Childish Gambino woke or not…

Childish Gambino hit the internet hard with his video “this is America“. The video went viral right away! And within hours there were countless interpretations of what every single sign in the video could mean. I mean there were a lot of opinions. Even the gave a detailed analysis of all the race and gun violence references. I do not know if everything was planned but for sure I admire the effort, the intent and the impact that this video had. It got the conversation started.

While a lot of people praised Glover for his work, haters did what they do best. They hated. They hated hard. I am not talking about white haters, racists haters or rap haters, etc… I am talking about African Americans haters. Why did they hate? Because Glover is married to a white woman and he has mixed race kids.  The haters’ argument is that Childish Gambino does not have the right to speak of the African American experience because he is not experiencing the full African American experience. Because he is married to a white woman.  Who is he to take the stage an include dozens of race references when he most likely has not experienced them thanks/because of his Caucasian wife?

I may surprise you on this topic. I partially agree with the haters.  Because his partner is a white woman, Glover is not getting the full African American experience.  I repeat. I agree with the haters on that point.

I am also married to a white woman.  We have 2 lovely mixed-race kids 4 and 1 year old.  I have multiple examples of when I “benefited” from the situation.  Once we had a road trip into deep Oregon. When I say deep, I mean giant Trump billboards by the side of the road, rifles for sale between the bbq and the school supplies, a deer’s head on side of the road (I still dont understand why), deserted stores with bars on the windows..  Yup, just like in scenes of scary movies where a Black guy steps out of a car to ask for directions and gets lynched by the KKK.  So yes, when we stopped in that deserted town, my wife stepped out to ask for directions. Ok, this is an extreme example.  But on a day to day, I noticed the difference as well. In our nice neighbourhood, walking with a white wife seems to make people feel more at ease. At the playground, my wife talking to random parents seems effortless.  On the flip side, when my mom walked the street with my son, people asked her if she was the nanny – my son looks racially ambiguous, he could play a latino, tanned white or a light black kid.

I can only imagine that the difference in people’s behaviour is going to increase as the kids get older.  Picture Black parents with a Black teenage boy with a hoodie compared to a mixed family.

So I get it that some people that suffer every day from the harshest discriminations are annoyed at Glover telling a story, that someone else could tell from a more “authentic” viewpoint.  However, all the haters should appreciate the support.  It is not about who gets the benefits here. We are all fighting for the same worthy cause. And whoever supports the cause, should be welcomed, because they are woke too!

Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash