ADR Advisor Terry Howard is an award-winning writer and storyteller. He is also a contributing writer with the Chattanooga News Chronicle, The American Diversity Report, The Atlanta Business Journal, The Shenandoah Valley Hit, BlackMarket.com, The Echo World, the Appreciate You Magazine, The Valley Trail and co-founder of the “26 Tiny Paint Brushes” writers’ guild, and recipient of the 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Leadership Award.
Okay readers, ready yourselves for another entry into the You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – Chronicles of the Asinine. Have an extra strength Excedrin or shot of Bourbon within reach. You may need it.
You see, before the ink was dry on recent news about the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, nitpickers from the peanut gallery began pointing blame to the latest boogey man…. “Woke.”“Woke” flooded the news recently, drowning out coverage of NCAAP basketball tourneys, Ukraine and pending indictments.
My three granddaughters are, respectively, age 12, 5 and 3. They are also Black and beautiful. I start with that as a link that to what I’m about to write about; something personal, very personal.
You see, I’m ticked off to report that we have still another addition to the umpteenth volume of our “You can’t make this stuff up folks” collection, our chronicles of the asinine. Our latest entry comes from Caldwell, New Jersey courtesy of some “racially nearsighted” dude by the name of Gordon Lawshe.
That’s the harrowing question that survivors of Tyre Nichols, a lanky 145 pound 29-year-old late – I repeat, late – father of a 4-year-old must answer. The other critical question is when will this senseless wiping out of Black people in America come to an end? Unfortunately, the answer to the latter question answers itself. You cannot erase history, can you?
So here we go again with another exhausting chapter in the convoluted history of race in the good ole USA. As the late civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer famously said, “we’re sick and tired of being sick and tired!”
Hey readers, with African American history top of mind, does the name “Barbara Johns” ring a familiar bell with you? If not don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. You see, when African American history comes up there are two realities; first, it gets compressed into February (or recently Juneteenth) and, second, it typically cites the well-deserved names as its founder Carter G. Woodson, Dr. Charles Drew, Rosa Parks, George Washington Carver, W. E. B. DuBois Dr. King and others. So, I figured that perhaps the Barbara Johns’ story of profound unprecedented courage, the focus of this narrative, may pique your interest.
But first for context, consider the following imaginary scenario.
Doggonit Ron DeSantis, so-called “governor” of the great state of Florida. You just can’t seem to let well enough alone, can you? Your obsessive thirst for power and a move to the White House knows no boundary. Here you go again with another asinine effort to “ban” something, this time the teaching of an AP African American History course to be taught in Florida public high schools.
Now if memory serves me correct, it was not that long ago when you got yourjollies off by banning books and – the absurdity of all absurdities – banning the word “gay.” There’s something pathological sick about your weird penchant for banning stuff.
Kicking off year 2023 by making New Year’s resolutions, although we may not keep them, is no different from what we’ve always done. However, looking back over what some would argue was a tumultuous 2022, it’s not inconceivable for many of us to regret not having said no in some situations and to some people. That may include, for example, a bad loan to someone, allowing inappropriate behaviors, making promises you couldn’t keep, ordering a few extra desserts, taking on unreasonable requests or holding onto personal grudges and toxic relationships. Thus, this being another year for fresh starts, you saying (without regret) “no” will save you some unnecessary headaches.
Here’s my question to the men who are about to read this piece:
Based on what you know for sure, or have been fed by the media about her, if you were to find yourself seated next to Nancy Pelosi on a five-hour cross country plane ride and initiated the conversation, what would you talk about, avoid talking about and why?
So how about I give you, say, one minute to absorb and craft your answer to that question. Go ahead. No, wait, on second thought hold off on your answer until the end of this narrative.
This picture is a replica of the one from a remote spot in a parking lot across from a local Walmart. Until recently, that spot was occupied by a blue pickup truck with watermelons for sale on the back. I’ll get to the story behind that photo momentarily.
But first, let’s go to Marriam-Webster for a definition of the word “regret,” the crux of this narrative and for my fair-minded readers, something to think long and hard about when reexamining your life.
“Regret is a feeling of sadness or disappointment about something said or wrong about a mistake you made and wish you could have done differently or better.”
Apparently my recent, “The Lifelong Regret,” touched (and torched?) a few raw nerves. Proof positives are the many lengthy phone conversations on the topic of “regret” that made me cringe at the thought of the size of my next phone bill.
You see, some conversations were longer than I anticipated since I’m not skillful at effectively hinting, “hey, gotta go.” And others were of the brief “sorry but I don’t want to talk about that stuff,” category.
I can’t keep up with bad behaviors by men nowadays – not all men before you lapse into cardiac arrest in anger at me – but those dudes who can’t seem to deal with their demons, fears, mental illnesses and hatreds in ways other than through the barrel of an AR-15.
So was it not men who flew planes into the World Trade Center, the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon on 9/11? Was it not the “Alt Right” men who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 protesting the removal of the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee that led to at least one death and scores of injuries?
Was it men who murdered nine church parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015 and who gunned down six Asian women in Atlanta two years ago? Weren’t the gut-wrenching shootings at Texas’s Uvalde’s Robb Elementary School and at the July 4th parade near Chicago committed by men?Was it a demented man who killed 11 worshipers at a Pittsburg synagogue? And more recently, was men who killed six Muslims in Albuquerque, or a man who plunged a knife into the neck of author Salam Rushdie in New York? Continue reading Are Men Necessary? (Part 2) – by Terry Howard→