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Breaking Down Childish Gambino's Video 'This is America'


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By Victoria Hope


Before reposting my Childish Gambino's analysis, I want to let everyone know that my words are NOT the only truth. This is an analysis from the point of view of a journalist (me), specialized in media & pop culture studies.  I won't chance a single line from my original text, because by doing so, I would be untrue to my own point of views from my first watch, so I will keep everything untouched.

I'm in no way saying that my views are the only views that stand correct, in fact, a lot of people disagree with the points, which is completely fine. As a journalist, my goal is to provoke you and generate a conversation over certain subjects, so please, feel free to add your own thoughts on the comments bellow as well!

The symbolism behind ‚This is America‘ – A thread. 


1) The first symbol was the musician who phisically looks like Travyon Martin’s dad. At this point, we can clearly see that Gambino will touch the gun violence subject.

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2) We hear an african beat while Gambino dances towards the camera. At some point, his face contorts and he squints one his eyes, looking just like Uncle Ruckus, a character from ‚The Boondocks‘, an elderly black man who thought he was white and hated black people.

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3) Right here, Gambino poses as the ministrel Jim Crow, acharacter invented around 1900, when the blackface was invented by white comedians. The Jim Crows were a racist parody of black people. Notice how he shoots a ’slave‘ (black person with hands tied and bare feet).

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4) After killing the ‚cuffed man, Gambino handles the gun for a child, who takes the gun as if it was the most precious thing in the world (the gun has a huge importance for America, unlike a black man’s life who’s discarded as garbage).

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5) These ‚funny‘ pants Gambino is wearing are part of the official classic confederate soldiers‘ uniform. I don’t think the confederate meaning needs a further explanation, but clearly he’s representing the people who support the confederate ideas +

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6) At this point, the beats are completetly changed and we start listening to a trap beat. Even after killing a black man, Gambino dances in a joyful way, being followed by innocent school kids. They are clearly copying everything he does, because he’s 'cool'.

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7) Watch as Gambino observes the kids, see what’s trending between them, so he can find another way to make them follow him. These are the memes, dance trends and everything in between spreading like ‚fire‘ online.

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8) Chaos is reigning behind them, but clearly they don’t care because the beat is sick and the african dance is super catchy. Why would they care about the problems when they are having fun and being entertained? Hmm…

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9) The church! A safe haven for black people. The choir is singing and it doesn’t look like a coincidence that one of the members looks just like ‚Get Out’s director Jordan Peele. The choir chants with joy: ‚He gonna shoot somebody‘.

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10) Gambino arrives and shoots every single one of the choir members. Charleston shooting, 2015. USA. Yet another mass murder of black people in America.

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11) But look, we just forgot about the church shooting, because Gambino is trying to distract us. He’s invisible to the police (because he’s ’not black‘ can’t you see his pants?) He says: „Look at my moves‘, look what I’m doing‘. Hint: He’s trying to distract us. pic.twitter.com/kULwomKvOK

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12) Here they are again, each one of them having fun! Gambino says ‚I’m so pretty‘, just like that video of a girl handling a gun and saying ‚I’m so sexy‘, just for likes. Meanwhile, chaos keeps reigning behind their backs!

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13) [TW: Suic*de] They keep dancing with all the joy in the world, while a young black man jumps the stairs to take his own life. Depression and s*icide are huge in the black community and not always they look up for help. But who cares right? Hear the beats (sarcasm)

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14) We are still distracted by Gambino and his amazing dance moves! He says one more time ‚What my moves‘, distracting us from the ugly truth happening right in front of our eyes.

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15) Kids are filming everything! Could they be our saviors? In the age of social media, the only proof that the whole worlcd has of police brutality and the mass murder of black people, are social media videos. However the kids have their mouths covered, they are anonymous‘.

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16) Cars on fire, police cars! Confrontation! These are the results of the riots and yet, here we are, still entertained witth their little dance. The black community entertains, always, our music, our bodies, our dance movies, but our lives are unimportant.

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17) Oh lookie! It’s the grim reaper riding the pale horse and bringing death and hell right behind him! (I believe this is part of the bible, but I’m not a catholic, so I could be wrong).

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18) Now Gambino is a full black man. We cannot see his pants fully and he’s not armed, but a black man, unarmed? WOW, very dangerous! See as the kids run away now that he doesn’t actually have a gun!

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19) Gambino pulls a joint and smokes (as a black man)

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20) We see the first victim, but he’s still faceless! Who was this person? A father? An uncle? A brother? We don’t know, we can’t remember, but we do reckon of a murder of an innocent black man (once). His memory will remain there, hidden, but still there forever.

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21) Now Gambino jumps over cars. It may look like a simple gesture, however, these cars were HUGE back in the Era of segregation in America, Oh, is that SZA posing with a crown like the Liberty Statue? Nevermind the violence we saw, we love SZA (celebrities)

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22) Oh no! Now the police is chasing him because Gambino, a black man was smoking a joint! Killing a innocent black person is okay!‘, Killing a whole church full of black people is A-okay!‘ A black person smoking a joint?‘ Oh no pal, you’re in for trouble with em‘ authorities.

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23) Concluding: This is America (for you, for me and all of us).

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