alexanderpf asks: What exactly do you find so problematic about Brad Paisley's song Accidental Racist? I'm originally from Germany but moved to Alabama at a young age. Have you ever had a chance to travel through some of the more rural parts of the Southeast? While there are definitely still some very vocal racists -- most people find themselves in a middle school dance type situation of socially expected segregation... and I think the song really speaks to that.
» SFB says: Race is a difficult subject to discuss, and when it’s handled poorly, it shows. The song, simply put, handles a delicate subject poorly—no matter what part of the country you live in. I used to live in a part of South Carolina that was decidedly not urban. I lived there long enough that I understand what you’re talking about, but I think at the same time that doesn’t give Brad Paisley a pass. It’s a clumsy treatment of a clumsy topic. Plus, I mean, how does something like this get on an album? There were people at his label that signed off on this and didn’t see the problem. That’s a huge problem. — Ernie @ SFB
EDIT: This commentary on the subject says everything you need to know.
Many of our crime stories involving robberies include a description of the suspects when provided by police. White, black, Asian, it doesn’t matter. If that description helps with an arrest, we are glad to help. But lately, when the suspect was black, it brought out the most vile, repulsive and offensive comments we have ever had on our website. In fact, it has now got to the point that we are turning off commenting on crime stories when they appear on our website.Mike Johnston, the editor of DunhamRegion.com, discussing why the site chose to turn off comments on crime stories. (ht Romenesko)
It’s not just local eyes that are looking. It’s the international eyes that are looking too. Sometimes you can fall weak and can’t stand upon your own feet to fight a battle, but people look at that battle and fight it for you. And that’s what happened in Sanford.Sanford, Fla. resident Shantree Hall • Discussing the international scrutiny her town has received in the year since 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed at the hands of George Zimmerman—a story which, in the past year, has become a key talking point for the issue of race in the United States. Martin died one year ago this week, with many of the circumstances around his death, including the Skittles he had just bought from a local convenience store and the hoodie he was wearing, becoming catalysts for public protests. In the year since the shooting, Sanford has slowly started to heal and recover from the months of public scrutiny that followed the case, but Zimmerman’s case is still pending in court with a trial date set for June.
My party, unfortunately, is the bastion of those people — not all of them, but most of them — who are still basing their positions on race. Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists. The real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin. That’s despicable.Retired Army Colonel and former aide to Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson • Diving headfirst, in the most blunt terms possible, into the media dust-up kicked off last Thursday by Romney surrogate John Sununu. Responding to news that former Secretary of State Colin Powell had endorsed President Obama, Sununu suggested that Powell had a “slightly different” reason for doing it than politics – namely, his race. Sununu reversed course on this today, saying “I do not doubt that it was based on anything but his support of the president’s policies,” but not before Wilkerson unleashed this incendiary attack on some of his fellow Republicans. An attack which, frankly, seems destined to generate a lot more heat than it does light. source
They wanted to know if the display was a threat against the President,” said Jones, adding the interview lasted a half-hour. “We told them we are by no means life threatening but we do, of course, wish the death of Obama’s political career.Pastor Terry Jones lynched effigy of Obama: Secret Service questions Terry Jones after hanging effigy of Obama - Orlando Sentinel (via brooklynmutt)