On Chattanooga – I’m just observing, I’m just asking!

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In the realm of sheer evilness, one could declare June, infamously, as Charleston’s “Dylann Roof Month,” and for all the wrong reasons. And based on more evil in the form of the senseless murders in Tennessee yesterday, once could similarly, and again for all the wrong reasons, declare July as Chattanooga’s “Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez Month.”

I’m just observing.

Although there are others, this tragedy is an undesirable link that connects these two fine American cities, Charleston and Chattanooga, separated by 425 miles.

Now much to the relief of some and the chagrin of others, yesterday’ senseless slaughter served to take Donald Trump, El Chapo, Bill Cosby, the Confederate flag and other so-called “newsmakers” out of the headlines and slap us upside our collective heads with still another reminder of the sick and  violent world we live in.

So like Charleston, its neighbor in the east, for the people of Chattanooga how does a community sooth its wounds? After the politicians, the pundits, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, The National Inquirer, the shiny black limousines and the paparazzi leave town, when does the healing begin?

And for the rest of the world – particularly naysayers, the finger-wagging “I told you so” crowd – the hope here is that you will resist politicizing this tragedy by trying to jam a square peg into a round hole, or connect dots that cannot be connected just to advance your own agenda. Can you please let another hurt city heal. Can you please let a hurt nation heal…again!

I’m just observing. I’m just asking.

Now before you switch the channel back to “The Donald,” “Dr. Huxable,” or flag poles coming down, remember that there are 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide. Hey, that’s 23.4% of the world’s population.

And here’s another poignant reminder: 1.6 billion Muslims did not kill those four Marines in Chattanooga; one sick person, Mohammad Youseef Abdulazeea,did!

I’m just observing. I’m just asking.

And now, I’m just praying.

(c) Terry Howard is an award-winning writer, story teller and trainer based in Douglasville, Georgia. He can be reached at wwhoward3@gmail.com

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