People Will Die As Long as We Teach Kids There are Always Losers and Winners

By Teka Lark (August 7, 2019)

Your worldview is shaped by your community, family, media, education system, and essentially all the people, things, and actions that you interact with and provides you with information.

Your view on the world starts from the minute you hit earth. Fairytales, TV, the Internet, video games, books, what your education system decides to teach you in school, and what they decide to leave out, it all shapes who you are.

In the United States, when you begin school, and maybe even before you start school, if your family has been in the US two or more generations, you are told that some people must lose.

That idea is drilled into your head. As adults people sneer, “This everyone gets a trophy nonsense, kids needs to understand that someone has to lose! ”

But what is losing? What are we preparing young children for when we tell them that some people must lose?

It seems like we’re saying some people must be homeless, some people must be poor, and some people must die— at least to me.

The United States encourages cruelty and violence, from dodgeball, to our media, to how we share about injustices.

Do we really need a video of someone being shot in the head, to know that you shouldn’t shoot people in the head? Apparently in the US you do, because that is part of the fun of being an “American,” being outraged, yet slightly entertained by the suffering of someone else who you are under the idea that you have more privilege than, at least for now….

In our media what do the troublemakers look like? Who are our villains in fiction?

Good triumphs over evil is the story every kid in the US has been told from birth. This theme even goes in our history books,In the United States the good people won the game.

A game that we all agreed to play, so no one needs to tell anyone sorry for hitting someone in the face with the figurative ball over and over and over again, because this was a game, and if you had tried harder and had better morals– you would have won –and any deviation from the game results in being taken out of the game by capture, fire, gunshots, or lynching.

The reason you can’t get federal gun policies passed in the United States, is because the point of guns in the United States is to protect “everyone” from Black (African) and Brown (Mexican/Indigenous) people. In the North they do it by making rent so high you can’t live next door, in the West they won’t allow you to work, and in the South –they have their guns.

Unless something is done to change the average person in the United States’ worldview–a culture that encourages punitive cruelty, racism, nationalism and sexism–we’re going to continue to have people dying in violent ways.


Waking Up to the Lie of the Second Amendment

By Teka Lark (August 4, 2019)

The United States is a country which creates narratives to not only create policies, but to shape minds. When the Pilgrims arrived to what is now the Massachusetts in 1620, the tribes of the Wampanoag people prevented them from starving and as a thank you the Europeans brought communicable diseases and enslaved them.

In 1643, William Penn said of the Lenni Lanape “In liberality they excel, nothing is too good for their friend; give them a fine Gun, Coat, or other thing, it may pass twenty hands, before it sticks; the most merry Creatures that live, Feast, Dance almost perpetually; they never have much; Wealth circulateth like the Blood, all parts partake; and though none shall want what another hath, yet exact Observers of Property.” The Europeans saw this and stole the Lenni Lanape’s land between what is now Delaware and New Jersey– in one of the United States’ first narratives of the “fair” and “honest” deals this country “offered” to the Indigenous inhabitants of the country they would later just outright steal.

You probably read about the finished draft of this United States’ “narrative” –the Manifest Destiny.

“And that claim is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us,” from John Louis O’Sullivan in an essay entitled Annexation, in 1845, advocating that the U.S. admit the STOLEN Republic of Texas into the Union.

The United States learned quickly in the beginning in order to continue to enslave, murder, and steal from the Indigenous people of the country they stole and in order to continue kidnapping and enslaving Africans –they couldn’t have the people of the world viewing either of these two groups of people, as people or innocent.

They had to be dehumanized and demeaned, because the average person is not going to sign on to kill and steal from their fellow person, at least not just because, but if the person wasn’t characterized as a person or even better, they were characterized as an enemy, well that might be a better sell.

And it was a better sell.

Had the Indigenous people had been even a ¼ as violent as the Europeans said they were, the great experiment of “America,” would have never happened.

