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Differences in how people react to homicides in Chicago vs a wealthy suburb

The recent mass shooting in Highland Park only reminds us how different gun violence and homicides are viewed, discussed and perceived in the public and mainstream news media when compared to the greater and everyday violence that consumes Chicago and Cook County. A lot of it has to do with racism. Racism against Blacks and racism against Whites. One day we will address crime for what it is rather than as an issue for partisan political exploitation

By Ray Hanania

Among the many principles that the tragic murders on July 4th of seven people in Highland Park demonstrate, it is that homicides are perceived differently and depends on a wide range of factors that include race, politics and issues.

The after-response in the Highland Park massacre focused on the need for greater gun control and the harshest possible punishment for the suspects.

But, when mass murders take place in a collective manner, as they do every week in the crime-plagued city of Chicago, the issue is more about race, police and protecting the offenders.

Maybe we should pause to define this homicide phenomena.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on UnsplashPhoto by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

When one person kills many, it’s a mass shooting. The question always becomes “How did the killer get his gun?”

When many people are killed by one or more suspects over a period of several days, the definitions are blurred and instead the focus shifts to the police and their actions.

During the 4th of July weekend in Highland Park, seven people were killed at a parade and at least 30 people were injured.

In Chicago, over the same 4th weekend of July, eight people were shot and killed and 68 were injured.

Not much was reported about the Chicago murders and violence, and there was much to report. One of the Chicago victims was only 4 years old.

Is the difference about race? Race plays a big factor in how homicides are covered. When a Black street gang member is shot refusing to surrender his weapon to police, often while they are on drugs, the police are blamed. Media coverage portrays the victim in a photo, usually in his graduation cap and gown.

But we don’t really read much more about them, and few people tend to ask why the parents were not more involved in the killings.

In the case of the Highland Park shooting, the killer was white.

In the Uvalde shooting in Texas where 19 children and two teachers lost their lives, the shooter, Salvador Ramos, was Hispanic.

The community response is also a factor. I don’t know why Chicago residents in communities where violence is an everyday occurrence, don’t do more to stop the violence.

They don’t speak out against the shooters as vociferously as the residents of the far wealthier Highland Park community is doing.

The response in Chicago usually involved activists protesting against how the police handle the shootings of gangbangers there. But no one points a finger at the responsibility of parents, or, more often the case single parent, usually a mother.

THE POLITICAL GRAPEVINE: Petitions are circulating to have former Congressman Dan Lipinski run as an “independent” in the Nov. 8, 2022 general election. But the laws are very clear blocking anyone who ran or voted in the Primary from running as an Independent in the General Election. Lipinski did not run in this last Democratic primary, which Sean Casten won’t over Marie Newman (who beat Lipinski in 2020). Dan told Politico Playbook columnist Shia Kapos (her column is must-read) that he voted in the June 28, Democratic Primary. Even if he could run, a Lipinski candidacy would selfishly damage Democrats and help far right extremists like Keith Pekau to make the 6th District part of his Conservative cult. Running would only damage Dan’s political reputation. He’s a good person who needs better advice.

COOK COUNTY GOP clown Sean Morrison exploited the sudden and tragic death of Congressman Sean Casten‘s young daughter on Twitter to make some stupid point about gun control. Morrison’s continued reprehensible conduct is dragging the Cook County Republican Party down. Twitter followers are urging Morrison to resign … videographer, journalist Steve Neuhaus launches a new online video business feature focus at OrlandParker.comHassan Nijem and the American Arab Chamber of Commerce AACCUSA.org launches the “Taste of Arabia Showcase” August 9 to at Tannour Shawerma & Bakery6699 Lincoln Ave, Lincolnwood, to celebrate Arab owned businesses that are under siege from the likes of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

TWO GOOD PEOPLE running for Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias other Dan Brady, though I think Giannoulias has the edge. The SOS has so many problems from broken websites to inaccurate information, to outrageously rising costs, service reductions, and staff unresponsiveness at its main offices. Thankfully, the SOS has satellite offices in the burbs which I hope are expanded. … Disappointing Candidacies: How come no one is speaking to the problems facing Senior Citizens, Baby Boomers and elderly? They need attention… Bill Lipinski and I discussed the Highland Park massacre on our podcast TwoGuysonPolitics.com, and speak to growing hatred against America and the Constitution this week; and this week we discuss with guest Burt Odelson the issue of the 2nd Amendment and the context in which it was originally adopted back in 1791. A lot has changed since then.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter. A political analyst and CEO of Urban Strategies Group, Hanania’s opinion columns on mainstream issues are published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group in the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers. His Middle East columns are published in the Arab News. For more information on Ray Hanania visit www.Hanania.com or email him at [email protected])


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Ray Hanania Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.

Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Hanania was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.

Email Ray Hanania at [email protected]

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