I've been waiting for someone to call out Chattanooga City Councilman Chris Anderson in the Chattanoogan, but it hasn't happened. It's time that we addressed this elephant in Chattanooga politics.
Shame on Chattanooga City Councilman Chris Anderson for taking a national tragedy and immediately turning it into a partisan and political agenda-driven publicity stunt, accusing totally innocent people and parties for the horrific and heart-breaking events that took place in Orlando.
Unfortunately, that is what Democrats have typically done during such past tragic events. They immediately direct their hate and blame where it does not belong, only to end up with mud on their faces when the facts of these incidents become public and the perpetrators often turn out to be one of their own. One would think they would have learned by now to withhold judgment until they know the story-behind-the-story.
Despite Chris Anderson's offensive and totally unfounded accusations on Day One, we have now discovered that the massacre in Orlando was the work of Omar Mateen, a disturbed, closeted gay Muslim turned radical Islamist. We have also learned that Mateen was a registered Democrat who routinely frequented the same LGBTQ bar where he was known by many and where he decided to exorcise his personal demons. According to authorities, his phone contained a gay dating application and at least one man has reported that he was approached romantically by Mateen in the past.
Chris Anderson needs to acknowledge that all of his politicized accusations were wrong. The perpetrator, Omar Mateen, was not Christian, he was Muslim. He was a closeted member of the LGBTQ community, not heterosexual. He was not a Tea Party member or a conservative/Republican, he was a registered Democrat. And for the record, there is nothing to date that shows that Mateen was ever a member of the NRA, either, but was employed by a well-known federal contractor associated with Homeland Security who was subsequently cleared and licensed to carry concealed and other firearms. (As an aside, he also did not use an "AR-15," which does not stand for "assault rifle" but for the name of the company that created the original military rifle in 1959, which is unlike the civilian version. Instead, he carried a licensed Sig Sauer MCX rifle and one pistol.)
Consequently, Chris Anderson struck out on all counts with his offensive and unfounded accusations. He needs to humble himself, step up to the plate, and issue an immediate apology to this city, its citizens, this state, and to our party representatives for the totally reprehensible and inexcusable accusations that he made before knowing any facts whatsoever.
And he should henceforth hold his tongue and agenda until he gets the "rest of the story," which is the responsible thing for any public representative to do.
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I would have to agree with the comment that Chris Anderson owes the city of Chattanooga an apology for his rogue tweets concerning the Orlando tragedy - but that's the least of what he needs to apologize for.
You only have to attend a single City Council session to assess Chris Anderson's character - or lack thereof. The condescending smirk on his face as he surveys the crowd in the room, the eye rolls when someone is speaking that he doesn't want to listen to, the constant text messaging while council is in session, the snarky comments he makes toward Councilman Grohn... and that's not even opening a discussion about the alcoholic beverages I have personally witnessed (and video'd) that he might consume between a council work session and voting session. All are examples of Chris Anderson's lack of maturity and leadership. I honestly don't know how he believes he might have a future in politics, but I understand from many that know him personally - a future in politics is his ultimate ambition.
I can only suggest that those of us in his district band together for this next election cycle and make a stand for "ABA" - Anybody But Anderson."
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Stay strong, Councilman Anderson. Many of us know where you're coming from. We've lived and survived that road ourselves. Where it's so easy when even a rumor can let loose an unstoppable rage against another person, persons or group. The LGBT community isn't falling for the hype, and neither are most of us.
Stay strong. We love you. We support you. We love our LGBT family, friends and neighbors. We love our Muslim family friends and neighbors. We hurt with them too at this tragic time. If the desire of some was to exploit this tragedy to pit the LGBT community against the Muslim community it seems to be failing. Both, along with other progressive, forward thinking minds, are coming together and reaching out to one another.
"Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again;
The eternal years of God are hers;
But error, wounded, writhes in pain,
And dies among his worshipers....--William Cullen Bryan (1794-1878) Living Lost
"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression." ----Thomas Paine (First Principles Of Government)
Truth is rising and stronger than ever. Feeling the power of the rainbow!!