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Classified X: Race & Kings Of Leon's 'Radioactive' Video
John Tatlock , September 9th, 2010 21:31

"Woah-ho! This cross is on fire" Kings Of Leon's new video for 'Radioactive' flirts with dangerous aspects of racial stereotyping, argues John Tatlock

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Before Kings of Leon make another video, somebody needs to lock them in a room and not let them out until they have watched actor, director and playwright Melvin Van Peebles’ 1998 documentary Classified X at least a dozen times.

Peebles’ subject is the US film industry’s stereotypical representations of black people over the last century, but much of what he says can readily applied to TV, literature, and of course, the humble pop video.

Taking clips from movies as diverse as the seemingly innocuous Lethal Weapon and the odious 1915 white supremacy flick Birth Of A Nation, Peebles argues that while overt, aggressive racism has all but disappeared from cinema, it has been replaced with something more subtle and also more poisonous : an ongoing normalisation of a notion of black Americans as second-rate, second-fiddle accessories to a world built around the glory of white people. And he argues that this is insidiously perpetrated through patronising white creators’ notions of positive black images.

I’ve watched this documentary with a number of people now, and in every case, the reaction has been – as mine was on first viewing – to start out with a raised eyebrow thinking “well, slow down there, what about this character? What about that movie?” But Peebles goes on to persuasively skewer most examples you could think of, and leaves you utterly convinced of the merits of his case. Why must black characters be wise and old and loveable? What is actually in it for Morgan Freeman, putting up with that crotchety harridan in Driving Miss Daisy? Why does Danny Glover have to take all that shit from Mel Gibson, and still be paternalistic towards him? Is this really heart-warming, watching black people get a load of grief for a couple of hours, while being entirely forgiving about it? Heart-warming for who? What’s the message here?

Peebles’ best known movie, 1971’s Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song deliberately and aggressively subverts the tradition. The central character, Sweetback (played by Peebles) is not remotely sympathetic. He works in a brothel, performing sex shows for the patrons, a job which Peebles gleefully portrays a thorough enjoyment of (not a big acting stretch; reportedly the sex scenes are not simulated). Looking for someone to frame for a murder, the police decide to arrest Sweetback, assuming that picking up some low-level hustler nobody cares about is their path of least resistance.

So far, so ghetto cliché movie plot. What happens next though, is that Sweetback uses his handcuffs to beat his arresting officers unconscious, gets a woman to cut off said handcuffs in exchange for sex, after noting how impressed she is with the size of his penis, and – most importantly for Peebles – escapes over the border and gets away with all of it. No tragic heroism, no redemptive wisdom, no tear-jerking reconciliation with a white lead character. Just a movie about, in Peebles’ words, “a brother getting the Man's foot out of his ass.”

Still, nearly 30 years later, in Classified X Peebles finds himself still bemused by mainstream cinema’s failure to catch on to just how offensive the lazy trope of the adorable, down-home, ever reliable black character is

Which brings us to the laughably, idiotic, fist-in-mouth gaucheness of the visual accompaniment to Kings of Leon’s latest piece of rot.

Let’s agree one basic thing about this video. There are dozens of people in it, and every single one of them, apart from the members of the band and - tellingly - a magician, is black. This is pretty much impossible to achieve by accident. There has been a conscious decision made to make a video where the white members of the band are surrounded by black people. Happy smiling joyous black people, dancing with earthy natural rhythm, gambolling gaily through the fields of the old homestead. It’s hard to know whether Peebles would laugh or cry; probably both.

What makes it all truly disagreeable is where they’ve gone with the concept “what do the Kings of Leon look like when surrounded by black people?” The answer – horrifyingly – is that they are made to look positively messianic. In one hideous shot, one of the Kings, Bubba or whatever he’s called (ho, ho, they all look the same to me, ho ho) actually throws out his arms in a crucifix pose to welcome two ecstatically approaching black children. This comes fast on the heels of a shot of Bucky or Jeb or whatever striding purposefully in the beating sun leading a throng of other black children, like a pot-bellied charity shop Moses.

All of this is interspersed with telling shots of the Kings doing their thing – ie: playing middle of the road sub-Coldplay stadium stodge – and the black people doing their thing – ie: singing the gospel-styled choruses that are the only sonically agreeable thing about this wretched scoop of pabulum. The filming and editing of this is frankly unbelievable, a montage of shots where the Kings look increasingly angsty, intense, and, you know, deep while all them black folk jus’ keep a clappin' anna shufflin' they feets, yessir. If there’s a meaningful difference between this crap and the old Stepin Fetchit movies, where a black actor (actually the deeply gifted actor and writer Lincoln Perry) had to bow and scrape for the amusement of a white audience, then somebody please tell me what it is.

