By Kai Curry
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
On Tuesday, June 13, Eina Kwon, restaurant owner, mother, wife, Asian, was shot “execution-style” while in the car with her husband. She was 32 weeks pregnant. The shooter, Cordell Goosby, 30, Black, with a prior record, has since been charged with murder.
The shooting has been called “random.” Kwon and her husband were simply sitting at an intersection in Belltown, waiting to turn. Goosby walked up and shot into the driver’s side window. Mother and the child she carried are dead. The husband is injured, but alive.
The letters poured in from city officials, both on the City Council, and from Mayor Bruce Harrell. “Condolences.” “Sorry.” “This shouldn’t have happened.” Hard to tell if the letters were more in response to the event itself or to the recriminations that instantaneously followed. Why was Goosby still on the streets? A convicted felon with a stolen gun. The ongoing war between left, right, and middle over homelessness, drug use, and the power or lack of power of the Seattle police force all rehashed.
I’m so angry I could cry. The only “shouldn’t have” in this situation is the slew of hollow criticisms and the equally hollow promises and expressions of sympathy. Aren’t we all over it by now? The oft repeated (check the comments of any article in the Seattle Times) “this is what the liberals asked for,” “this is what you get if you…” They are correct and they are incorrect. This IS what we get. There is no reality to the phrase, “This shouldn’t have happened.” It’s EXACTLY what was liable to happen based upon the current situation in King County and especially in downtown Seattle. Those snowflake-calling anti-liberals are right about one thing—trying to be nice to everyone is not working. But they are wrong if they think this is what any of us wants.
It was how many school shootings ago when the victims’ families begged, please don’t send us your prayers. Your prayers do nothing. Do something about guns, about drugs, about the anger plaguing our citizens. During COVID-19 lockdowns, in a commendable effort to go easy on folks experiencing hardships, our government officials did that—they went easy. Problem is we are suffering now from a backlash that of course was not intended by anyone with good intentions. But I think the message of the majority of the public is clear—how many people have to die before this is handled? How many honest and hard-working people have to leave Seattle?
I’m saddened that some of these repeated and empty words are coming from people I respect and admire. At a time like this now, after too many times like this, there is nothing to say. NOTHING. There is only action that can help now. Nothing will bring back a dead mother and her dead child. Nothing can put into reverse whatever damage the perpetrator had experienced throughout his lifetime that put him on that corner and shot that gun. I’m not going to speculate. I don’t know why he did it. But was it really “random”? Are we back there now? Back to not saying this was racially motivated? It’s just a coincidence that the Kwon’s…are the Kwon’s?
We are besieged by anger, hate, and killing. People looking out for their own tribe (barely) but not for anyone else. The thrashing of every anti-everything that we’ve been struggling to get heard, seen, and accepted. Race. Gender. Orientation. During this same week, a soccer match between the U.S. and Mexico was shut down due to incessant chanting of homophobic songs (and the usual soccer violence). A few weeks before, a woman in Pierce County was shot in the chest moments after her daughter dropped her off at the homeless encampment where she lived (try to find an article on it now amidst the barrage of related incidents that come up when you do a search). Here came the comments filled with vitriol, which the daughter made the mistake of answering, saying she forgave everyone for their meanness. I don’t. I’m a liberal and this is not what I wanted.
Some years ago, but not that many, I saw a video about the deterioration of downtown San Francisco, a city I’m quite familiar with having once lived just south of there and having a relative that lives and works there now. The video documented the human feces on the streets, among other until then unimaginable deterioration. I prayed, “Don’t let Seattle come to that.” Is the degeneration and decline of our city, our society, our planet, inevitable? Or can we stop this?
Either way, can we please stop the meaningless subterfuge of condolences? If you’re not going to do anything, just shut up. Go to this mother’s funeral and lay down your flowers and cry. Because it’s your fault. It’s our fault. It did happen. And it’s not random.
Kai can be reached at email@example.com.