America Need Videos Like 'This Is America'

America Need Videos Like 'This Is America'

A road to a better America.
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I did not watch the video as soon as it was released. After seeing the massive ripple of reactions to the message and quality of the video, I took a moment to watch it.

I tell you that since I watched it the first time, I have seen it at least 15 times after. It’s the kind of video that needs to be seen multiple time, not only because it’s fantastic, but there are many things involved that add to the powerful messages that are in enveloped in it.

The first time, you are distracted by Childish Gambino, or Donald Glover, dancing. You’re entertained by the dancing that surrounds Gambino, the happiness of the children. You are only surprised the two times that Gambino takes the gun and shoots the man, or shoots the black choir. After, we were quick to be distracted by the dancing.

You are left with questions about what the video could allude to but are also thoroughly satisfied that there is some kind of narrative.

The second time you watch the video, you’re looking for the meaning behind the different scenes. You look behind Gambino.

It’s here that you really discover the underlining meaning of this video. The sheer power of art.

The guns are treated with care, cleaned after they are used to take black lives. The bodies are left there or disposed of carelessly and without respect. Possibly an insight of what actually occurs in the country. Guns are valued more than lives. Protecting the right to have a gun is worth fighting for, more than black lives, than the lives of children.

Chaos ensues behind Gambino and the kids who are dancing. The kids are distracted by art, by music, and by media. This is the way people live. We consume all of the trends but fail to truly pay attention to the issues that plague our world. It could possibly allude to us trying to ignore what happens although, we are aware of the truth.

Childish Gambino does add a number of symbols that reference Jim Crow and other aspects of the black experience.

Personally, the part that gave me the most chills was at the end when we see him running from a crowd of people.

A black man running from society, afraid and aware of the consequences that come with being a black person in our country.

It pained me greatly to watch this video because it really put the bigger issues of our country right in front of me. It made me sad because this is really what people live through every day. Black children, black men, and black women are scared to exist because of prejudice.

There are plenty of our symbols and motifs embedded in the video and many people have done analyses on it. I recommend you watch the videos, watch out for what you see and then look into what others caught onto.

We need videos that bring light to the greater issues. To make a change in our world, we need to be aware of all the problems that we have in it. We should not avoid the truth, we have to take steps to make it a better place for everyone who lives on it. I think that making this kind of art places it at the center of attention and brings about change. We cannot live in ignorance because one day, we may look up and see a world that is completely unrecognizable.

I commend Childish Gambino and his efforts to make something so valuable and beautifully put together.

Cover Image Credit: mcDJ / RCA

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To the guy that shot my brother...

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To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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5 Ways You Can Stop Producing so Much Trash

We produce a lot more trash than you think, until you start paying attention to your actions.

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One of my major goals this year is to do more to save the planet as well as animals. I have already been vegetarian for three years. and I'm plan to stay vegetarian, but I want to have a more plant based diet. As well, I want to start reducing the amount of trash I produce. Not only because I realize just how drastically our trash is affecting wildlife, but also because I think having to take out your trash twice a week is way too much trash!

1. Bring recyclables to a recycling center or reuse them around the home!

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This is something I want to start doing! I always get take out food and throw away the containers, when I could be using those containers to carry my lunch everyday! Also, I want to start collecting my plastic water bottles and taking them to the recycling center on campus instead of just throwing them away

2. Invest in a reuseable water bottle

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This would actually fix my water bottle problem. I need to invest in a nice, reuseable water bottle that I can refill, rather than throwing away 3-4 water bottles a day. Amazon has a lot of varieties of these bottles ranging from inexpensive to expensive, cool designs, and even one that holds snacks.

3. Reuseable Straws

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This is a great addition to your new reuseable water bottle! Like trash, you don't realize how much you use (and throw away) straw, until you actually start to keep count. I thought i didn't use straws at all because I never bought them in my life, but then you go out to eat (straw), you go to Starbucks (straw). Having a glass straw is actually really useful to reduce your trash, in cases when you wish you had a straw but don't, and sanitary purposes. Those straw sitting out at Starbucks, are they really that clean?

4. Donate old/unwanted clothes

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This is something I already do. I go through my drawers and closet once a year, and just put all the clothes I haven't worn all year, or just don't want into a garbage bag. I'm usually able to fill at least one (gallon) garbage bag with clothes to take to Goodwill!

5. Use actual plates instead of paper plates

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This is another huge mistake of mine! I hate doing dishes, so I try to buy paper plates to make less dishes, but in the end I'm producing more and more trash! I'm convinced the reason I have to take out my trash so often is because I eat so much! It's time to be a big girl now and start washing my dishes...or start using my dish washer

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