A haunting new music video turns the sequence of events after a school shooting into a predictable cycle of death, memorials and debates that ultimately lead nowhere.
Then, the “most vicious cycle” starts all over again.
“Safe” by Sage, featuring his sister Kesha and rapper Chika and released with March For Our Lives, shows the chain of events as a Rube Goldberg machine, triggered by a series of bullets fired down a school corridor in slow motion.
To amplify the message of the cycle and its predictability, the video repeats two more times:
Sage and Kesha sing:
In a mad man’s world, happens every day
I don’t understand why the rules can’t change
I don’t wanna be a moment of silence
I don’t wanna be an early grave
When I’m walking through the halls
I don’t wanna be brave, I just wanna be safe
March For Our lives was founded by survivors of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead. The organization is urging voters to choose candidates who back gun control laws in next month’s midterm election.
Sage’s YouTube channel said he was a high school senior at the time and wrote the first version of the song in response to the Parkland massacre. He played it for his sister, who “instantly felt the power of the track and wanted to help the cause by lending her voice to the song and movement.”
Kesha also wrote about the song, and her decision to team with March For Our Lives, in an essay for Teen Vogue.
“It’s sad to me that many politicians, pundits and everyday Americans dismiss gun violence, not just mass shootings in schools, as just another part of the culture in our country,” she wrote. “I wish it wasn’t. It doesn’t have to be.”