I have agreed to move forward with the launch of BNY SCC collection under the condition that I have a leadership role and seat on a council specifically convened to deal with the issue of racial profiling…The easy position would have been to walk away [from Barneys New York] and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem…I will not leave the outcome to others.
This song is about reconstruction, which is still going on. It’s a song about a great sin that we’re still dealing with…Here’s what I know now, though, that I didn’t know…You can sing to a woman and say, you know, ‘If you cheat on me, I’ll forgive you’—and the entire male population won’t turn on you and say, ‘How dare you say that on our behalf.’ But when LL says to me in the song, you know, ‘If you don’t judge me for this, I won’t judge you for that,’ people will say: ‘How dare you say this on our behalf.’ I realize now that you can’t personalize the conversation about this subject in the way I tried to in the song. I was naïve about that. No one cared more about getting this right than LL and I. We had no interest in being flippant about this. We both worked very hard on what we wanted to say. And that’s the thing that allows us to sleep.
Brad Paisley, on “Accidental Racist,” in New York
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