This IS America: A Critique by Alexa DeVon

this is america

I am positive that you have seen the music video for Childish Gambino’s new single, “This is America.” It begins quite entertaining, with Mr. Glover dancing and making facial humorous expressions. He then takes an awkward stance and shoots a guy in the head. Then the first verse begins, “This is America, don’t catch ya slippin’…” He hands the gun to a child as the tropical beat transform into a trap beat.

With the exception of a few scenes, majority of the video follows Childish Gambino, and the group of kids pictured, as they dance, chaos surrounding them. One scene resembles the Charleston, SC mass shooting, where Childish Gambino dances into what appears to be a church-like set-up with a choir singing the hook over the trop.  someone tosses him a rifle, he turns and clears the room. Again, the trap beat returns, “This is America…”

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This scene in particular made me extremely uncomfortable. My insides sank almost immediately. It was not until this moment, 3/4 through the video, that I realized what was really going on: this was social commentary.

I watched the video through numerous times, attempting to grasp every detail (take it from me, it’s almost impossible). Obviously, the goal of the video was to point out America’s character flaw: pop culture is used to distract us all from the senseless violence around us. The song itself also functions as a “troll” song, poking fun at the materialistic values and lack of morals portrayed in trap music and/or mumble rap.

I could literally go on for days. Instead, I will close with this:

Well Done, Donald Glover. Well done.

 

Alexa DeVon

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Greater Chicago Food Depository

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Greater Chicago Food Depository is a non-profit organization that has been working for years to stop hunger in the Illinois and Cook County communities. 200,000 pounds of food is distributed on a daily to people in need. They distribute food through our network of partner agencies and programs, including free distributions and responses for children, older adults and veterans.

wha-we-do-distributionThe food the organization distributes are donations, purchased or part of federal government programs such as Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Food donations happen at every point along a supply chain, from farmers and manufacturers to distributors, wholesalers and retail grocers. They buy in bulk in order to meet the needs of our community and aim to cater to their nutritional needs. About 700 food drives are set with sponsors from community organizations, professional and Local businesses, schools and faith groups each year.

producemobileVolunteers and employees at our food bank and training centre help prepare food for distribution. Before distribution, the food is inspected, sorted, repacked and labelled and picked up by climate-controlled vehicles which distribute food safely throughout Cook County.

So as we strive to end hunger in Cook County, let’s come together for the Greater Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk as we help raise funds and create awareness for the fight!

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Chicago’s Food Bank – One Meal At A Time

The Greater Chicago Food Depository was founded by Tom O’Connell, Robert W. Strube, Sr., Father Philip Marquard, Gertrude Snodgrass, Ann Connors and Ed Sunshine in 1978. Since then they have been trying to make an impact in the city of Chicago. They have been a part of many programs over the years and the amount of food they have supplied has grown exponentially. The main goal of the Greater Chicago Food Depository is to make an impact on the amount of hungry people in Chicago.

Personally, I have volunteered for the Greater Chicago Food Depository before and I was pretty impressed by the staff and the amount of people that would show up everyday to help volunteer as well. I talked to a couple people while I was there and some of them show up everyday to volunteer just because it makes them feel good to know that they are helping to make a difference. Another thing that I found interesting was that they have a program where the participants take 12 weeks and learn some new culinary skills as well as participate in a 2 week internship following the 12 week period of training. This could be a great way to help people get jobs that have no experience what so ever. Another reason to look into the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

The fight against hunger remains constant on the south side of Chicago and also with the rest of the city. I have seen people constantly walking up and down the streets asking for money to help get them back on their feet. It saddens me to see these people outside in all types of weather with seemingly no hope in their heart. Below I have left you guys a video that explains a little bit more about their mission and why they are doing what they do. They are always looking for volunteers that are ready to make a difference in their community.