Donald Glover, the multi-talented artist better known by his stage name Childish Gambino has released a music video to the tune of 10 million views called This is America. The music video is a political statement and has sparked debate about its meaning. While there are many theories about what the song is about, the most prominent theory centers around race and gun violence in America.
The song begins with a beautiful melody played by a black guitarist and a gospel choir. However, as soon as the camera zooms on the guitar player with a bag over his head, the song changes gears and becomes tense. At that point, the lyrics suggest that even if a black person is rich or educated, they are still black and will be killed by police officers if they are perceived as a threat.
In addition, a white horse is seen galloping by. This is a reference to the white supremacy ideology that still exists in this country. It is also a reminder that the racist legacy of America will never disappear.
Throughout the rest of the song, Glover’s voice sings about racial and economic injustices that are occurring in this country. The lyrics suggest that the upcoming presidential election will bring about more of the same. In addition, Glover sings about the police and the media as sources of hate in this country.
The ending of this is america is a powerful one. The chorus ends with Glover shouting “stay woke!” This is a call to his audience to continue fighting against racism and oppression in this country. The use of cell phone cameras to film the dance sequences at the end is also a nod to the power of social media in spreading awareness about important issues like racism and gun violence.