Jason Isbell — White Man's World
Album: The Nashville Sound
Avg rating:
6.8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 481
Ratings histogram:
Released: 2017
Length: 3:50
Plays (last 30 days): 6
I'm a white man living in a white man's world
Under our roof is a baby girl
I thought this world could be hers one day
But her momma knew better

I'm a white man living in a white man's town
Want to take a shot of cocaine and burn it down
Momma wants to change that Nashville sound
But they're never gonna let her

There's no such thing as someone else's war
Your creature comforts aren't the only things worth fighting for
Still breathing, it's not too late
We're all carrying one big burden, sharing one fate

I'm a white man living on a white man's street
I've got the bones of the red man under my feet
The highway runs through their burial grounds
Past the oceans of cotton

I'm a white man looking in a black man's eyes
Wishing I'd never been one of the guys
Who pretended not to hear another white man's joke
Oh, the times ain't forgotten

There's no such thing as someone else's war
Your creature comforts aren't the only things worth fighting for
You're still breathing, it's not too late
We're all carrying one big burden, sharing one fate

I'm a white man living in a white man's nation
I think the man upstairs must'a took a vacation
I still have faith, but I don't know why
Maybe it's the fire in my little girl's eyes
Maybe it's the fire in my little girl's eyes
Comments (68)add comment
 westslope wrote:

Perhaps you should expand on those thoughts.  Note that your perspective at first blush appears to be white-centric.

Taken from point of view of those who suffered white boot-heels on their necks..... and in some cases may still feel disadvantaged, I am not sure.  

 
Agree with you, west.  You have to be deaf not to hear the guilt in the song.  And you have to be blind not to see that it's both warranted and past due.  I'm a white man, I don't have to give everything away and go hang myself, but being conscious of my privilege and the lack of the same privilege for others is the first step in figuring out how to resolve these injustices.  But don't listen to me.  Listen to the song.
 westslope wrote:

Perhaps you should expand on those thoughts.  Note that your perspective at first blush appears to be white-centric.

Taken from point of view of those who suffered white boot-heels on their necks..... and in some cases may still feel disadvantaged, I am not sure.  

 
There seems to be a lot of folks that want to beat themselves up for what a specific political party has done, and in a lot of ways still does. The key to your freedom is HONESTLY identifying who that is and rejecting them.
Lol ~
 MassivRuss wrote:
All the wrong ways to comment on white privilege and white guilt.

 
Perhaps you should expand on those thoughts.  Note that your perspective at first blush appears to be white-centric.

Taken from point of view of those who suffered white boot-heels on their necks..... and in some cases may still feel disadvantaged, I am not sure.  
Catchy tune.

Terrific lyrics that are bound to make many upset.  
All the wrong ways to comment on white privilege and white guilt.
Thanx Bill for your suggestion
My concience feels better after hearing that diddy. Yea!
Happy to report his last concert was really good. He was in top shape playing this ever actual piece of music.
Standing applauses!
{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}

Ben_Smedley wrote:
Very excited about Jason & The 400 Unit coming back to Sydney March 2018, such hard hitting concise lyrics...pure gold.

 


This song is everything wrong with America. White cracker self-pity, the force poisoning our democracy.
Very excited about Jason & The 400 Unit coming back to Sydney March 2018, such hard hitting concise lyrics...pure gold.
For an excellent history of the institutional racism that was put in place after the Civil War, please read "White Rage", by Carol Anderson.  A very complete, factual, and sad account of the racism that permeated (and permeates) our culture.

Peace.
This voice is the reason I've even started listening to Drive-By Truckers, and the music of course. {#Music}
Wow, definitely getting a David Crosby vibe from this.

and seeing Jason and his band was truly great!

And when he performed 'White Man's World' the venue was boiling.

Seems that the Danish folks understood his lyrics!


I don't care, I am going to see him/them live/life tonight!

{#Cheesygrin}


 The first thing I learned when I moved to Texas was
"No one's  life, liberty or property is safe when the Texas Legislature is in session."

And I'm concluding now that that sentiment is also true with the Florida Lege.
Every statement in cc_rider's comments hold true today as Republican legislatures strip public schools of resources to fund religious charter schools.
 
