“This is America”


In the newly released music video, “This is America” by Childish Gambino, there’s a lot of hidden messages in the video. The first time I watched it, I didn’t see anything weird or out of the ordinary until something was brought to my attention. There was a white horse with someone in all black riding the horse and a police car behind it. To me, this is a really important detail because this scene reminds me of a verse in the bible that reads, “I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him.”

What I think Gambino is trying to say is if you see a cop, hide, because going to jail is like hell. Another detail that was really bringing my attention was a line said in the video. It goes “Girl you got me dancin’, dance and shake the frame.” What was said about this was Gambino is saying the word “girl” is America and the “dance and shake the frame” is all the violence and controversy about black people going on and that was going on.

One of the poses that Gambino does is really weird. He has his whole body back and low while his arm is out. This is the pose he used for shooting the first guy. A lot of people are saying this pose is one of the poses Jim Crow did. Jim Crow was a white male who would dress up and put black makeup on to mock black people. He did this to entertain other white people. He would always trip over things and dress like he was poor. I think he did this pose to represent the the Jim Crow laws.

One other thing I noticed he said shortly after is “I have a strap, I gotta carry ‘em.” I believe he is saying this cause he’s gotta protect himself. A lot of stuff that happens in the hood is you either get shot or get jumped so you have to have protection in order to live. Throughout the video he was killing people and was never chased, but as soon as he started smoking, he was getting chased. When all the controversy was going on, rich white people accused black people for buying, selling and using drugs.

The cops were white. There was no other color that could’ve became a cop. So when the rich white people accused the black people for having drugs, they were going to jail and getting abused for no other reason besides being black. And the cops didn’t care about Gambino killing other people. The only time they cared was when he was smoking.

In the end, this video has a lot of meaning that people just skim over and ignore, but it shouldn’t be ignored. This is a big topic that everybody says “oh, that’s the past” but racism is still going on. There is still stuff happening with black people getting abused and getting blamed for no other reason besides being black and because of their background.