All posts by Terry Howard

© 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.

On rustic church pews – by Terry Howard

If ever there was an eye-catching picture, this one fits the bill.

You see, a fellow I grew up with in a small town in Virginia posted it on Facebook. I’m not sure of its source or time, but think that maybe it was sometime in the 40s or earlier. Who knows for sure?

Okay, I admit to having lost count of the number of times I’ve looked at it, and am doing so right now as Juneteenth is in the spotlight. However, to get other reactions I randomly shared it with several folks.
Continue reading On rustic church pews – by Terry Howard

Georgia Election: Herschel, really? – by Terry Howard

Dashing, handsome, chiseled, thick necked and all, at age 60 it looks like Herschel Walker could still blast off left tackle for a first down in an Orange Bowl. But when he opens his mouth lately you freeze, not because of his Southern drawl but what flows out in a mess of confusion, ignorance, untruths, gobbledygook and Lord knows what else.

And here’s the kicker: he has a darn good chance of getting elected the next senator from Georgia. Really.

Now if you find yourself in the exclusive company of folks who look like you and him when he opens his mouth, “c’mon bro, you gotta be kidding,” clearly too many blows to the head,” or stuff unprintable is your likely reaction.

Now I admit that I don’t know what to make of today’s version of Herschel Walker the ex-football player and today’s senatorial candidate.

Well, okay, that’s not altogether true.

For me there’s two versions of Walker; the record-setting running back on one hand, and the bumbling politician from Georgia – or Texas? – on the other. There’s a danger in blurring the lines, connecting the two versions with the assumption that the former is a precursor to the latter.Do great athletes always make great politicians? That question just answered itself, didn’t it?

Hold on, let me get this said before the “Dawg darts start flying my way.

I’m a huge fan of the championship Georgia football team. Watching them take down Alabama got me off the couch high fiving around the TV screen.

And let me be even clearer. I was also a huge fan of Herschel Walker the football player but these days not so with him as a politician based on what I’ve heard him say lately. More on the contemporary Herschel Walker shortly.

You see, like Herschel, there was another Heisman winning running back out of the University of Southern California decades ago (I won’t pollute this narrative with his name). Like Walker, that football player had a documented history of domestic abuse against women. So are we asked to overlook the allegation that Walker abused women, and once pointed a gun at his ex-wife, because he rattled of a 75-yard touchdown run against Florida?

Sorry folks but I have a strong distaste for domestic abusers, including Heisman trophy winners.

Back to today’s Walker who is as adept at avoiding the truth as he once side-stepped would-be tacklers on the gridiron. I mean – hold your breath now Walker actually said that former President Trump never said that the election was stolen from him.

Really Herschel, really? Do we believe you or our lying ears?

And, Heaven help us, there’re more Walker jaw droppers. You may need a “mumbo jumbo” interpreter and a shot of Bourbon to figure it all out:

Jaw dropper #1: He challenged the theory of evolution. His claim is that if evolution is true, why do apes still exist?

Jaw dropper #2: He claimed that he had a cure for COVID in the form of a dry mist that you walk through.

Jaw dropper #3: He claimed then later denied that he said that he was in the top percent of his graduating class at the University of Georgia.

Jaw dropper #4: When asked if new gun laws should be enacted in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas shootings, his reply was “What I like to do is see it and everything and stuff.”

The following day and asked a similar question:

“Well, you know, it’s always been an issue, because as I said earlier on, they want to score political points. People see that it’s a person wielding that weapon, you know, Cain killed Abel. And that’s the problem that we have. And I said, what we need to do is look into how we can stop those things. You talk about doing a disinformation. What about getting a department that can look at young men that’s looking at women, that’s looking at their social media? What about doing that, looking into things like that, and we can stop that that way?”

Wooh Wee!

Now despite all this and more, Walker easily defeated his opponents by blowouts in the primary by skipping the debates with them and appearing exclusively in controlled events with softball questions like “how did you feel during your 85-yard touchdown scamper against Tennessee?”

His Democratic opponent, Raphael Warnock, has proposed a series of three debates with Walker who has said he will debate Warnock but  hasn’t said how many times (brace yourselves for Jaw dropper #5 folks).

So fresh off winning his primaries, and ending his bromance with Donald Trump, “Dawg” Walker recently griped about how Trump is falsely taking credit for his primary win.

“One thing that people don’t know is President Trump never asked me to run. So, I’m mad at him because he never asked, but he’s taking credit that he asked,” Walker said.

Okay, enough is enough. The thought of Herschel Walker as a senator deciding and voting on complex domestic and global issues facing the nation today is as terrifying as him in the cockpit flying me to visit my new grandson in California.

