What do you think about Childish Gambino's song "This is America" that's lighting up social media? Controversies? Is it racist?



I'm curious about what other people think about this song!

What's your overall opinion?

I've already seen a lot of different opinions on it, and as of right now when I'm posting this question, he video has about 18.8 million views!

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Most Helpful Guy

  • What is he even saying? Quite honestly looking at the lyrics its highly repetitive and broken English so I can't even understand what he is trying to say. If he is suggesting that America is violent then that is completely inaccurate, statistically speaking. If he is suggesting America is particularly unfair to blacks, again, that is statistically incorrect. So I don't know what is being said so I can't say whether or not its racist, or whether or not what he is saying is accurate (or even meaningful).

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    • Well, while his lyrics might be a bit on the repetitive side, are you aware of the actual messages behind them?

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    • Ah okay I understand where you're coming from now.
      Some users went more into depth than I probably could on this question, if you'd like to take a look! I was very impressed actually :)

    • Yeah I just read one of them. I don't necessarily disagree with the interpretation but would greatly disagree with that being an issue (as over 90% of all shootings deaths are of blacks BY blacks and yet the black community itself seems perfectly content with this as they only speak up when their is a conflict with the police (in every publicized case the black suspect resisted arrest and/or assaulted the officer and/or was armed) rather then the rampant black on black violence which many try to pretend is not a case (claiming that all crimes tend to be within the community and thus white on white crime is the same as black on black crime (while ignoring the fact that out of the roughly 11,000 violent shooting deaths that occur in the US about 9500 are blacks killing blacks despite the fact that they only make up 13% of the populations while whites make up 63% of the population (Hispanics 17%) or the fact that all of this can be linked to the fatherless epidemic in the black community.

Most Helpful Girl

  • I'm not a fan of rap whatsoever, but Childish Gambino is one of the few rappers I actually listen to. I like the song, has some really catchy parts, but the video... the video makes my inner nerd go wild. If I was still in high school and had to do a response in an English class or something, I would pick this music video. There's just so many references and metaphors, it's really impressive tbh. You have the reference to Jim Crow, Uncle Ruckus from the Boondocks, the Charleston church shooting, the unarmed black man shot in the back of the head. The choreography itself represents how celebrities are merely distractions from the horrors that plague black people on a day to day basis, the kids behind him copy his every move, they record videos on their phones, never really paying attention to what's going on behind them. The only time they notice the violence is when Childish Gambino points the finger guns at them, because the only time they notice the violence is when their idols make them aware of it. It's not only a message about how we're blinded by celebrities and the media to ignore what's important, but it's also a message to other celebrities to use their platform for good, which is something Childish Gambino is trying to do.

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Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 10

  • The video want us to focus on him but if you notice, the background is chaos. But he's happy and dances it off. Too me, I think it's what people are see on the news represent if its rasict or not. But, to me I still think the I'm not racist video is still the best mv to represent society.

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  • I haven't actually heard it yet, but, I think what he did was good.. musicians need to speak out more about social injustice and racism that trump has enflamed... have ya seen what's been going on in the country. Charlottesville for example

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  • Damn I can't believe I haven't seen this yet (too busy listening to DG single) but I would say that I enjoyed it overall, I don't understand the controversy what does he say that is THAT controversial.

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  • I haven't watched it but I know its probably something stupid people are over reacting about

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    • So why would you answer a question about your reaction and thoughts on the song if you haven't seen it? ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”

    • Reading your question headline saying its causeing controversy

    • Okay but you appear to have missed the point being that you listen to the song then relay your opinions on it ๐Ÿ˜…

  • It's not bad, but it's not great. I much prefer his older stuff

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  • lol how come everyone makes fun of Drakes dance moves in that one video but no one makes for of this dudes dance moves.. like wtf is he doing?

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    • Lol and his facial expressions too ๐Ÿ˜‚

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    • The moves are references to prominent racist figures in black history. The weird face he makes at the beginning copies Uncle Ruckus' face from the Boondocks. The pose he strikes and the way he dances is very reminiscent of Jim Crow. They're both popular cartoon characters that represent negative racial stereotypes towards black people. By making those faces and dancing the way he does, he's showing that this is how racists perceive him.

    • @Kiwedin damn that's hella deep!
      You smart ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  • I don't care about modern music most of the time, I don't watch the hot new rap videos.

