Speak Saturdays: This Is America

By now you have watch Childish Gambino’s This Is America video a few times.  I know I have.  The first time to see what the hype was all the about.  The second time to see all the missing visuals I read about on several blogs.  The third time to see how I missed the guy committing suicide.  The video had A LOT of subtle visuals that are tied to many of the problems we are now seeing in America.  The video has sparked many conversations, blogs, and jokes.

I don’t like the internet most days of the week.  Let’s say we have a love / hate relationship.  But one afternoon after watching the video I ran across an Instagram post of a comedian talking about the fact that Childish Gambino has a white significant other.  He asked jokingly if this diminishes his voice in speaking out on social injustices plaguing the African American community.  In true form, I had to read the comments under the post.  People sometimes go too far, but I began to think “Does this diminish his voice to speak on issues?”.

Interracial dating is quite the norm in our society.  I asked a few of my friends their thoughts on the video as it relates to the song’s commentary and the artist’s personal life.  Does the artist’s personal life go hand and hand with their artistry?  Can a black man date or be married to a white woman and still speak on the injustices that his race faces?  Does the artist lose respect from his fans because of personal life choices?

Honestly, my first reaction was his voice does diminish because of his personal life, but after having conversations with others I realized that he is still a BLACK man in America who is judged solely off the color of his skin.  While his world is different because of his celebrity status; it does not change the circumstances of being a black man.  It does not change his ability to empathize with the social injustices that are plaguing our nation.  It actually gives him a platform to educate the majority on the racial disparities that are occurring right now.  And teach others what the media tries to hide.

Now, I have more thoughts on this from several different angle that I will discuss next week.

Happy Saturday!

Neikeita

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