Posted: Oct 20, 2017 9:20
 

 cc_rider wrote:

Sorry, you're still denying the systematic, institutionalized racism that happened all over the country. One example is right here in Austin. Before the late 1920's, there were several predominantly-black settlements on the west side of town. Prosperous black-owned businesses of all kinds. Desirable property then, and today. Around 1927 the City Council (all white, natch) implemented plans to 'encourage' non-whites to move out. They cut off utilities, denied permits, and deemed East Avenue (now I-35) the dividing line. No one of color was allowed to purchase a home to the west. Landlords were 'encouraged' not to rent to black or brown folks. Businesses were burned or sold for pennies on the dollar. To this day the city is divided: Austin is easily the most segregated place I've ever lived.

This pattern was repeated all over the country, in various shapes and forms. Was it really just a specific group of people? If so, why didn't everybody else do something about it? How did those Jim Crow laws get passed? Are you implying a majority of legislators were members of the KKK? (not far-fetched, unfortunately).

It wasn't just a specific group of people, it was everyone, either by their actions or by their silence. Even today there's a form of institutionalized racism built into some school-funding systems. In Texas, schools are funded with local property taxes. Poor communities have poor schools, and wealthy communities have good schools. Schools don't have supplies, the buildings are crumbling, school lunches get smaller and smaller: how are children supposed to learn in that environment? On the other side of town, kids each get their own book: the poor kids have to share with 2,3,4 other kids, and many of the books are hopelessly outdated.

That system is skewed to keep a boot on the neck of poor folks, by systematically denying the opportunities afforded the wealthy. You are right though, it was perpetrated by specific people: The Texas Legislature. Not the KKK or hate groups, but the people elected to 'serve' their constituents. School finance in Texas has been in litigation since the 60's, with no end in sight. A timeline here:

http://equitycenter.org/resources/texas-school-finance-history/

  
Even if you have some valid points, overall your argument is difficult to take seriously because of your severe 'over generalizing'.  It's just nonsense to say that everyone is guilty of racism. What category do we put the Dillon Roofs now if we are all racists?  The word racist has been so overused lately it no longer has any punch. And it is looking more and more like those who are using the word most often as a slur are the actual racists.

"How did those Jim Crow laws get passed? Are you implying a majority of legislators were members of the KKK? (not far-fetched, unfortunately)."

No, it's the same 'group' I referred to earlier.

 




 mrselfdestruct wrote:

I agree. Seems to come on every time I turn on RP. Not a bad song, but getting tired of it. PSD it is, I suppose.

 
Yep, I'm a huge Isbell fan but RP is killin it. Play some of his older stuff ... or Drive By Truckers!
This song really sucks. 
ohhh I like it very much 
{#Cowboy}
 benhardt57 wrote:

I'm on board with you.

I have gotten in the habit of PSDing it.



 
I agree. Seems to come on every time I turn on RP. Not a bad song, but getting tired of it. PSD it is, I suppose.
 bobcanna1 wrote:
ok then,on that note .... please stop playing this song to death, i use to actually like it —- seriously!

 
I'm on board with you.

I have gotten in the habit of PSDing it.


ok then,on that note .... please stop playing this song to death, i use to actually like it —- seriously!
 cc_rider wrote:

Sorry, you're still denying the systematic, institutionalized racism that happened all over the country. One example is right here in Austin. Before the late 1920's, there were several predominantly-black settlements on the west side of town. Prosperous black-owned businesses of all kinds. Desirable property then, and today. Around 1927 the City Council (all white, natch) implemented plans to 'encourage' non-whites to move out. They cut off utilities, denied permits, and deemed East Avenue (now I-35) the dividing line. No one of color was allowed to purchase a home to the west. Landlords were 'encouraged' not to rent to black or brown folks. Businesses were burned or sold for pennies on the dollar. To this day the city is divided: Austin is easily the most segregated place I've ever lived.

This pattern was repeated all over the country, in various shapes and forms. Was it really just a specific group of people? If so, why didn't everybody else do something about it? How did those Jim Crow laws get passed? Are you implying a majority of legislators were members of the KKK? (not far-fetched, unfortunately).

It wasn't just a specific group of people, it was everyone, either by their actions or by their silence. Even today there's a form of institutionalized racism built into some school-funding systems. In Texas, schools are funded with local property taxes. Poor communities have poor schools, and wealthy communities have good schools. Schools don't have supplies, the buildings are crumbling, school lunches get smaller and smaller: how are children supposed to learn in that environment? On the other side of town, kids each get their own book: the poor kids have to share with 2,3,4 other kids, and many of the books are hopelessly outdated.

