Warning: this video may be disturbing to viewers… because it’s supposed to be!
In this month to consider the place of violence in our times, “This is America” is an assaulting song/video; it is bizarre and disorienting; it is a prophetic word about the times in which we live.
“Donald Glover’s musical alter ego, Childish Gambino debuted the song “This Is America” [first weekend of May 2018] and everyone is still busy tossing around theories about it.”
Rolling Stone reported:
“The video, helmed by Atlanta director Hiro Murai, is a surreal, visceral statement about gun violence in America as Glover alternates between gleefully dancing and remorselessly unloading firearms at unsuspecting victims over a series of unflinching long shots.”
“In the four-minute clip, Gambino goes from dance meditations to murder in the blink of an eye — and that’s the point. What starts with the actor/musician grooving along to the beat of an acoustic guitar player sitting nearby turns into an instantly murderous moment, as Gambino picks up a gun and shoots the man, now hooded, in the back of a head 53 seconds into the video.
The first words out of his mouth? “This is America. Don’t catch you slippin’ up.”
From there, Gambino’s joined by dancing school kids and a gospel choir, who sing until Gambino mows them down with what appears to be a semi-automatic rifle. The refrain continues, as cop cars enter the frame and chaos unfolds around him and the dancers: “This is America / Don’t catch you slippin’ up / Look how I’m livin’ now / Police be trippin’ now / Yeah, this is America / Guns in my area (word, my area) / I got the strap / I gotta carry ’em.”
To see all the lyrics go to “This is America” by Childish Gambino.
What is your response?
What does your prayer sound like – look like in light of this?