11 Popular Songs You Didn't Realize Are Actually Racist

By Daniel Walker | May 21, 2024

Many songs

Music has often been a platform where systemic racism manifests itself, with lyrics that propagate negative racial stereotypes and uphold White supremacy by marginalizing Black people, Asians, Latinos, Muslims, Native Americans, and other historically oppressed communities. 

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According to Reader's Digest, many songs perpetuate racism. The following slides review songs that allegedly contain "racist" elements, according to Reader's Digest.

Brown Sugar

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"Brown Sugar" by The Rolling Stones: There are certain topics that should not be glorified in songs, such as slavery, especially when the lyrics depict the sexualization and violence towards Black women. Reader's Digest accuses Mick Jagger of doing this in The Rolling Stones' hit song "Brown Sugar" from 1971. The title itself is offensive, and in the first verse, Jagger describes the brutal treatment of women on plantations, singing, "Hear him whip the women just around midnight."