Police brutality is hilarious.
At least, that’s what the internet thinks.
In early May of 2018, Childish Gambino released a single called “This is America,” which highlights the struggles black people in America face, including police brutality and gun violence. Above all of this though, Gambino pushes the fact that Americans are becoming desensitized to these struggles, and are instead celebrating them through creating memes.
Gambino released a music video of the single at the same time, which is nominated for best music video of 2018. In the video, Gambino shoots a black man and then a gospel choir, calling back to the shootings in Charleston in 2015, alongside senseless killings of black men around the country. Most of the video consists of him dancing with some younger kids though, as chaos erupts behind them, such as people falling from rafters, police chasing black men with clubs, and even a hooded figure riding a horse. But most of this is missed due to the focus on Gambino’s dancing.
This is his entire point; that we are distracted by sensationalized parts of culture that we miss what’s really going on. This was pointed out in the Vice article entitled “For the Love of God, Don’t Meme Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’ Music Video.”
But when does the internet listen to anyone?
Almost immediately after the song came out, the internet erupted with memes featuring Gambino’s face, shooting stance, gun, and many more.
So is this a coping mechanism? A fuck you? A point proven? Who knows.