Fast forward to modern day. The European, now the white man has ended slavery, because, apparently Abraham Lincoln was a generous and just man, at least that was the story told in African children (now Black) history books.

“Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man’s nature — opposition to it is in his love of justice,” Abraham Lincoln, 1854.

On December 26, 1862 President Abraham Lincoln ordered the execution of 38 Dakota Indians in Mankato, Minnesota, in the largest mass execution in US history.

We didn’t hear that part of the story, because Lincoln freed “the slaves.” Lincoln murdering the people whose land the United States stole, well that wouldn’t have been very consistent.

Because it is all about the consistent lie folks.

The United States has been built on the backs of Black and Brown people.

Both of our names have been changed –to protect the guilty. Our histories have been hidden, and our borders and histories keep shifting to fit whatever lie the United States wants to tell on a particular day.

The Samba, the Tchamba, the Daka. the African, the slave, the n*%ger, the negro, the Negro, the Colored, the Black, the Afro-American, the African American are not really African, according to the United States.


The Nahuatl, the Maya, the Indian, the s*vage, the Native American, the Mexican, the *illegal, the Chicano, the Latino, the Chicanx/Latinx have crossed the border into OUR (white people’s) country “illegally,” according to the United States.

The Second Amendment was ratified to protect the Slave Patrol. The slave patrol is the basis for modern publicly funded police departments (aka white men vigilante types with guns who are institutionally supported to murder and/or round up and detain Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people), the Feds, the Border Patrol, ICE…the reason that Black and Indigenous people die at higher rates by these departments is no accident.

It is by design.

The Second Amendment was created so that white men could continue to kill Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people with the power of the narrative that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people are violent, that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous are stealing white people’s job, that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous are raping white women, that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous are sucking up resources that could go to white people, that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people are loitering in spaces where white people want to walk around and not see us, that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people have crossed the border without the proper paperwork, and that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people need to be controlled lest they do to white men what has been done to them.

Removing the Second Amendment is not about gun control.

Stripping the Second Amendment is about stripping the lie away, from white men that they have the right to kill people for being Mexican, for being Black, and/or for being Indigenous.

This is what I don’t think white men on the far left understand or they don’t care about.

Stripping the Second Amendment from our US Constitution isn’t taking away anyone’s rights, but the white man’s.

Who else can use the Second Amendment, maybe white women…I can’t use it, Chicanx/Latinx people can’t use it, only white people can use it.

Twelve year old Tamir Rice can’t use it. He was sitting around with a toy gun and white men emboldened by their Second Amendment rolled up and shot him.

Philando Castile couldn’t use it, when they shot him with 4-year-old Diamond Reynolds in the car who said after the murder, “Mom, please stop screaming ’cause I don’t want you to get shooted”

Stripping the Second Amendment is removing the symbol and protection that white men have as their god given manifest destiny right to murder people for not just not being white, but for being a descendant of the the people whose land this was stolen from or for being a descendant of the people who were kidnapped and brought here, because that is the only reason the Second Amendment exists. The Second Amendment exists to hold up the lie that built this country and keeps this violent sadistic place pasted together with the blood and tears of our ancestors.

I’m not fighting or debating for the right to empower white men to kill me, again.

The lie told over and over again is one of the most powerful tools the United States has at its disposal, stop letting them tell this one.


It’s Hard to Intimidate Righteous People

By Mark Naison (October 27, 2018)

My heart goes out to the families and friends of those killed and wounded in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, and to everyone who feels a little more vulnerable and a little less secure as a result of this horrendous act. Everyone stoking the flames of hatred bears some responsibility for the political climate that makes actions of this kind more likely. How can people feel safe in an atmosphere filled with so much rage and division? We desperately need healing; what we get instead is provocation. I hope that people will come to their senses and realize that the path we are on is destructive to everyone.

I come from a line of Jewish scholars on one side, and of Jewish warriors and justice fighters on the other. I carry the weight of a tragic history inside me, of people who have seen the worst that humanity has to offer.

