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Old 16 May 2018, 07:10
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“This is America”- Childish Gambino... art or propaganda?

While at work, my partner showed me a new music video which apparently unbeknownst to me, became viral this past week and has been widely discussed, analyzed and debated. Many are calling this a great piece of symbolic art expressed in the form of music... many are calling this “brilliant”, “breath taking” and the list goes on. I must admit... when I first watched this video, I was horrified. This video angers me and incites feelings of disgust and further resentment for what I perceive to be going on today. In my opinion... it’s pure propaganda, intended to create more divisiveness and discord and to incite further racial tensions. Below is the link to the original video and some additional links to various sources who have tried to interpret the meaning and message.

I note for the record in particular, some things that stood out to me.
1. In the opening scene, the rapper is wearing what appears to be a Confederate soldiers uniform pants
2. Striking facial gestures, body movements and poses to Jim Crowe
3. The man in the chair in the beginning strikingly resembles Trayvon Martins’ father
4. The image depicts the rapper shooting the man in the head while he is wearing a white hood. Symbolic to me, of KKK or white supremacy murdering African Americans
5. Every person in the video that is displayed as white is either depicted as the “evil one pursuing” or running in fear for their lives
6. An underlying anti gun message depicting that America cares more about guns than it does human lives
7. In the background, a white horse comes riding in with the grim reaper upon it. Behind it a cop car with lights on. This is symbolic out of the book of Revelation for the evil one who comes riding in on a horse with death upon it and that hell follows (the cop car is depicted as hell).
8. Striking resemblances to ANTIFA and BLM appearances and rioting and protests.
9. A message that black entertainers are entertaining while America disregards the travesties and hardships of the black communities
10. Anti capitalism depicting greed and lust for money overtly
11. The warehouse and older cars, depicting an impoverished race that feels trapped
12. Depicting Charleston church shooting and a sense of disregard for this incident
13. Video closes with Gambino running for his life in what appears to be him being pursued by whites (hard to make this scene out).

So on and so on.

What do you think about this video? Keep in mind, the song has become allegedly the number one song in America, is being widely played by small children all races and ages and backgrounds..... and has become a “sensation” reaching as far as Europe and even Australia commentators. Interestingly, as much as I find this video disturbing, I have gone back and watched it several times as it was hard to see everything the first time around. The lyrics are even more telling. I encourage you to google them and read them. They are hard to make out in the song. Watch the video ... then read the lyrics and go back and watch it again. You can also search for this video “this is America explained” and you can see all of the breakdown from various opinions.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VYOjWnS4cMY

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=38ZfJRiuuss


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9_LIP7qguYw&t=3s
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Old 16 May 2018, 07:16
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I think what I always think when it comes to the 'liberal' arts...I can either look or listen--or I can say fuck it, and walk away. In today's times it seems you have to up the shock value to become recognized instead of working your ass off and letting the finished product of your labor speak. But I am old, and maybe it's just me and my lopsided view...
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Old 16 May 2018, 08:20
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There's always been these "revolutionary" artists. Since the cultural revolution of the 60's there's a part of society that wants to turn things upside down. It's up to the individual to listen or not.
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Old 16 May 2018, 08:32
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InterpretationS. With a Big S.

Interesting to me is looking or reading the interpretations by others.

I see/read/hear a BUNCH of the crux of the biscuit is missed IMO.

My Interpretation is, it's a mirror being held up for all to gaze at.

What is it that you see? You will see what you want to see. Or, you will not see what you do not want to see.

Seems to me he's saying what many others in the Black Community have been saying for awhile.
Namely, you're killing yourself.
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Old 16 May 2018, 08:32
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I heard the song. It sucks. I moved on.

The (over) reaction to the song is already being mocked and ridiculed.

He needs to give his PR folks a raise.
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Last edited by KidA; 16 May 2018 at 08:41.
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Old 16 May 2018, 08:34
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Quote:
listen or not.
I'm going with not. After reading Sado's thoughts it's just not something I'm going to waste three minutes of my life on. I don't have enough life left to spend it pissed off over some fuckwad rap star dressed up like Jim Crowe. Pass.
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Old 16 May 2018, 08:40
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Commercial artists seek attention to earn a living. He is apparently effective at reaching that goal, but I will not indulge his desires with my money nor with clicks on his video. If he can't appreciate how good he's got it living in the USA under modern conditions, then I have no use for his ravings anyway. Wherever he lives, I hope the asteroid impacts far enough away from him so that he gets to briefly appreciate how good his life was.
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Old 16 May 2018, 09:16
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Sado,
I’m not throwing rocks at you when I say this, but who cares?
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Old 16 May 2018, 09:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by litepath View Post

InterpretationS. With a Big S.

