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OJ Simpson and the moral bankruptcy of society
By Ray Hanania
When I was young, the world was a scary place. The Soviet Sputnik was flying over our heads menacingly as we hid under varnished wood school desks.
Drifter Richard Speck tortured, raped and murdered eight student nurses down the street from where I lived on Chicago’s South East side.
Racial tensions pushed a car filled with Black teens to beat me up one morning when I was hitchhiking to get to Rainbow Beach.
It was the same racial tensions that pushed a White commander in the Evergreen Park police department who screamed as he dragged me two blocks to the bus stop that he “didn’t move into this neighborhood just so some [n-word]” could ruin it. I never knew there were so many synonyms for the n-word as he held me at the corner of Utica and 95th Street until the bus heading east arrived. He ordered the driver to take me back to my “jungle.” But I lived west, in Burbank, the “suburb” where we moved to get away from it all.
Television was a place where you could go to hide from the horrors of the world. These days, TV scares the living heck outta me.
TV has taken all the fear from the criminal reality and ugliness of our society and brings it into our homes in a constant barrage of murder, mayhem and moral bankruptcy.
News is driven by horror stories. “If it bleeds, it leads.” Six people in one Gage Park family brutally butchered a few weeks back. And that wasn’t even the worst of it. Gangbangers, drug dealers and knife wielding degenerates walk our streets, gunned down by angry Chicago police officers.
Do you notice how excited TV anchors become when they break the big, goring story? They can’t suppress the excitement.
On top of it all, I have to listen to all the presidential candidates call each other names, because name calling apparently is the only way that people running for president can get votes in this country. Don’t just blame Donald Trump.
No wonder we have problems with bullying in our schools!
I’ve managed to put a lot of this aside over the years as I battle the challenges and discrimination society places on Baby Boomers and seniors.
But it all came back as I watched the FX TV series about how O.J. Simpson, a black athlete who was as far away from the Black community as anyone could be, became the symbol of anti-White racism. He was given a pass for murdering his White wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her White friend, Ronald Goldman.
“The People V. O.J. Simpson” was far worse than the actual crime because it exposed the moral bankrupt of the system that we didn’t see, making Simpson’s attorney Johnnie Cochran so much worse than he was even portrayed. How easily Cochran manipulated a racist jury to side with the killer. One Black juror gave Simpson the Black Power clenched fist salute after finding him not guilty.
It made me sick.
Of course, if things weren’t bad enough, TV is occupied by the big bad corporate conglomerate, Comcast – Xfinity, which pumps us with a steady stream of mass murder, mayhem and moral bankruptcy. I pay for it, of course. I write a check for it every month. The cost of Cable is my biggest utility, next only to the cell phone.
Yet it doesn’t stop there. My new fear is just as the Chicago Cubs clinch the World Series, they’ll be taken hostage by terrorists.
“Oh, the Humanity,” a reporter once cried as the Hindenburg sank in a ball of flames. That and everything else.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
This post has already been read 108 times!
Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.
Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.
Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com