A still from Childish Gambino's "This Is America" music video.
Clark Magnet High School

Opinion: Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’ is hauntingly accurate

Grammy-winning artist, Childish Gambino has recently sparked controversy with his new music video, “This is America.” The video presents many real-life issues such as gun violence, police brutality and distractions made by pop culture. It is much needed for someone in the public eye to bring such a powerful message through art.

The video depicts the non-fictitious events from the past in unique ways. In the beginning of the video, Gambino shoots a man and hands the gun to a child who carefully takes it. Meanwhile, the dead body is just dragged away. Later in the video Gambino shoots and kills a gospel choir, which is a reference to the Charleston church shooting in 2015. Again, the gun is carefully taken away after he shoots. This can be showing how dangerously accessible guns are to American children.

According to BBC News, about 40 percent of Americans own a gun or live in a household with one. In addition, there have been more than 90 mass shootings in the U.S. since 1982 and five of the shootings with the highest number of casualties have all happened within the past 10 years.

We are not even halfway through the year of 2018 and there have been 22 school shootings that have resulted in casualties or injuries. Every time there is a shooting, people tend to send their condolences and forget about it until another one happens. There is clearly a big problem involving firearms in our country, and Gambino does not shy away from showing that in the video.

Throughout the video, Gambino dances with a group of people while there are multiple riots occuring in the back. He is seen smiling and dancing while those in the back are in a state of panic. This can allude to the fact that entertainment distracts the general public from what is actually going on in society.

However, some people do not agree with the message that Gambino is making, one being American radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones who accused Childish Gambino of doing a “voodoo dance” in the video.

“I’m looking at video they just played of the Donald Glover Childish Gambino dance he is doing that he probably thinks you think is real original. That’s a voodoo dance he is doing,” Jones stated in his show.

Jones misses the whole point of the video. We live in a society where many are famous based on their looks or their number of Instagram followers, so it is not too common to see celebrities conveying such a powerful message through works of art.

More influential people should be doing what Gambino is doing, as they have the ability to communicate with a wide audience.