Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” Is the Statement We Need

Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” Is the Statement We Need

"This Is America" is brilliantly stark, gruesome, and tough to comprehend—and that's exactly why we need to watch it.

"This Is America" is brilliantly stark, gruesome, and tough to comprehend—and that's exactly why we need to watch it.

Text: Jake Viswanath

Over the weekend, while we were out enjoying the beautiful weather or inside avoiding all contact with the world, Donald Glover was gearing up to make an impact. During this weekend's episode of Saturday Night Live, which Glover was hosting to promote his upcoming star turn in Solo: A Star Wars Story, the multi-talented phenom dropped a new single and music video combo online, which he performed later on as his music persona, Childish Gambino. "This Is America" is his first release since his 2016 Grammy-nominated album Redbone, and more importantly, an astounding political statement that we needed to hear.

Today, mass shootings happen on a whim and are quickly forgotten. Black people are oppressed, attacked, and under surveillance for unjust reasons, and it's quickly forgotten by most outside of the African-American community. Glover isn't willing to let us forget again. The video takes place in a stark warehouse, with the artist at the center of a mini isolated society that aptly and gruesomely represents what goes on in this country. He moves and grooves to the irresistible beat, his dance moves attempting to mask the madness behind him, but to no avail. The symbolism packed within the clip—the careful handling of the gun that just killed entire groups, the blatant ignorance of black bodies—says all that needs to be said about how America currently operates.

"This Is America" has instantly become more than a musical sensation—it's a wake-up call that shouldn't even have to be made. In a time where many musicians are focusing more on fun life beyond the political, Glover is reminding us that lives are on the line because of it, and it's not necessarily yours. "This Is America" forces the privileged to sit back, watch the brutality, and acknowledge the injustices that black people go through on a daily basis. And it's up to all of us to do something about it. Start by watching the video below.

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