But in the United States of America, stranger things have happened, huh?

My letter to Payton the gunman – by Terry Howard

Dear Payton “Gunman” Gendron:

Okay, you don’t know me and until a week ago, I didn’t know you. 

But since you disrupted my life when you snuffed out the lives of 10 African American people in Buffalo, I decided to write you a letter.  I included pictures of your victims in my first draft but removed them because they were too painful to look at. Why the pictures? Well because I wanted you to see them in your worst nightmares during your years behind bars. 

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 Are Men Necessary?  – by Terry Howard

On my way out of a local fitness center, I happened across a used book dispenser and, like I always do, peered inside. The cover of one of those books, “Are Men Necessary?” by Maureen Dowd was indeed an attention getter if ever there was one. Although I was amused by it, some may find the book’s title off putting. Yes, I get that. 

Which brings us to the issue of men these days – more to the point, arguments for and against the “necessity” of men as Dowd put it. 

Let’s start by applying the (non-procreation) “necessity” test to a partial list of “men” as we think about the behaviors of some (note that I didn’t say “all”) men these days.

Continue reading  Are Men Necessary?  – by Terry Howard

Political Commentary #1: Vernon Jones – by Terry Howard

“Black Donald Trump!”
C’mon Vernon, really? 

Terry Howard
ADR Advisor Terry Howard

Vernon Jones and I are both African American. The only other thing we have in common that I’m aware of is that we are both graduates of HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) colleges 80 miles apart in North Carolina. But it is on those two facts that our similarities end. Period, I must add!

The truth is that I’ve observed Jones over the past few years more out of curiosity turned mild amusement, turned comedic relief, than anything else. As with many politicians, when it comes to party affiliation and loyalty it is often political opportunism more than anything that explains their behavior. “Political chameleons” is one way to define them. So, it comes as no surprise to me that Jones, once a democrat is now a republican. Blind ambition can do that to a person.

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African American History Month: what else don’t we know? – by Terry Howard

Terry Howard
ADR Advisor Terry Howard

This piece explores another African American bit of history. It is about John Lewis and James Zwerg.

Like many, I would love to have been a proverbial “fly on the wall,” listening intently to candid conversations between those two men. Of course, we –well, most of us anyway – know about the late congressman John Lewis. But James Zwerg?

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Hey, I’m Alive! – by Terry Howard

Terry Howard
ADR Advisor Terry Howard

Believe me, it wasn’t easy but I took a deep breath and returned to an eerie intersection, the scene of a nearby church and scene of my auto accident four years ago.

Like back then, a motor cyclist pulled out in front of me, this time from a nearby gas station and thankfully with an entirely different result. He sped off and I, shaken by the coincidence, pulled into that church parking lot to catch my breath and reflect on what just happened, what could have happened and what happened back then.
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Alas, poor Mitch – by Terry Howard

Hold up! Did Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell say what I thought he said?” rhetorically asked columnist Jonathan Capehart.

Well, yes, Jonathan, your ears didn’t lie. You heard what you heard. And if you are any person of color, neither did it come as a surprise.
Now as much as I’d like to cut McConnell some slack because of his “caught with his pants down” moment, I couldn’t resist the opportunity. In case you missed it, here is what he said when asked about concerns about voter participation by African Americans:

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Voices of Asian American Women – by Terry Howard

Reports are that there are over 23 million Asian Americans living in the United States. Other reports are that over the past year, there are at least 4000 reports of various forms of harassment, including assaults, directed against Asian Americans in the United States. And tragically, during recent shootings in Georgia, eight lives were snuffed out, among them six Asian women. These are the facts.

So I begin this by introducing you to incredible Asian American women – Wei Wei Jeang and Lisa Ong – long-time friends of mine during the years I lived in Texas. Not only did I want to check in on the well-being of Wei Wei and Lisa, both outspoken and strong advocates of equality and fairness, I wanted to get their thoughts on what’s been happening to Asian Americans over recent years. I’ll begin with a little bit about their backgrounds.
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Bystanders and the Sergeant Schultz Syndrome – by Terry Howard

Why, in many instances of social unrest, do we look the other way; that we do nothing? But before we offer some possible answers, last week’s rampage in Washington gives us some context, a starting point.

Like millions, I watched in disbelief thousands of “protesters” (or whatever you choose to call them) converge on the Capital building. The images of them scaling walls, overwhelming police and breaking windows while lawmakers cowered in hiding or were rushed out for their safety will be etched into my memory forever.

Continue reading Bystanders and the Sergeant Schultz Syndrome – by Terry Howard