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    • I suppose this question isn't really up your alley then

  • Tis a fine video, creative. However, the song's not good. Sorry.

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  • Love it, I just hope he doesn't go the route of Kanye.

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    • @Defboy69 Presented him the civil rights legislation that annulled all the laws that democrats had put into place which technically violated all the laws that republicans created to create equality which was then voted in with an almost unanimous republican majority at which point the left has now stated was all their doing and they should get the credit because "reasons". Otherwise very true.

    • The Jim Crow laws.

  • The song itself is a damn masterpiece

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What Girls Said 7

  • People are misinterpreting the song. For example, the song it's self is supposed to be highlighting the visuals. The visuals, in this case, would be the man "verses" you hear in a song. He dropped the single that way on purpose. He wanted you to mainly focus on whats going on in the video. The song is just something you rock to and notice a few highlights in.

    Now as for the actual video it can be seen in many ways it's not just about gun violence but also the behavior of people as a whole. How we see something terrible be forced into our sight but then we get distracted by the entertainment industries and the next shiny thing. All to a point where we accept what happens and let people in the background sweep away the bad things we witnessed. I saw a bunch when people were reacting to the video. Like "Omg did he shoot him? *Starts dancing* Well this song is nice though." And they forget it and focus on his dancing and not the place going to hell everywhere. The crimes, and bad deeds done all around them. He's also mocking rappers who help this and condone all this. Mimicking their style of rap by repeating stuff over and over and saying stuff like "I keep a strap" and " I gotta get the bag, or Imma get the pad." Further talking about crime, getting money, and making people used to the things around them.
    And when he's and others are running in the last scene they are running from "The Sunken Place," from the movie Get Out. The Sunken place being the system silencing resistance and people who take notice to their surroundings. It's why he also keeps repeating "Don't catch you slippin up."

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  • At the start I liked it, kind of repetitive but I was giving it a chance. The body of the song is really just him repeating phrases or single words over and over, got pretty lame. So over all I would say I didn't like this at all.

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  • Well... it's catchy for sure. I like the video too.
    I don't see anything racist there. Which part was supposed to be racist?

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    • It's not me who thinks any thing's racist, but I've seen stuff on it, hence why I brought it up!

      What exactly do you like about the video though?

    • The art of it is pretty great.

    • I think so as well!

  • i like it, i don't quite understand why people consider it racist. i can see how it does trivialize black death with the way donald's dancing around with them kids but "this is america", that's how we treat gun violence in this country. we've grown desensitized to it. the kids and gambino are "shoot" dancing while he also participates in shootings, pretty cool parallel. i think it's saying how caught up in trends we are up until there is a massacre like the charleston one, then we talk about it for a few days until it's back to our meaningless trends.

    what makes this music video worth hating on? how is it different from a short film that tells a story about gun violence?

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    • Well gun violence is incredibly rare in the US for one. You are actually nore likely to be struck by lightning then you are to be shot (twice as likely in fact). Then as it pertains to blacks, almost all gun violence is perpetrated by blacks against blacks (and when the violence is interracial 80% of the time its blacks on whites not the other way around so acting like its trivilized is rather absurd as the only group who seems to be trivilizing it are blacks themselves) so thats not really america, thats a huge problem within the black community which americans have tried to address many many times yet are told that if they acknowledge it and call it out they are racist for doing so. So again, not really an accurate representation. So if its trying to suggest this is some how the fault of "whites" then yes, it is absolutely racist as they are not the ones participating in this violence.

    • @hellionthesagereborn "gun violence is incredibly rare in the US" loool please take your idealistic rattles somewhere else.

    • over 60% of gun deaths are by suicide: www.nytimes.com/.../...hs-are-mostly-suicides.html
      hotair.com/.../
      http://archive.is/f4gbv
      Its not a fantasy, its actual fact, CDC, FBI, DOJ all back the statement that gun deaths in the US are actually pretty uncommon, that 80% of them are from handguns and are due to primarily gang related violence which itself can be linked to broken homes and fatherlessness.

  • Hmm. I love Childish Gambino and I like the message of the video, but he's just repeating the same lyrics over and over. But, overall I enjoyed it.

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  • I haven't listened to it yet but apparently a lot of people are misunderstanding the message

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  • not bad

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