Do I think Kings of Leon are your actual hard-line racists? No, of course not. But do they have an absurdly patronising view of black people, and does their video sail way over the line of crass and into exploitation territory? Well, watch it for yourself and decide.

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DM
Sep 10, 2010 7:14am

Its more naivety on the part of KoL than anything else. You can't expect a bunch of kids with trust funds who just happened to get lucky to actually delve deeper into how these images could be perceived. KoL are just cliché after cliché so this comes as no surprise, but I'm sure what they were trying to get across is that they're just wholesome southern boys at heart.

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stampy
Sep 10, 2010 8:31am

I think the point of the video is to show that black people like Kings of Leon music too, which i didn't know before

There's a white child in it too to be fair, towards the end if you pause at 3.07, she's there in the distance.

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Sep 10, 2010 8:54am

In reply to DM:

> You can't expect a bunch of kids with trust funds who just happened to get lucky to actually delve deeper into how these images could be perceived.

You know, I do expect that actually. They've got every opportunity and resource available to them to smarten up. Continuing to be this dumb into wealthy adulthood looks almost wilful.

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John Tatlock
Sep 10, 2010 8:54am

That was me, by the way, forgot to fill in the name box.

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David
Sep 10, 2010 9:03am

I replied to your tweet with this link, but it makes more sense to post it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EncWEAzYzVM

I think the teaser shows there wasn't any racist intent with the video. And it's hardly surprising that a gospel choir in the deep south would be all black.

Still, your article raises some excellent points.

Must be something wrong with me, but I quite like the song.

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Jonas
Sep 10, 2010 9:23am

...but where are the pigeons?

They have now truly elevated themselves alongside both U2 and Coldplay in the 'we've disappeared so firmly up our own behinds thanks largely to massive messiah complex' stakes.

They're an awful band but a good article nevertheless.

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Anthony
Sep 10, 2010 10:46am

I doubt that it's the Kings of Leon that have an "absurdly patronising view" of black people; more likely it is the video creator and the band's advisors. My guess is that they are just trying to show their southern roots. I think your article is reading way too much into this, personally I just think the video is a cheese-fest.
As for the song - sounds OK to me, better than the tripe of the last album but I'll reserve opinion until I've heard the entire record. One thing's for sure, they are way too far down the commercial road to ever produce anything as brilliant as Aha Shake Heartbreak.

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John Tatlock
Sep 10, 2010 10:52am

In reply to Anthony:

> I doubt that it's the Kings of Leon that have an "absurdly patronising view" of black people; more likely it is the video creator and the band's advisors.

You reckon they don't get a say? Come on, at the end of they day, all four of them have participated in the making of it, watched the final version, and said "yeah, this is fine, put it out".

> My guess is that they are just trying to show their southern roots.

Not really concerned with what they're trying to do, more with where they've ended up with it.

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uncle d
Sep 10, 2010 12:46pm

I don't think they are racist, I think they are fucking rubbish.

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John Tatlock
Sep 10, 2010 12:58pm

In reply to uncle d:

Yeah, that's kind of my view.

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Uncle Tom
Sep 10, 2010 1:10pm

Personally, and although I'm no fan of Kings of Leon, while its an ill advised video, they are not as racist as say Slayer who get quite a bit of coverage on here. Before I get lambasted by all you metal fans defending that band, how can you justify Slayer changing the lyrics on their cover of Minor Threat's 'Guilty of Being White'. There are far more deserving bands to point the finger at than the Kings of bloody Leon.

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John Doran
Sep 10, 2010 1:31pm

In reply to Uncle Tom:

No one's said this video is racist. Did you actually read it?

And did you actually read any of the stuff that's been written about Slayer. (Who aren't racist, by the way. They're fucking nobheads but that's not really the same thing.)

Or do you just like whining about stuff?

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Uncle Tom
Sep 10, 2010 1:46pm

In reply to John Doran:

Absolutely, but while the question arises where the line is between stereotyping and actual racism can be defined, the example given was merely to point out that while the video wasn't thought out too well, there are bands out there who can be criticised for displaying racist overtones whether inadvertantly or not. Ian MacKaye stated, he found Slayer's lyrical change to be deeply offensive especially when the defense for doing so was that 'it was tongue in cheek' - do me a favour!!! You'll be telling me that Slayer aren't Satanists next...

