Video Review: John Legend "Surefire"

A young, Hispanic man cleans the equipment at Leimert Auto, where he works. After sweeping the pavement, he sits outside on his break and smokes. A young Muslim woman comes out the door and he smiles at her. His father walks between them and gives the Muslim woman a pointed glance. She steps back.

As he rides home on the bus, he thinks of his father took the cigarette out his mouth and then patted him on the back.

He and the young woman began to date. She would jump on his back for a piggyback ride on the pier. They prayed together on the beach. She wanted to ride the green frog but it wouldn’t work. He pushed it for her and got it to rock. At the car wash, they sprayed each other with water and on one date, he showed her he could break dance.

As he was bringing back for them, a young woman shoved him and he pushed back. The young woman told her how she needs to leave the country and follow American law. Then, she took off hijab and threw it back at her. She sat against the other side of the building, wanting to be by herself for a while.

They ran back to his house. His father said he wanted her gone from his life and pushed him, telling him she was nothing but trouble. The young man picked up a baseball. She shook her head at him, asking him not to do it. He left.

At work, she’s scrolling through Facebook on her cell phone. He comes around to the register and puts his hands over hers. He says he has found a place for them to live. She looks at the young man’s father, laughing with his one of his employees, ashamed that he won’t ever do the same for her.

They ride home on the bus and shows her their new home. It’s a group of his friends living in a darkened home. She kisses him and his friends nudge each other. She wraps him in her blanket.

The next day at work, he sneaks up behind her. She sees the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) police and reaches for him. However, the ICE police grab him and take him away. She follows them outside but his father holds her back.

On her cell phone, she begins talking to people, asking if they know where he might be. She goes back to the house and realizes everyone is gone. She packs a bag. Her neighbor gives her a homemade necklaces and hugs her.

She takes a bus and then walks down the shoulder of the expressway. She waves to the drivers, hoping someone will pick her up. She walks to Mexico and then begins asking people again. She walks in a field of dandelions and watches the ocean. On the beach, she lays out her blanket and prays. She receives a message. Someone found him. She taps on the door of a home and he runs out. He and his mother hug her. They spend hours gazing into one another’s eyes.

The family stands together, somber as they view the imposing wall on the border, unable to return home.

Rating: 5/5

On May 21, 2017, a video surfaced of a Caucasian women calling a Latino man a racial slur after he tried to help her. It’s the most of recent incident of late. The emboldening of people (usually Caucasian and female) have led to the violent incidents at stores and restaurants all over the United States.

The video takes it a step farther, stating the discrimination is widespread and is not limited to Caucasian people. A Mexican father can’t stand the Muslim woman he employs at his shop. His passive bigotry allows him to hire the woman but he prefers that he doesn’t go anywhere near his son. Like many in the United States, he has seen the fake news stories masquerading as facts on the Internet and thinks all Muslim people should be hauled back to the country.

His son, however, believes in tolerance. He is in love with her and dates her, to his father’s disappointment. His father kicks him out of the house and he finds a home with his friends.

Fear is within their community, though. His father didn’t become a citizen of the United States. The young man is undocumented as well as his friends. Costs and red tape had led to delays in getting the paperwork together. An ICE raid, though, led to the young man and his family being deported to Mexico. As a result, a local business goes under while two young men are sent to a place where they don’t know the language. It’s not their home.

Director: Cole Wiley  Year: 2017

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective, 45 Magazine ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place

3 thoughts on “Video Review: John Legend "Surefire"

  1. As a practicing Muslim women, I want to explain why this video is offensive to me. The main reason is that it shows a lack of understanding of the Islamic faith and culture. It is not so much that the young girl is in love with a young man who is not Muslim. Muslim women are suppose to marry Muslim men, but I understand that sometimes the heart goes where it chooses to go. The problem is that wearing the hijab (head scarf) is more than just a piece of fabric on our head. And even if a Muslim woman does not wear hijab, she should carry herself in a modest way. The majority of practicing Muslim women would not conduct themselves the way the young lady is doing in the video with a man, even if he were Muslim and even if she was engaged to him. Often Muslim men and women do not even touch before marriage. This may seem odd to you and I know that their is a tendency to consider anything that is different to be wrong. For example, some people believe that women who wear hijab need liberating while women in string bikinis are liberated.

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