Earlier this week, country superstar Brad Paisley released his song "Accidental Racist," which features a verse from this year's Grammy host and former rapper extraordinaire LL Cool J.
The song, in which Paisley croons about being judged for wearing a shirt with a Confederate flag on it, was met with much (well-deserved) criticism. Paisley issued a lengthy response indicating that he thought a discussion of race was something that this country strongly needs.
"At this point, after all these albums and all these hits, I have no interest in phoning it in, and I think that [the song] comes from an honest place in both cases, and that's why it's on there and why I'm so proud of it. This isn't a stunt. This isn't something that I just came up with just to be sort of shocking or anything like that. I knew it would be, but I'm sort of doing it in spite of that, really."
Today, The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates examines just how accidentally racist "Accidental Racist" is and highlights where Paisley went wrong. It's an insightful analysis of the awful song's decidedly lazy message.