Thoughts on Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’

 

 

Wow! Donald Glover is owning up to being one of the brightest stars. With Solo: A Star Wars Story coming out and his hit show on FX, Atlanta having just finished it’s second season, he then releases this gem of a music video for his new single ‘This is America’ under the name of Childish Gambino. Now I won’t be dissecting the video or the lyrics as you most probably read or caught them on your own.

I can’t begin to explain how I feel about this video and song. Disclaimer, I do not live in America but I do know of the horrible things that happen there. This really opened my eyes, I mean if the videos of policemen brutally attacking innocent black people generate some sort of feeling that racism is far from over than this video will. This video is brutally honest and symbolic. All of the shootings in America are a problem and this video doesn’t shy away from being graphic. It’s in the video for a reason, you need to feel shocked. The video features Gambino and some teens behind him dancing. The dancing is obviously meant to distract the viewer from what’s happening in the background. This is referencing today’s society, how the media and entertainment are distracting us from the real problems going on.

Now a lot of people commented on how Gambino was dancing and how his expressions were exaggerated. They said he was imitating the Jim Crow. Being honest myself I didn’t know of Jim Crow before this, I knew how the black community was discriminated harshly in the past and I knew about stereotypical depictions of black people in the past but I never really considered how horrible it must have been seeing how today’s world has sort of progressed, we have come a long way but there’s a long way ahead of us still. So  I did some research on the Jim Crow character and I was shocked despite having known about discrimination. I saw a couple of reaction to this video on YouTube and the reactors which where african-american immediately noticed the Jim Crow impersonation and I was truly gobsmacked to see how long we’ve got to really erase racism.

The ending is in my opinion the worst part. Throughout Gambino is seen doing what he wants, acting normal, at the end he is seen running like hell from something or someone, it’s never implied what he or the other people are running from. The music goes dark and it sounds creepy and a bit crazy and there is no implications of anything and it just puts me off the most. Also whenever I hear the gun shots, it strikes a feeling of mild terror and anger at the same time.

What I love is how when Donald Glover is asked about the video and what it means, he answers by saying nothing. He says he made the video for the people and it’s up to them to decide what to walk away with. With a topic like this it’s up to you to decide what you choose to take from it, people don’t need to tell you, your own opinion matters.

Go see this video if you haven’t:

 

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