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John Tatlock
Sep 10, 2010 1:54pm

In reply to Uncle Tom:

Well, since they're not, that's reasonably likely, yes.

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Damien From Manchester
Sep 10, 2010 3:10pm

Mario Van Peebles' CLASSIFIED X is here on You Tube in 6 parts

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUDDPkcCfQE

x

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John Tatlock
Sep 10, 2010 4:20pm

In reply to Damien From Manchester:

Ah, good find. Everybody should watch this, it's fascinating.

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Roxie
Sep 10, 2010 8:38pm

I like Kings of Leon, but I never listen to much radio, so I never really got sick of them. That said, this video is awful. I don't agree that the kid's playing & running around is anything like Steppin Fetchit, b/c they are children doing what all children do. In fact, if hadn't been for KOL in the video, I would've liked it.

But their interaction with the children led me to the same thoughts you had. They're just surrounded by all these happy black children b/c they are just so awesome them! Look at them, the tallest around, playing, hugging, holding all these black children! Perhaps they're having a very spiritual racial enlightenment! Ugh, GAG me.

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John Tatlock
Sep 10, 2010 9:31pm

In reply to Roxie:

Yeah, exactly. In the context of the video, they are using "black people" as a signifier for simplicity, innocence, spirituality and all that other rot. It's a really reductive idea.

As I say in the article, the cross cut montage, where the band do a lot of looking moodily into the middle distance, and being all kind of complex and tortured is what nails it for me. The black people in this video aren't presented as having any complexity at all, but the band make damn sure that they are themselves.

I don't think this is deliberate as such, but it certainly is pig ignorant.

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John Doran
Sep 10, 2010 10:01pm

In reply to Uncle Tom:

The main purpose of that lyric change was to upset Ian Mackay, who in turn, should have been concentrating on his label and their association with the skinhead group iron cross and not a thrash group fronted by a man of colour. Satanists? Do me a favour. Do you think Spacemen 3 are actually astronauts? What about Fine Young Cannibals?

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John Doran
Sep 10, 2010 11:57pm

In reply to John Doran:

Seriously though, I've just been going through my vinyl and it's insane the amount of stuff in there that's had a brush with controversy over racism. Miles Davis, Public Enemy, SunnO))), David Bowie, The Fall, The Butthole Surfers, Ice Cube, Slayer, Morrissey, Siouxsie and the Banshees etc etc etc. While none of it makes me particularly happy, I am also glad my record collection doesn't consist solely of Beardy Man, CRASS and Consolidated.

While the Slayer cover always makes me wince - it's far from their finest moment - without taking them in the context of what they are (mixed race, working class, not a product of university eduction, formed way before the strictures of political correctness became the norm, recording in a field that demands bands court controversy, one of the few white acts signed to a hip hop label co-founded by a Jew and a black man, 50% of their line up coming from non-English speaking immigrant families) you put two and two together and come up with a lot more than four.

Despite the fact I fucking loathe The Beatles, I'll never use John Lennon's racism as a stick to beat him with. Much of it, unfortunately, was just par for the course for the day or a misguided sense of humour. He was a horrible wanker but I don't think that MOJO should stop writing about him or that people should burn their Beatles albums.

On the Quietus I'll have no problems calling evangelical, ideological racism every time I see it, be that from the likes of Eric Clapton, Skrewdriver, Burzum, Wodensthrone or whoever...

And likewise, if something makes us uncomfortable, such as this video, we'll report on that, albeit in a much more nuanced manner.

(For the record, I commissioned something on Morrissey last weekend but the piece has been held up.)

But just dragging stuff like this up from decades ago? What's the point. It's on record, we all know about it, the band have addressed it. Or when I see something that I find on slightly dodgy ground in the field of indie do I then have to go through the list of bands who have done worse in metal or industrial.

My word, that would make for a snappy site wouldn't it?

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John Doran
Sep 10, 2010 11:58pm

In reply to John Doran:

I'd like to state for the record that I don't own any records by Beardy Man. That was an example.