Interesting to me is looking or reading the interpretations by others.

I see/read/hear a BUNCH of the crux of the biscuit is missed IMO.

My Interpretation is, it's a mirror being held up for all to gaze at.

What is it that you see? You will see what you want to see. Or, you will not see what you do not want to see.

Seems to me he's saying what many others in the Black Community have been saying for awhile.
Namely, you're killing yourself.
This x infinity.

The genius of the video is that people will see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear, interpret it the way they want to interpret it, and make their own determination as to whether they want to be outraged or inspired by it.

It all depends on one's point of view and everyone's entitled to their own opinion - that is America.
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Old 16 May 2018, 09:40
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Ain't America great, you can hate or fear whoever you want to. I too have little use for some groups of people.
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Old 16 May 2018, 11:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
The genius of the video is that people will see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear, interpret it the way they want to interpret it, and make their own determination as to whether they want to be outraged or inspired by it...
A video of a dead cat on the side of a road with flies buzzing around may evoke ten different interpretations from ten different people. Some would discuss the “genius” of such a video.

I see the unification of diverse opinions more challenging, and thus more indicative of genius, than diverse people expressing their diverse opinions. But that’s just my opinion.
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Old 16 May 2018, 11:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longrifle View Post

A video of a dead cat on the side of a road with flies buzzing around may evoke ten different interpretations from ten different people. Some would discuss the “genius” of such a video.

I see the unification of diverse opinions more challenging, and thus more indicative of genius, than diverse people expressing their diverse opinions. But that’s just my opinion.
Again, that's America - freedom of thought and freedom of expression. "Genius" is a relative term and everyone's entitled to his or her own opinion of what constitutes it.
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Last edited by Shadow; 16 May 2018 at 11:42.
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Old 16 May 2018, 11:49
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Waste of time...Screw it.
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Old 16 May 2018, 12:23
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I don't give this the time of day either however.....

I think to Sado's point, it's just the ongoing psyop operation to influence 'the hearts and minds' of the faithful.....that and Spike Lee's 'Blackkklansman' bullshit and his supposed 10 minute standing O at the Canne's Film Festival.

Maybe it's all part and parcel as KIDA says, but in this day and age it is unnecessarily divisive and continues a false narrative that is harmful to our countries health...and there is a good portion of this country (and the world) that absolutely believes this.

As they pontificate from their million dollar mansions, they sow divisiveness and personally reap the rewards. (Remember 'Mad Maxine' recently stated that 'Make America Great' is racist and America was built on lies, genocide, etc etc). What was Africa built on Max?

Half of this country suffers from cultural dementia.....and they're dangerous.
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Old 16 May 2018, 12:25
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the lead in the video shoots the old man and the church choir. Every person killed in the video is black , and is killed by a black person. Plus each time someone is shot, the shooter hands the gun off to a black boy. Guns in black hands....killing other blacks

I think the mix of african dance and hip hop is supposed to show the split between trying to reconnect to african roots and embrace of hip hop culture.

its a catchy tune, but it aint Bohemian Rhopsody
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Old 16 May 2018, 22:37
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Childish Gambino is worshiped by all the younger guys at work.
His acting and his music.
I guess hes real edgy and profound.
I havn't figured it out yet I guess.

Damn kids, now get off my lawn...
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Old 17 May 2018, 02:26
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Trash.
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Old 17 May 2018, 19:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
This x infinity.

The genius of the video is that people will see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear, interpret it the way they want to interpret it, and make their own determination as to whether they want to be outraged or inspired by it.

It all depends on one's point of view and everyone's entitled to their own opinion - that is America.
I agree with this. I don’t find this video to be insulting to anyone’s “group.” I think there are valid criticisms pointed at all sides in the video. While I don’t care for the music, I think this is a valid form of expression that does promote thought. Too many are quick to jump on the defensive instead of critically analyzing the actual points being “commented upon” in the video.

In fact, I’m actually stoked for our country that this type of art can be released and discussed. Trash, it ain’t. You may not like it, but it is designed to provoke critical thought, not a knee jerk defensive response.
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Old 17 May 2018, 21:50
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Who the fuck is Sado? Who cares?
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Old 17 May 2018, 22:58
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The music was shit and the video was obviously trying to portray some message, but I got bored after about 30 seconds and moved on to more productive things.
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