We need to bring back ‘This is America’

Childish Gambino released 'This is America' in 2018. The music video contained many pieces of American history symbolism.

Courtesy of RCA Records

Childish Gambino released ‘This is America’ in 2018. The music video contained many pieces of American history symbolism.

Emily Dvareckas, Photo Editor

Childish Gambino made waves with his 2018 release of “This is America” and its subsequent music video. The music video was analyzed in great detail, showing that every single frame of the four-minute and five-second video held significance. I remember constantly rewatching it to find new symbols and discussing them with my social studies teacher. 

The video is graphic, which angered people, but he was depicting the experiences of Black people in America and it was necessary. The music video began to open the eyes of people who have not experienced being Black in America.

It felt like there was real change occurring, so what happened? The song and video faded away from our screens and minds as we moved onto the next viral phenomenon and now it is just a memory, a source of nostalgia in a way.

Nothing has changed in our society. In fact, it seems to have gotten worse since Gambino released the song. In 2018, we were halfway through Donald Trump’s presidency and we kept saying “it can’t get worse than this, can it?” It did end up getting worse, much worse, and now we are at an awkward stage. Trump is out of office and Biden is trying to reunite a deeply divided nation. 

 

Violence has not ceased, Black men are still being killed by the police, mass shootings are still occurring and we seem to be running out of options. Any step in the right direction seems to be met with resistance and people are continuing to die. There seems to be no end to the pain and disasters that plague our nation and fighting the good fight is becoming increasingly exhausting.

I do not believe Childish Gambino is our savior or that watching his music video will end systemic racism, but I do believe he can offer a little help. Americans need a reminder of the horrible past so we can try to build a better future. “This is America” eloquently reminds viewers of the pain and suffering that Black people have endured for centuries and are still enduring in our country.

So, let’s bring back “This is America” because it is relevant now more than ever and we need to find some way to end the abuse. In recent years, many white people have started to become aware of the experiences of their fellow Americans and we cannot afford to forget. People should not be losing their lives because of who they are or what they look like.