Hollywood wants people to see America as a dystopia – or so it seems in one new music video.
In a music video released by Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) called This is America, the artist came together with four other rappers to apparently reveal the bleakest aspects of America. Feted by the media as “powerful” and a “masterpiece,” the May 5 video portrays riots, violence, a church choir shooting, drug abuse, suicide, and fear, while Gambino/Glover raps in the background, “This is America.”
The actor and musician, who recently told The New Yorker that he “felt like Jesus,” started the video off by shooting a man in a chair and garishly dancing. With lyrics like, “This is America/Don’t catch you slippin’ up,” and “Police be trippin’ now,” he gave the darkest possible picture of the current state of American society.
Glover danced through several violent scenarios. He shot a church choir point blank, as a man jumped to his death in the background and as police cars and rioting mobs storm through what appears to be a parking garage. Death rode through on a white horse in the flames. “This is guerilla,” he stated. Rappers Quavo, 21 Savage, Young Thug, and Slim Jxmmi joined in the chorus. At one point, Glover put down the gun and started smoking a blunt.
And, predictably, the liberal media was quick to eat it up. CNN wrote in its review of the video that the symbolism behind the shootings was a comment on the national discourse surrounding gun control. “Guns are treated more delicately than human lives in the video,” Lisa Respers-France stated. BuzzFeed editor Kevin Smith cited tweets that compared Glover’s pants in the music video to Confederate Army pants, as well as a tweet that described Glover’s dancing as representative of minstrel “Jim Crow” style.
The Washington Post’s Sonia Rao took its analysis a step further: the “painfully yet perfectly timed masterpiece” showed “how white American culture oppresses black people.” The L.A.Times’ Randall Roberts claimed that both Glover and his director were allegedly “bemoaning the ways in which America both celebrates and ignores violence.”
Not to seem trite, but has the L.A. Times watched the news lately? Any form of violence is covered constantly on any news network for days on end. It’s hard to say that America is ignoring violence.
Vanity Fair critic K. Austin Collins took a surprisingly common sense approach: “the video is tilted towards a liberal pop culture intelligentsia so in love with getting spanked by black truth-tellers that even an artist such as Glover is answering the call to put us all in our place.”