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Sep 11, 2010 3:29am

In reply to John Tatlock:

i'm totally on van peebles' side until he gets to Lethal Weapon! i've no idea how that family of caring, loving charcaters can be viewed as negative or stereotypical in that series of films. to me they always seemed to be about as realistic a portrayal of family life that i've ever seen in a massive Hollywood movie.

but i mean i was with him until then. pretty damning stuff all round.

x

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Damien From Manchester
Sep 11, 2010 3:30am

In reply to :

oh that last post was me sorry.

how come you can't edit your posts on this ere site?

x

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John Doran
Sep 11, 2010 9:38am

In reply to Damien From Manchester:

It's one of many things that needs fixing, we're getting through them at a very slow rate, as and when we have the money.

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John Tatlock
Sep 11, 2010 1:12pm

In reply to :

Well.. Peebles takes a deliberately hard and uncompromising line, and I think everyone will have their own "nah, that's just overstating the case" moment. But I think his central hypothesis is pretty solid.

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Lainad
Sep 11, 2010 2:40pm

This is a great discussion. I'm a KOL "observer," do not particularly like this single but enjoyed some of their earlier work.

As a black female metal music journalist, I have to say that not only in response to this particular video but in reference to some of the other songs / comments from other artists listed in this thread, the the problem is, is that the rock / indie rock / punk and metal industries don't think that black people are remotely interested in the music. I think that it is somewhat subconsious - they are not seeing that many POC fans at shows, so they think that what they offer to the public is consumed by people who not only look like them, but share the same perspectives.

I think that even if they have a twinkling of doubt, they also do not think that anyone is going to call them on their shit. A couple of months ago, Decibel Magazine put Varg Vikernes (I know I mispelled that) from Burzum on the cover, and I wrote a scathing response to that over on my blog and I left the comments off because I knew that a) I was going to catch some serious shit, and b) didn't feel like getting so angry that I would probably shave a few years off my life. But it got picked up by another site and people were pissed.

Do I think this is racist? Definitely not. It is almost worse, though, to think that despite what you do, who you are that there are people who prefer to have that paternalistic belief about your ethnoculture, both on an individual level and to make such sweeping generalizations as though all blacks from the South ( or perhaps in general) are a montolithic group.

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John Tatlock
Sep 11, 2010 2:56pm

In reply to Lainad:

Yeah, exactly. That's what troubles me about it. The defence has been mounted here and elsewhere that they're just "celebrating their southern roots" or whatever, which is *precisely* what you describe: an assumption that this is okay, because we're not representing *all* black people as being like this, just all the black people in the south, who of course *are* all god-fearin' rootsy down-home folk. I mean, what?

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John Doran
Sep 11, 2010 6:39pm

In reply to Lainad:

please put a link to your blog piece on Burzum up as well. As a fan of black metal I'm really interested in the multiple forms of political and social extremism it seems to attract/cause, despite coming from more of a socialist background and mind set myself. (I guess I'm far from being an unusual example of a black metal fan in this country... or from North America if bands like WITTR, Fauna and Cobalt are anything to go by.)

We ran an April Fool's feature on the site claiming that Varg Vikernes' new album was to be inspired by Miles Davis, Public Enemy, Sun Ra and Salt and Peppa. It was insane the number of people who thought it was real. Unfortunately however we received a very small amount of extremely, extremely unpleasant emails as a result.

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Damien From Manchester
Sep 11, 2010 7:19pm

In reply to John Doran:

yeah sorry to sound like Mr Moany-Pants. i make a mistake every time i type a sentence so it'd v useful!

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DC
Sep 11, 2010 8:03pm

In reply to David:

@ David- "Must be something wrong with me, but I quite like the song."

That's the thing. The song is incredibly melodic and catchy, and alot better than the subpar entertainment provided through other mainstream artists. However, with such a 'great' song, nobody is ever likely to examine it further or question the visuals used in the video. Thus, nothing is learned by the music's consumers or its performing artists/producers.

Btw, I havent watched the full vid yet but based on the article's description/critique, I can understand its point of view.

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Lila Jordan
Sep 11, 2010 9:36pm

I did not watch the video, so I have no opinion about it. After reading the article I thought I would avoid it until I am in a more resilient mood.

But, I simply must mention another video which has *almost* exclusively black people in it: Mark Romanek's grammy-winning video for "Got 'til It's Gone" by Janet Jackson, featuring Q-Tip and Joni Mitchell. I love this video! I'm sure you've all seen it lots of times but you can watch it again here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9QYv9XBMHI or at markromanek.com

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Lainad
Sep 11, 2010 9:51pm

In reply to John Doran:

Here's the link: http://lainad.typepad.com/writing_is_fighting/2010/03/decibels-may-cover-much-ado-about-nothing.html

Please note that I was a, ahem a "tad annoyed" when I wrote it!