That system is skewed to keep a boot on the neck of poor folks, by systematically denying the opportunities afforded the wealthy. You are right though, it was perpetrated by specific people: The Texas Legislature. Not the KKK or hate groups, but the people elected to 'serve' their constituents. School finance in Texas has been in litigation since the 60's, with no end in sight. A timeline here:

http://equitycenter.org/resources/texas-school-finance-history/

 
Even if you have some valid points, overall your argument is difficult to take seriously because of your severe 'over generalizing'.  It's just nonsense to say that everyone is guilty of racism. What category do we put the Dillon Roofs now if we are all racists?  The word racist has been so overused lately it no longer has any punch. And it is looking more and more like those who are using the word most often as a slur are the actual racists.

"How did those Jim Crow laws get passed? Are you implying a majority of legislators were members of the KKK? (not far-fetched, unfortunately)."

No, it's the same 'group' I referred to earlier.

 


 benhardt57 wrote:
I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that America as a whole was not guilty of enslaving people. It was only a specific group of Americans. That group also formed the KKK. And that group also fought hard against civil rights. That group, to this day continues to perpetuate a plantation state that minorities are supposed to remain on. But that group has assumed credit as the good guys.

 
Sorry, you're still denying the systematic, institutionalized racism that happened all over the country. One example is right here in Austin. Before the late 1920's, there were several predominantly-black settlements on the west side of town. Prosperous black-owned businesses of all kinds. Desirable property then, and today. Around 1927 the City Council (all white, natch) implemented plans to 'encourage' non-whites to move out. They cut off utilities, denied permits, and deemed East Avenue (now I-35) the dividing line. No one of color was allowed to purchase a home to the west. Landlords were 'encouraged' not to rent to black or brown folks. Businesses were burned or sold for pennies on the dollar. To this day the city is divided: Austin is easily the most segregated place I've ever lived.

This pattern was repeated all over the country, in various shapes and forms. Was it really just a specific group of people? If so, why didn't everybody else do something about it? How did those Jim Crow laws get passed? Are you implying a majority of legislators were members of the KKK? (not far-fetched, unfortunately).

It wasn't just a specific group of people, it was everyone, either by their actions or by their silence. Even today there's a form of institutionalized racism built into some school-funding systems. In Texas, schools are funded with local property taxes. Poor communities have poor schools, and wealthy communities have good schools. Schools don't have supplies, the buildings are crumbling, school lunches get smaller and smaller: how are children supposed to learn in that environment? On the other side of town, kids each get their own book: the poor kids have to share with 2,3,4 other kids, and many of the books are hopelessly outdated.

That system is skewed to keep a boot on the neck of poor folks, by systematically denying the opportunities afforded the wealthy. You are right though, it was perpetrated by specific people: The Texas Legislature. Not the KKK or hate groups, but the people elected to 'serve' their constituents. School finance in Texas has been in litigation since the 60's, with no end in sight. A timeline here:

http://equitycenter.org/resources/texas-school-finance-history/

 h8rhater wrote:

The ones in this thread would seem to peg you just fine.   That said, a review of your comments shows that "aggrieved white man" is a stance that you exhibit quite often on these boards.

 
Let me see if I understand correctly.

1. There are a lot of folks who say our country is a despicable hell hole, and we should all be ashamed of ourselves.

2. I say I don't agree with that, it isn't that bad. In fact we should be proud of our country.

3. Therefore, I am an "aggrieved white man"

 

I never mentioned my race. Someone else on this thread claimed authority on the topic because he is in Texas. So what? I spent 15 years in Texas. My wife is half Mexican,  and her family is still there. That doesn't make ME an authority either. But white supremacist? Gimme a break.

Don't hate me and direct derogatory language at me because you disagree with me. This is a debate. I made some points to back up my opinion. If you have some points, share them. Insulting me means you have none.


 benhardt57 wrote:

Yo Russ, you've had plenty of time to look through my posts for racist comments. What did you find?

 
The ones in this thread would seem to peg you just fine.   That said, a review of your comments shows that "aggrieved white man" is a stance that you exhibit quite often on these boards.
 MassivRuss wrote:
I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that Ben here is a white supremacist apologist. His understanding of history is retrograde revisionist bullshit. America's foundational sin belongs to all Americans. 

 
benhardt57 wrote:
I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that America as a whole was not guilty of enslaving people. It was only a specific group of Americans. That group also formed the KKK. And that group also fought hard against civil rights. That group, to this day continues to perpetuate a plantation state that minorities are supposed to remain on. But that group has assumed credit as the good guys.

