Childish Gambino’s (Donald Glover) controversial video, ‘This Is America’ explores conflicts such as gun violence and racism. Throughout the video, black people are being shot, mimicking massacres that has happened in the past. They are also being chased. At one point in the video, the camera quickly glides past some people with their pones out, which is supposed to represent how humans often film police officers shooting or choking black people in the past. Glover’s character appears to represent how white American culture oppresses black people. Some people think that this video is overkill, however I think it is a good representation of America and how black people are treated. This video really shows the reality that black people face.
I completely agree. I think this video should be discussed as it covers some of the major issues that our society is confronting. Teens in America are growing up in this culture of mass violence and prejudice. How can we prevent this from shaping them? What does this video represent? What does it really teach us? In my opinion the video shocked me. I had heard the song and thought it was super catchy and fun to listen to. However, when I saw the video, I did not know if I should find the song amusing anymore. It covered so many serious topics that we all need to pay attention to and be aware of in our everyday lives. Is the video asking for change or illustrating that this is how we are, how we have always been, and how we always will be?
I have a lot to learn about racism. I know to some extent, I may not be able to learn the experience or specific feelings attached to the experience of being discriminated against by an entire system, but I know through knowledge, listening, and open experiences I can gain insight into the realities of many people. This is a responsibility to me, which is particularly important because my daughter is half black and I am not with her father. I pray she never experiences racism or abuse because of the color of her skin– and I have a huge responsibility to educate myself so that I can guide her and model love and appreciation for her race and culture.
When I was with her father, I had many eye opening experiences, including being profiled and wrongly accused by police, and witnessed a lot of things that forced me to face the reality that face many Americans, which I was blind to. I am grateful for those experiences, and glad that artists like Childish Gambino and XXXTentacion make controversial and head turning music videos, which force their listeners to look at reality, and realize that the past is not behind us, and to understand, if even for a moment, the privilege they hold. Thanks for sharing this, Rachel!
I personally dislike the video, I find it to be an inappropriate representation of America and Americans that own/use firearms responsibly. I believe that the song and video stereotypes those people, however, obviously it’s no crime to be entitled to one’s own opinion or political views.
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