what’s race got to do with it?

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: VA Senator George Allen holds a confederate flag and wears KKK regalia, stating “Oh, so suddenly this makes me a racist?…” to a woman of color with her arms folded.]

Originally written by Graham Hamilton Lyle and Terry Britten, “what’s race got to do with it” is a play on “What’s Love Got to Do,” © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.


You must understand though the point of your hood 
Makes my pulse react
It’s been hundreds of years and persisting yet still
Black folks will strike back
It’s physical
Only logical
You must try to ignore that it means more than that oh, oh, oh

What’s race got to do with it
What’s race, but everything and nothing?
What’s race got to do, got to do with it
Who needs racism when it’s socially constructed?

It may seem to you that I’m acting brand new
When you’re close to me
If I tend to looked crazed I’ve read it someplace
I’ve got cause to be
There’s a name for it
There’s a phrase that fits
But whatever the reason
Stay away from me oh, oh, oh

What’s race got to do with it
What’s race, but everything and nothing?
What’s race got to do, got to do with it
Who needs racism when it’s socially constructed?

I’ve been taking on a new direction
But I have to say
I’ve been thinking about my own protection
It scares me to feel this way oh, oh, oh

What’s race got to do with it
What’s race, but everything and nothing?
What’s race got to do with it
Who needs racism when it’s socially constructed?

What’s race got to do, got to do with it
What’s race, but a sweet old fashioned notion?
What’s race got to do, got to do with it
Who needs racism when it’s socially constructed?

ooh got to do with it
(What’s race, but everything and nothing?)
What’s race got to do, got to do with it
Who needs racism when it’s socially constructed
(What’s race got to do with it) got to do with it
(What’s race)