preachy, the song sounds rather whiny.
    I wonder though, is there such a thing as an accidental racist?
    one gentleman called in to the show and said that "there's no such thing as an accidental racist any more than there is such a thing as an accidental rapist" - at least this time it wasn't a GOP politician talking about rape.
    I'm curious how people view the rebel flag being displayed in our society. whether on a person wearing it, or as part of a flag that flies over a state's capitol. is it just tradition and history, or is it racist?
     
  4. ceezmad

    ceezmad Member+

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    LL Cool J is doing contry music now?
     


  5. Crimen y Castigo

    Crimen y Castigo Moderator Staff Member

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    In 1994 I was going to see the US play Brazil at Stanford in the World Cup with one of my best friends from college. I pulled out my Stars and Stripes -- and he unfurled a Stars 'n Bars.

    He replied to my "What. The. Eff." face with "What's the problem?"
    He was born in Beirut. He gets it now.

    I know zippo about the artist, but the song certainly seems very well-meaning. I understand the cultural subtleties and the idea of multiple, simultaneous signifiers -- but in my own opinion, that symbol is irredeemable.

    But then again, I was born and raised in Aztlan.*


    *Speaking of, I thought you guys were just staying for a few weeks.....
     
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  6. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    Yeah of course there are accidental racists. There are accidental everythings.
     
  7. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    no, he's rapping in the song. it's a very strange contrast. kind of hurts my ears. and I actually like Brad Paisley. but in this case I think the message of the song and the conversation it starts are more important than the musical quality of it. so I will overlook it.
     
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  8. ceezmad

    ceezmad Member+

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    But we can still hate the Irish right?
     
  9. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    yeah, I kind of lean toward there being "accidental" racists. perhaps "unintentional" is a better word.
    but depending on how aware you are of the history of race relations in America, I can see someone make an unintentionally racist blunder.
    as far as the confederate flag, I thing it's is both history/tradition, and racist at the same time.
     
  10. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    only if they're Catholic.
     
  11. Belgian guy

    Belgian guy Member+

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    I'm still convinced this entire thing is a Dave Chappelle long-con.

    But ignoring that for a moment, his song seems to suggest that just because he personally does not deem the Confederate Flag a symbol of bigotry and hate, no one else should take offense either. By the same reasoning, you can also excuse an individual from walking around with a Swastika T-shirt.
     
  12. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    I think there are parts of the song where there's some recognition that he has a lot to learn to try to understand where the other person is coming from who sees the confederate flag differently than he does:
    "Just a proud rebel son with an 'ol can of worms
    Lookin' like I got a lot to learn but from my point of view "
    and

    "I try to put myself in your shoes and that's a good place to begin
    But it ain't like I can walk a mile in someone else's skin"

    I think the important thing is that even if you can't understand why someone might be offended by something that you do or wear, the fact that they are offended should be enough for you to change your behavior and your appearance.
    the confederate flag may be about tradition and history, but it's a history and a tradition steeped in discrimination, hatred, and bigotry based on race (i.e. racism).
    whereas sagging pants or a do-rag, while to a limited degree are associated with a certain race, do not have the same kind of historical racist baggage that the confederate flag does. so while I can look past a person's do-rag and sagging pants (though I think the sagging pants are a fashion abomination), I cannot look past the confederate flag.
     
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  13. Belgian guy

    Belgian guy Member+

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    Just the fact that the two would be equated is insulting. The Confederate flag is a symbol of the systematic dehumanization of an entire race. The baggy pants are just a questionable fashion choice. The fact that he would even imagine they are within the same universe tells its own story.
     
  14. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    I agree with you, but perhaps in an ironic way, that's a perfect example of the title of the song.
    you have to begin somewhere though. I don't think you're going to get where you are in your understanding of racism with someone raised in the deep South, which is still steeped in various forms of subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) racism, to the point that it's hard for people to even identify something as being racist. sometimes simply recognizing that there's a problem is the hardest thing and always the first step in resolving it.
     
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  15. Belgian guy

    Belgian guy Member+

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    I honestly think this is an excuse that can no longer be used. Modern media have opened up even the tiniest of towns to a world's worth of cultural influences. Speaking specifically about this man, he is an adult recording artist who will have traveled much of his country and interacted with people from all over the world. The only way for such an individual not to know or realize the true meaning of the flag is by fooling himself into believing a lie.
     
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  16. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    I think you're overlooking the impact a person's upbringing can have on their worldview. it really is the most powerful form of indoctrination that humans can experience, and cannot be overcome overnight. especially if the person remains in that geographic locale.
    I think you also overestimate the presence and influence of the Internet in many parts of the deep South.
    the Internet is no match for a person's upbringing for influencing how a person thinks.
    Mark Twain said that travel was fatal to prejudice. well, the reverse of that is true.
     
  17. ToasterLeavins

    ToasterLeavins Member

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    Equating do-rag's and the confederate flag is silly. Its pretty easy to make the southern pride people look stupid without attempting to draw false equivalences.

    I wonder if the southerners who want to display the confederate flag would be cool with me displaying a Nazi symbol. Its not because I want to kill Jews, its just because I am proud of my German heritage.
     
  18. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    I'm not the one equating them. the song is. the song is drawing the false equivalence and making southern pride people look stupid.
     
  19. ToasterLeavins

    ToasterLeavins Member

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    I didn't mean to imply you were. I was just quoting your quote about the applicable lyrics. I can see how it looked like that though, my bad.
     
  20. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    oh okay. my bad. misunderstood your post.
     
  21. Crimen y Castigo

    Crimen y Castigo Moderator Staff Member

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    Not having heard the song -- nor intending to -- it seems that the 'rap' lyrics are equating sagging jeans / do-rags with the flag; not the 'country' lyrics.

    And I guess LL Cool J delivers those? And we're to assume he wrote them as well?

    Who knows.
     
  22. soccernutter

    soccernutter Moderator Staff Member

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    No they are not. They began as a connection to being in prison. The pants in prison are elastic bands and often grow saggy (yes, I have worked there). The saggy pants began as a reference to having been in prison, and still hold some of that connotation to those of a certain socio-economic group. While it is not even close to the stars and bars, it does have a negative reference.
     
  23. JBigjake

    JBigjake Member+

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    Alexi Balowski weighed in on the subject more than 30 years ago:
     
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  24. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Member+

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    Blazing Saddles?

    Seriously. We are talking about Country and Rap mixed together. Talk about the spawn of hell...
     
  25. Belgian guy

    Belgian guy Member+

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    I wasn't aware of this and I would wager that the large majority of people would not immediately make this connection. Though not living in the US, I cannot possibly say this with any certainty.

    There is less doubt possibly with the Confederate Flag.
     

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