I moved to the US without thinking twice. I had indeed a very vague and stereotypical view of this country. A place where I could be whoever I wanted to be, where I could achieve my dreams, where all my teenage-fantasies could be finally realized.
I must say that until now some of my so-called-dreams have been reached. I’m currently living in New York, studying what I most enjoy, and meeting inspiring people. However, life happens, and sometimes things don’t go as planned. Difficulties come up, as well as unexpected realizations. One of my biggest realizations so far has been the perception of America: a controversial and intriguing country.
The voice I choose to listen
Apparently, there are two American men who are able to portrait their own nation under the same name: Donald Trump and Donald Glover. The former, 45th President of the United States, depicts that niched-self-centered part of society, most of the times known as white supremacy. The latter is the epitome of a creative-well-educated mind willing to undertake both selfless and collective challenges that come from the system.
Back home, I learned that America was the land of dreams, where all of your fantasies could become true through hard work and faith. No one claimed to be this land’s owner, everyone could have its own piece of territory. I used to hear these claims from professors, adults, academics. And like a country does with a President’s promises, I believe them. But this is not America. America is something else. And you learn this through other minds. Being sick of authorities I decided to listen to Mr. Glover. I want real news, not fake ones.
The harsh version of a poetic justice
Donald Glover is not an anonymous person. He got himself well-educated, by exploring arts, cultures, and public relations on different levels through tons of multimedia platforms – theatre, music, cinema. Glover had the chance to witness various parts of the world – not all of them – and aspects of life, which often appear in his work, like racism and love. Differently from other artists, he has the bravado to show off both talent and real facts, without any sugar coating nor shady attitudes: harsh like a bullet ready to get into someone’s heart.
After two years of his album debut “Awaken, My Love!“, Glover surprises his fans with his official musical retirement. However, he’s doing a gradual withdrawal by launching his latest album, including his single “This is America”. The track is a firm-critical-solid piece of rap, where politics and social matters come all together in order to state the truth of what’s really happening in this current society.
We all see but don’t observe
Myriads of elements appear in the music video that makes the listeners reflect. There are guns that are gently wrapped in a red cloth after being lethal tools. Girls and boys dancing and smiling not caring what’s happening behind their shoulders, while the rapper himself is being careless about his surroundings and is embracing a nonchalant attitude. Performer and singer in the video, Glover embodies the stereotypical self-centered rapper who little cares of social activism, whose advocacy is not focused on the community in the long run, but only for a public image and perception.
It is easy to see and comment on an issue, but it’s different to carefully take notes on something and be part of it. One’s called seeing or viewing, the other is observation. Same goes for the ears: some people choose to hear, other to listen. I hear both Donalds, but I only want to listen to one, who’s able to report true facts with respect, elegance, and ingenuity: Childish Gambino, we’ll miss your music.
the curly flower