There he goes. Icon, actor, comedian, writer, director, rapper, and so much more, Childish Gambino has done it again. He has made America go wild with his new single, ‘This is America.’ The rapper, who is also very well-known as his role on the show Atlanta, continuously attempts to portray the systematic oppression that African-Americans face, and the atrocious discrimination that is prevalent in this society through his music and show.
Donald Glover, who prefers his stage name Childish Gambino, has been revered for the new song and music video that is trending everywhere. It is must-watch, and if I’m being honest, you may need to watch it several times to be able to indulge in the entire significance of the song and video.
The beginning has you bopping your head, moving along to the beat as Childish Gambino dances rather peculiarly. However, this is nothing unusual for Childish Gambino. Then he shoots a man in the head who was initially playing guitar, but now has a bag over his head. “This is America.”
Throughout the video, we see Gambino and several other African-Americans, dressed in older civil-rights time clothes, dancing along. It does keep you distracted, but only slightly from the violence happening in the background. You see people running from police, people being shot, a man committing suicide by jumping from a balcony, cars on fire, police attacking black people…..’This is America.’
It takes on gun violence in America by emphasizing the actual dangers and effects of it in America. It takes on police brutality. It takes on the effects of racial oppression. It also highlights the idea that African-Americans are used as a sort of brand-shield. The really hyped and talented dancers are admired and hyped-up, but when they’re not dancing, they are suddenly a menace and threat to society. The dance moves also manage to distract us from the chaos in the background, and this is representational of the fact that there are distractions in reality that keep people from seeing the real issues occurring within society. If you only notice the dancing, I think that goes to show that you have completely tuned out the real substance of our world, and that is extremely problematic. Now that is America.