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Sheq
Sep 13, 2010 9:39am

Just posting to agree with Tatlock. It's a heinous video.

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Karyn
Sep 13, 2010 11:53am

Actually, stampy, more likely, they want black people to pick up their music or they want white people to think they are cooler than they are by putting a bunch of black folks in their video. Don't assume black people, in general, like their music because they paid a bunch of extras to be in the video. (disclaimer, never heard of Kings of Leon before this piece so have no opinion on the quality or lack there of of their music)

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toby
Sep 13, 2010 12:32pm

Interesting article, definitely going to have a look at that documentary later.

I was reminded of this: http://bechdeltest.com/
The website is self-explanatory. In the same way that mainstream cinema fails to represent black people it's also shockingly bad at representing women. This isn't liberal guilt on my part, it's just fact.

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GG
Sep 13, 2010 4:16pm

wow you've got yourself a writer in JT. Haven't been so interested in a writer since Taylor Parkes in his MM pomp. Moat and now this - top stuff.

Reading this, and currently watching series 3 (yeh, just a fraction behind the rest of the world) I wondered what Peebles made of the Wire. Set as it is in a predominantly black US city, black characters feature at all levels of both the law enforcement & criminal worlds. No patronising, no tokenism, no Rozencrantz and Guildenstern bit-partism. Just a shame such things are still noteworthy.

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Greyhoos
Sep 16, 2010 1:43pm

As someone who grew up in the Deep South, I definitely find this video to be more than a little problematic. I definitely see the "messianic" aspect that many have commented on, and the thing strikes me as patronizing, and pretty insidious in a number of ways.

Yeah, maybe KOL are just good ole wholesome Southern boys. And they must be pretty exceptional, really ace dudes -- what, for being so welcome as the only caucasian guests of honor -- the musical accompaniment, no less! -- at some congregation's Sunday afternoon picnic. (Which begs the question: Were they invited, or were they simply allowed to crash the event?)

Problem is, a lot of white Southerners are pretty blinkered in this department; largely unable to recognize their own past, their own history, for what it is. That history being: a social dynamic rooted in oppression and inequity, one in which (supposedly benevolent) white men ran the show and were free to do whatever they liked, while black folks were expected to "know their place" and simply be content with lives of poverty and third-class citizenship. And a quaint dirt-road pastorale of this sort only re-perpetuates a lot of the myths of that sordid history. In many respects, it's clichés are very familiar ones -- the video's not a far cry from the little "pickaninny" paintings that would commonly grace the back rooms of homes of certain white Southerners when I was growing up in Alabama. I guess it doesn't get more "down home" than that, because "old times [t]here are not forgotten."

Not to say any of this is intentional on the part of the band or the video producers, mind you. I'm certain that it wasn't. If anything, it just represents an appalling degree of willful cultural ignorance and lack of awareness -- because there's just a little too much referential slippage going on here. (It also represents a profound lack of imagination, for being so incredibly, agonizingly trite.)

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greyhoos
Sep 16, 2010 10:07pm

On second thought, I've rewatched the video, and completely revised my opinion about it...

Actually, I think this is a lot like that Tupac video -- you know the one I'm talking about, the X-rated one with him and a big harem of white porn actresses? Except that, by way of ironic social commentary, KoL have inverted the racial dynamic of that Tupac video. And instead of a bunch of white women doing all sorts of nasty things to each other, you have a bunch of black people having fun in a very 'rootsy' and wholesome and a very family- (and very KoL-)oriented environment. It's brilliantly subversive and 'alternative' that way.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a 'magic negro' movie to go watch.

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phillippasmit
Sep 21, 2010 8:43pm

"this cross is on fire" .....brilliant!!! The video is the most disingenuous thing I have seen in a LONG time. I think this was a very bad move on the bands part, on their management and label. I think I see what they were aiming for, but unfortunately it just backfired in a terrible way.

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Rhys
Sep 23, 2010 11:14am

Whilst this article and the concept behind it has something to it, if you think that "playing middle of the road sub-Coldplay stadium stodge" is "their thing" then clearly you know sod all about most of the band's discography.

