¨This is America¨ Explanied

¨This is America¨ Explanied

Arianna Hamilton and Amiyah Russel

     Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) made a very controversial music video, called “This is America”.  He’s made other videos in the past that were very controversial. The ‘This is America’ music video shows lots of conflicts that affect America today like racism, the media, and gun violence. There are also a lot of hidden messages that many people do not notice. There are messages that reference the Jim Crow laws, death, and how entertainment purposefully distracts people from bigger problems going on in the real world.

     Gambino shows examples of gun violence in two scenes. One example being where he shoots one man playing a guitar,[ and the other shows Gambino shooting down a chorus of African-Americans, relating to the Charleston church shooting. However, after both shootings, the gun is wrapped in red silk, then the bodies are dragged off screen. Some think this symbolizes that America cares more about weaponry than it does its own people.

     There are A LOT of hidden messages in the “This is America” music video. Gambino can be seen wearing pants that you don’t see around often; this is because the pants are similar to Confederate soldier pants. During the video, Gambino is dancing with a group of school children acting like nothing around them is wrong, this is a reference to the media showing people the good and happy sides of America and ignoring the real problems. The school children are dancing with Gambino, (who is representing America) and they never get injured. Here it is thought that if you “dance” with America, you’re safe. For more hidden messages check out the Insider video, Hidden Meanings Behind Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’ Video Explained. Towards the end of the video, it shows Gambino running as fast as he can away from a group of Caucasians. No one is really sure what this means, but many think it is references that he exposed America’s truth and so they are angry.  

     The music video was a big hit, and got 100 million views in nine days. Since the video was so controversial, there obviously had to get some reaction. I would say most of the reactions were positive and there were nearly any negative reactions from any celebrities. According to another artist named Hozier, “It’s barely even May and Gambino already has Video of the Year on lock. #ThisIsAmerica” ( Mitchell Peters, Billboard). Some people were offended by the references towards the gun violence in the U.S. the end. If you want to see college kids reacting to the video check out the link, COLLEGE KIDS REACT TO THIS IS AMERICA – CHILDISH GAMBINO.

     I think the video was a good wake up call for those who think racism and discrimination aren’t happening today. His music videos are interesting because he won’t explain his controversial videos so you have to make educated guesses about what he’s trying to say, and we love it.  I hope you check out Childish Gambino and his other videos.