He added: "I wrote the article because I had no idea of the history of the song used by the ice cream truck, nor of all the other popular songs that had roots in blackface minstrel music. I thought that bit of Americana was interesting and also complicated, how one thing with such fond memories associated with it could be associated with an unflattering history."
Johnson also clarified that, while the ice cream truck song may be rooted in racism, the tune itself is not racist. "A melody can't be racist. However, melodies can be used for racist activities, like blackface or when paired with racist lyrics. The ice cream truck is playing a tune that dates back to Ireland, not the racist watermelon song. Racism commandeered a melody, just as it has with scores of things, like lunch counters, buses, flags, etc.," he explained.