Cornel West, speaking in the Rainier Valley last month, used the analogy of a musical ensemble for the expression of the beauty and the sorrow and blues of the human experience. Yet throughout the Valley, our city, and the country as a whole, the song has been punctuated in the last month by the discordant sound of gunfire. West decried the insufficiency of identity politics, declaring that pharaoh comes in all colors, and called for meaningful, substantive discussion and social and political change. His presidential candidacy is intended to spark that discussion.
The gunshots provide a strong exclamation point to the socioeconomic, political, and moral crisis which confronts our society at this time. Like the COVID pandemic, the omnipresence of gun violence is affecting all of us, whether we realize it or not. I myself was witness to one of the episodes, ducking for cover for 40 seconds while bullets soared overhead and on both sides.
On Sunday morning, December 13, the Sikh Student Association at UW and Blacklisted Since ‘84 organized an event and march at the Space Needle in downtown Seattle. Nearly 250 people gathered for speeches given in Hindi and English to educate and bring attention to three new farm bills recently approved by both houses of the Indian Parliament and approved by President Narendra Singh Tomar. The three agriculture bills have stirred protests throughout India and around the world. Opponents of the bill believe these new laws are “pro corporate farming” and against small farmers who are the backbone of Indian culture. Speakers included International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS).
The whole thing just kind of snowballed on Ron Chew — the book writing and the running. One day revealed to him a rapturous synergy. He realized that the running — the moving — jarred things in his brain: memories, organization, solutions.
Down the home stretch of completing his book, Chew vowed to run 10 miles. Every morning. Every day, until his book was finished. One day he surmised that 10 miles was so close to a half marathon, he increased his mileage. And then he determined he should do them at a swifter pace.