 

 
Yo Russ, you've had plenty of time to look through my posts for racist comments. What did you find?
 MassivRuss wrote:
I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that Ben here is a white supremacist apologist. His understanding of history is retrograde revisionist bullshit. America's foundational sin belongs to all Americans. 

 
benhardt57 wrote:
I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that America as a whole was not guilty of enslaving people. It was only a specific group of Americans. That group also formed the KKK. And that group also fought hard against civil rights. That group, to this day continues to perpetuate a plantation state that minorities are supposed to remain on. But that group has assumed credit as the good guys.

 

 
Ooooo. I struck a nerve.

That all you got?


I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that Ben here is a white supremacist apologist. His understanding of history is retrograde revisionist bullshit. America's foundational sin belongs to all Americans. 

 
benhardt57 wrote:
I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that America as a whole was not guilty of enslaving people. It was only a specific group of Americans. That group also formed the KKK. And that group also fought hard against civil rights. That group, to this day continues to perpetuate a plantation state that minorities are supposed to remain on. But that group has assumed credit as the good guys.

 


I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that America as a whole was not guilty of enslaving people. It was only a specific group of Americans. That group also formed the KKK. And that group also fought hard against civil rights. That group, to this day continues to perpetuate a plantation state that minorities are supposed to remain on. But that group has assumed credit as the good guys.
 benhardt57 wrote:
At least that's what your college professor told you, right?

Double-yawn.

"White America has committed many, many awful deeds."    WHICH CIVILIZATION HASN'T? Do you think all of those Indian tribes all got along with each other like it was utopia?

 
Condescend much?
 benhardt57 wrote:
At least that's what your college professor told you, right?

Double-yawn.

 
Guess what, Sport? I have lived all of my life below the Mason Dixon line. I didn't need a college professor to teach me about racism.
c.
 benhardt57 wrote:

There is an effort underway (through media, our education system, Hollywood and entertainment in general) to create a shame for our culture and race because of some things in the past that I personally had nothing to do with.

We are told to be ashamed of the conquest of European settlers that took over the country. But the fact is, conquest has been a part of civilization long before America was even dreamt about. The boundary lines of the American Indian tribes moved constantly before the settlers arrived due to, yes, conquest. Which Indian tribes should we return the land to?

Slavery indeed was a part of our past, but ours is the country that decided it was wrong and changed it at the cost of 600,000 lives, and thus leading the world by example.

 
Sorry, but that is laughably incorrect. I live in Texas. Why does Texas even exist as a state? Because Mexico outlawed slavery. Wait, what?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_slavery_in_Texas

The Alamo is still hallowed ground where our forefathers fought and died, but the whole premise was based on slavery. All of it. Right there in the Texas Constitution. The whole Civil War was a lie, created by wealthy landowners to preserve a brutal economic system. 'States' Rights' is an utter whitewash, a fig leaf constructed decades later to justify treason.

Sure, you are not personally responsible, but you have benefited immensely. So have I. Admitting the facts doesn't mean I hate myself. It helps me have empathy for the millions of people who did not benefit. Sorry to break it to you, but the effects of our ancestors' atrocities linger to this day. Denying it only makes the problems worse.

Peace,
c.
 cc_rider wrote:

I hear this song very differently. He is bemoaning the terrible things his ancestors perpetrated. They built a new country on the backs of enslaved peoples. They systematically murdered and stole from indigenous peoples. The early success of the U.S. economy is inextricably linked to those atrocities. Learn from history, indeed. 

Our treatment of diverse citizenry? The genocide of Native Americans makes 'The Final Solution' look like a church picnic. Ever heard of a town called Rosewood? Or Slocum? White America has committed many, many awful deeds. Acknowledgement is not self-hatred.

Peace (we could use some),
c.

 
At least that's what your college professor told you, right?

Double-yawn.

"White America has committed many, many awful deeds."    WHICH CIVILIZATION HASN'T? Do you think all of those Indian tribes all got along with each other like it was utopia?


 h8rhater wrote:

Apparently, you could use a little self-loathing.  Self-idolizing has you fairly deluded at this point. 
 
Yawn.
 otis_of_moab wrote:

Nice tune, words not so much.

Written by a self-loathing America hater, apparently.  Compare this country and the treatment of it's diverse citizenry to any other country in the world.  There is no comparison.