And from that I make this proclamation- Nothing you do can make me cower in fear. Nothing you do can stop me from fighting for justice. Nothing you do can prevent me from identifying with all people fighting persecution, intimidation and violence.

Your bombs and bullets and threats have no weight against the moral and spiritual force I carry within me.

I’m not scared of pipe
Or threatening talk
It’s easy to incite
fools and cowards 
It’s hard to intimidate
Righteous people.


The Santa Fe Shooting is a Result of the Cynicism Destroying US

By Alexander Reid Ross (May 21, 2018)

It’s just a nightmare. I’m from Houston. It’s a place near and dear to my heart. When this sort of thing becomes normal, we all become targets.

That this latest shooting was carried out by a gun obsessed white male is as unsurprising as his apparent fusion of authoritarian left-right politics. A hammer and sickle pin means rebellion, while an iron cross means authority.

It was already clear what kind of deranged products can come out of subcultural politics last year when Jeremy Christian murdered two people on the MAX in Portland. Christian had been a metal head with leftist, Cascadia leanings—I knew people in that scene who were friends with him before he swerved to the far right.

Today, we are seeing more than ever the joining together of far right and left both in conferences and the “alternative media” space. They claim to be anti-war but they are hawks who viciously attack their critics using legal threats and harassment tactics taken straight from the Gamergate playbook.

This shooting is about guns and what they mean to our culture, but more than that, it’s about the mainstream patriarchy underlying that culture and how various subcultures reproduce it with even more intensity…

The ability to clip on a hammer and sickle and an iron cross on the way to murdering high school students indicates the fullest absurdity of authoritarianism in general. This is America today: the snuffing out of sensibility, the urge for power, and the self-destructive drive toward catastrophe.

My heart goes out to the survivors and victims today. I sincerely hope that we will find a way to overcome the cynicism and cowardice that is destroying us. I wish we could reach out to people and reconnect with humanity, sensitivity, and love.


Children Should Not Have to Lead a Movement About Gun Violence

By Irami Osei-Frimprong (March 26, 2018)

I see a lot of adults lauding the children for their leadership.

These kids shouldn’t have to parent their adults.

I like children participating, but if they have to lead, that means the adults aren’t doing their jobs. You shouldn’t have to use them to say things to their uncles and aunts that you are too afraid to say to your cousins. Kids should be participating, but they shouldn’t have to lead this. That they are thrust into leadership is a failure of the adults.

America needs a better class of adults.


On a National Suicide Path

By Mark Naison (February 16, 2018)

The way I see it, this country is on a suicide path.

First of all, the people shaping education policy in this country, during the last twenty years, have done everything possible to create more wounded children like Nikolaus Cruz;

They have deluged schools with standardized tests that squeeze every ounce of joy out of classrooms;

To pay for the tests, they have cut back on counseling, libraries, the arts, sports, physical education, all activities where young people in trouble can find refuge or a place to express themselves;

They have deprived more and more students of meaningful social interaction, either with teachers, or one another, by having them sit in front of computers all day;

They have adopted zero-tolerance disciplinary policies and throw out students who cannot adopt to the test and punish regimes that dominate more and more schools.

The result: more and more students who have emotional issues or learning disabilities who are given little support, little mentoring, and few outlets for their emotions or talents, and are pushed out or pushed aside.

And then, if they are angry, what is there to greet them?

Easy access to drugs.

Easy access to guns, including assault weapons.

We are creating an army of outcasts and then arming them to the teeth. And unless we do something about both issues–a rigid, test driven education system, and easy access to guns–we are going to see more and more acts of terrifying violence in our schools and communities.


Why Don’t the Names of Gun Manufacturers Make the News?


By Christian Matheis (October 5, 2015)

“He patted the thing he wore on his belt, a metal object like a deformed penis, and looked patronizingly at the unarmed woman. She gave the phallic object, which she knew was a weapon, a cold glance.”  The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Le Guin Continue reading “Why Don’t the Names of Gun Manufacturers Make the News?”