So we wake up this morning to learn about America's 22nd school shooting since the beginning of this year. Another disconnected young white male, another high school, another massacre of students AND a teacher – and another round of benign murmurings ('our thoughts and prayers are with you') from Republicans and gun lobbyists. All this less than a month after thousands of students staged a national walk-out to protest gun violence. And yet there does not seem to be a shred of embarrassment – let alone change! – from the policy-makers who refuse to budge on the 'gun issue'.
Dropped like a superbly-timed bomb in the middle of all this mess is America's current #1 Billboard hit, “This is America” - a political music video that is one of the most powerful, social-stirring pieces of urban art we've seen for a long time. Its difficult to take your eyes off its creator, Donald Glover (who goes by the moniker Childish Gambino), who plays America itself in the video. With 65.3 million US video streams and counting, it has been called “the music video to end all music videos” and contains more cryptic (and not so subtle) meanings than you can poke a stick at.
This is mesmerising viewing (and it must be viewed multiple times to see all the different layers) – here we have a black man wearing 'chains' around his neck and Confederate trousers, jerking like a marionette on strings or a real-life 'Jim Crow' negro caricature. In the background are phones, jails, riots and chaos, but in the foreground, we are dazzled and distracted by vibrant African-American performers entertaining us with different eras of dance. We have guns that are treated with more reverence than people (once used, they are wrapped in Republican red and handed to younger black men), rows of derelict classic American cars symbolising nowhere to 'go', nods to South African apartheid, and smack-bang in the middle of all this noise, 17 seconds of silence to commemorate the 17 people killed in the Florida shooting.
From a spiritual point of view, all of this – today's Santa Fe school shooting, Gambino's historic #1 video, Hawaii belching red-hot angry lava, rising discontent amongst Americans under a narcissistic leader – gives me an electrifying feeling. Things are moving faster. Time is speeding up. The younger generation is showing the most organised, passionate activism we've seen since the Vietnam War. The pressure is building in America like boiling water in a pot. As souls, we have chosen to live in a time of TREMENDOUS social revolution. This is what it looks and feels like when dimensions shift. Do not feel dismayed by the darkness 'rising'. It is all necessary in the conscious battle to collectively quest for better, brighter Light.
Watch "This Is America" here.