“…Paisley recently summed up the song by saying,
There are two little channels in each chorus that really steal the pie. One of them is, ‘We’re still picking up the pieces, walking on eggshells, fighting over yesterday,’ and the other is, ‘Paying for the mistakes that a lot of folks made long before we came.’ We’re all left holding the bag here, left with the burden of these generations. And I think the younger generations are really kind of looking for ways out of this.
He’s right. Those two lines, along with the “looking for ways out of this” slip do sum up the point of the song. Basically it says that 1) we’re carrying around baggage from a racist past we had nothing to do with, 2) the baggage is equally burdensome for all, so 3) let’s just move on and leave the past in the past.
That’s the three count of color blind racism. And it’s exactly what makes it so hard to have a meaningful conversation on race in the U.S.
It doesn’t matter that none of us owned slaves. It matters not a whit that no one living invented Jim Crow nor lifted a rifle in the American Indian Wars. Nor does it matter than none of us were signatories to legislation excluding Asian immigrants, nor party to the mass internment of Japanese Americans.
None of us forced Mexico to sell California, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming to the U.S. after the Mexican-American War for a sum that amounts to less than five hundred million of today’s dollars. But that doesn’t matter. It’s equally irrelevant that the last of the white planters who colluded with the U.S. government to hatch a coup against the Hawaiian kingdom, stealing Hawaiian sovereignty and nearly wiping out the Native Hawaiian people, died generations ago.
What matters is that all the raping, stealing, plundering and enslavement in the name of white supremacy did actually happen. And the legacy of that history is much more burdensome and problematic for us all than simple racial resentment…” Read more at ChangeLabInfo by
Author: Scot Nacagawa