Learn from history but don't carry the guilt burden and don't lay your personal issues on me.

 
I hear this song very differently. He is bemoaning the terrible things his ancestors perpetrated. They built a new country on the backs of enslaved peoples. They systematically murdered and stole from indigenous peoples. The early success of the U.S. economy is inextricably linked to those atrocities. Learn from history, indeed. 

Our treatment of diverse citizenry? The genocide of Native Americans makes 'The Final Solution' look like a church picnic. Ever heard of a town called Rosewood? Or Slocum? White America has committed many, many awful deeds. Acknowledgement is not self-hatred.

Peace (we could use some),
c.
 otis_of_moab wrote:

Nice tune, words not so much.

Written by a self-loathing America hater, apparently.  Compare this country and the treatment of it's diverse citizenry to any other country in the world.  There is no comparison.

Learn from history but don't carry the guilt burden and don't lay your personal issues on me.



 
Apparently, you could use a little self-loathing.  Self-idolizing has you fairly deluded at this point. 

 benhardt57 wrote:

I assume you're a Duck based on your screen name and location. My son is a big fan of the Ducks for some reason. We're in upstate NY.

 
There are ducks everywhere! Yes, I attended the UO in the mid 80's when nobody knew (or wanted to admit) that we even had a football team. 
 Webfoot wrote:
 benhardt57 wrote:

Thank you for the information.

But my original point was meant to say that I refuse to hate myself just because I'm a white American male, as many convey that I should.



 Hating yourself would be up to you. It's a free country after all.

 
I assume you're a Duck based on your screen name and location. My son is a big fan of the Ducks for some reason. We're in upstate NY.
 otis_of_moab wrote:

Nice tune, words not so much.

Written by a self-loathing America hater, apparently.  Compare this country and the treatment of it's diverse citizenry to any other country in the world.  There is no comparison.

Learn from history but don't carry the guilt burden and don't lay your personal issues on me.



 
So, you know Jason? Cool!  Anecdotally, I've seen lots of examples on both sides. Nothing wrong with the fact that there is always room for improvement.

Never hurts to be a little introspective.  Artists pretty much do this all of the time. If you can't handle the poetry, mute or PSD. Is it more complicated than that?  Why take it so personally?
 benhardt57 wrote:

Thank you for the information.

But my original point was meant to say that I refuse to hate myself just because I'm a white American male, as many convey that I should.



 Hating yourself would be up to you. It's a free country after all.
 buddy wrote:

He didn't come close to suggesting it. In point of fact, he was exercising his 1st Amendment right to say what was on his mind, his opinion, which is as valid as anyone else's opinion. That he dismays at anyone else's opinion is not an argument against them, merely a confession of his own feelings. He didn't put words in anyone else's mouth. Perhaps we could learn from his example, regardless of our opinion of his statement.

And it's '....that damn 1st Amendment....', not dam.  Just sayin'.

 
I admit the font may be difficult to read, but what I wrote was d-a-r-n, not d-a-m.

The rest of what you just said was gobble-d-gook.  His feelings were hurt because of all the 'mean' things people were saying. He needs some safe space, I think.


 benhardt57 wrote:

Time to get rid of that darn 1st Amendment, huh?

 
He didn't come close to suggesting it. In point of fact, he was exercising his 1st Amendment right to say what was on his mind, his opinion, which is as valid as anyone else's opinion. That he dismays at anyone else's opinion is not an argument against them, merely a confession of his own feelings. He didn't put words in anyone else's mouth. Perhaps we could learn from his example, regardless of our opinion of his statement.

And it's '....that damn 1st Amendment....', not dam.  Just sayin'.

woohoo!
I am going to catch Jason live next month....
 laserace wrote:
Thanks Bill, After reading the listeners comments. Makes me want quit RP.
But I won't, because the poet is never accepted in his home world. Not until he's dead and gone and those commenters can make a profit on his words on Ebay. And besides they "know not what they speak"/write.

 
Time to get rid of that darn 1st Amendment, huh?
 h8rhater wrote:

And Nazis are misunderstood heroes.  {#Frustrated}

 
I'll assume your comment was meant to be sarcastic too. {#Wink}


There are no saints. Only sinners. Appreciate that and the path to becoming a better human is open to you. Deny it, and it is closed.
Love Jason Isbell, love this song and particularly the lyrics. They are a painful and beautiful poetry that needs to be spoken.