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DeniseB
Sep 26, 2010 12:17am

Oh what a great deal of pontificating about such a simple little rock video, one which is a joy to watch and listen too... If I attend the Pentecostal church near me in London then the majority of the congregation are of African and Caribbean origin. If I attend a Church of England service then the congregation is mainly Anglo Saxon in appearance. If I attend a Catholic service then everyone under the sun is there. KOL hail from the south, their father was a roving preacher, and this is what the guys know and is clearly a huge influence in their lives and their music; just let them get on with it...

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Rob Blair
Oct 19, 2010 10:13pm

In reply to John Tatlock:

Just trying to show their "Southern Roots," indeed! Job well done. The heroic White boys of sold out Arena Rock world fame bringing joy to subjugated little Black children and saving them in a backyard BBQ revival with their good ol' Rock & Roll (which was lifted from the rich history of African American song writing by the likes of the KoL's White predecessors). Was that the image of the "Southern Roots" they were attempting to portray?

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M.
Nov 2, 2010 4:32am

I think Tatlock needs to open his own eyes and consider the misogynist drivel that he thinks passes for racial and social commentary. By all means laugh at the naivety of Kings of Leon but don't pretend that you're any better when you're complacent with regard to gender by championing someone like Peebles. A black man who treats women like livestock for "empowerment" is just as bad as those who owned his forefathers.

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John Tatlock
Nov 30, 2010 7:12pm

In reply to M.:

I'm a bit puzzled by this comment. What "misogynist drivel" exactly. If there's a case against Peebles for misogyny, I'm certainly open to hearing it, but I'm not aware of any such.

But even if there is, I'm not sure what that has to do with the argument he makes in his documentary, or the one I make here.

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Transoniq Johnny
Dec 11, 2010 8:03am

Ummmmmm...I think KOL need to sit down and pull their collective heads out of their collective arses...BTW, does anyone watch videos anymore - let alone terrestrial radio?

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Dec 11, 2010 8:08am

In reply to Transoniq Johnny:

I also meant "listen" to terrestrial radio?

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Brent Robbins
Jan 13, 2011 4:51am

The video is about the Kings of Leon acknowledging their gospel roots. Listen to the lyrics. They are 'drinking the water' of their roots, and those roots come from Southern black people. Not a damn thing racist with this song or video.

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hello
Jan 16, 2011 10:23pm

The video looklike a aparthied, why only black kids? Where the white kids if we were to come together? Why isn't there any black grow ups. These men are from the deep south and none of them are stupid, the lead singer is very intelligent, he know what he doing.

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Bolly Boy
Jun 29, 2011 10:46pm

In reply to hello:

It's only a music video. Is it really worth making a fuss about? I'm black and I quite like it.

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a non
Sep 5, 2011 4:36am

Cracker, please.

Obviously you slept through all your history classses. Here's eight more hands to pat yourself on the back with.

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Lauren
Jan 1, 2013 11:45pm

This is ridiculous, i think you are being ignorant. The Followill's are from Tennessee and originated in Oklahoma, I honestly doubt they are being racist given the fact that Caleb and Nathan are proud fathers. You are just trying to start drama, and once again trying to prove your ignorance.

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rebecca
Feb 21, 2013 11:47pm

shut up this is just stupid... im black and im not offended by it. Black people love kings of leon because they're real. you need to re-assess what you're saying because it makes no sense at all. I understand the way black ppl are portrayed in media. But Kol are from the south have you ever considered how rednecks are considered on television its just stupid bogus everything you're saying...

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barb L
Aug 19, 2013 1:04am

In reply to :

Maybe I'm much older than the authors of most of these posts and this does come really late, but, I remember when that video came out and I saw it as something to bridge race through music. I really love the band's sound, suppose I should listen closer to the lyrics, which is what lead me to these posts.And Van peebles, I'm no racist black women, but the father and the son marry white women and talk of racism and perpetuate and exploit just as much as any. They hardly can be used to teach anything to anyone! I really feel the posters are thinking far to much. Just enjoy or change the station!

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whity
Oct 29, 2013 4:55am

From what i know this band is from the south and are children of a pastor. Not sure what religion but they were are heavily influenced from gospel choir and southern lifestyle. Don't see anything really racist in this video. Just a rockin' tune and an enjoyable video with mostly black kids playing.
At least there's no pimpin' and hoin' goin' on. Relax people.

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wayne mack
Jan 6, 2014 7:32am

I'm black, and I fuckin love kings of leon. You people need. to get a life...lol.

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