Donald “Childish Gambino” Glover does it again! The multi award-winning entertainer made waves this past weekend first, with his Saturday Night Live hosting debut, and then, with a performance of his controversial new song, “This Is America”. Packed with eye-opening satire and symbolism, the politically charged track directly tackles race, police brutality gun violence, and the far-fetched concept of freedom in a turbulent world. The accompanying video takes place in a large warehouse and opens with a shirtless Glover dancing in solitude before he unexpectedly, and nonchalantly shoots a man. The man had just been playing a guitar. The next lyric of “This is America”, sends a clear message of how prevalent gun violence has become.
As the video progresses, Glover continuously changes scenery committing senseless acts of murder as he occasionally dances with a group of children clad in school uniforms. Of all the scenarios chronicled, one of the most disturbing parts portrayed the 2015 Charleston, South Carolina shooting, which occurred at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. This senseless act of violence resulted in nine black parishioners being killed during bible study. In a perfect reenactment, Glover appeared silently as an all-black choir gleefully sang and danced. First, he dances alongside them, then he suddenly kills them with a large gun.
Since the premiere of “This Is America”, there has been a multitude of opinions regarding the message or messages that Glover was trying to convey. Despite this, one can conclude that America continuously promotes many distractions and superficial livelihoods. Apparently, these issues continue to be avoided, because many have proven that it is easier to live lies than confront truth.
Ashly E. Smith is an author, poet, columnist, and freelance writer from Baltimore, Maryland. With her strong pop culture and entertainment backgrounds, Ashly strives to create articles that inspire as well as entertain.