Don't let them distract you. Rise up.

Hello friends,

I've mostly kept quiet about the Parkland shooting, because it feels like the last thing we need is more empty words or more voices shouting angrily into the abyss. Today, though, I find I have something to say.

This nonsense about arming teachers is a distraction, and we need to stop giving it the time of day. If the people clamoring to give teachers guns were serious, they would be working on legislation. They would be taking action in some way. But they're not. They're using the ridiculous idea of arming schoolteachers to keep us on the defensive, to keep us worried that things might get even worse, which keeps us from working as single-mindedly on real solutions and real change.

And here's the thing: if they call our bluff and actually do put guns into the hands of the adults entrusted to teach and shepherd our kids five days a week, then we'll all know what to do. That's beyond dangerous. It's beyond a bad idea. It's the kind of insanity that can't be reasoned with, the kind that has no regard for life or for any of the things we value.

If that happens, we get out our loved ones out of those buildings. We find a different way to educate our kids, or a different way to earn a living. Plain and simple. But until they show us they're serious, it's nothing to worry about in the meantime.

We need to make sure we see through the devious strategies used to distract us from breaking down these systems that keep us less than safe and less than free. The next time they dangle something shiny and insane off to the side to keep us from looking oppression straight in the eye, let's not take the bait.

In other news, if you missed this Black History Today series written by South Seattle's undercover hero, Marcus Harden, I urge you to take a look. In honor of Black History Month, Marcus honored 28 people who are, as he put it, "living Black history, today." You don't want to miss his thoughtful, moving essays -- or miss "meeting" the community heroes he introduces you to.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for doing what you do. I appreciate you.




P.S. It's been several months now, but I still find a tear in my eye every time I listen to this song that Chance the Rapper played on Colbert last year. Especially the third verse. If you've already heard it, then you already know you want to hear it again. This is a man with things to say.