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Rahm Emanuel deserves support to fight violence
SW News Herald Sept. 29, 2016
By Ray Hanania
The crime wave in Chicago is so bad that people don’t feel safe walking downtown any more. This weekend, a 54 year old man was shot in his head twice while walking by Millennium Park. Every day and every weekend people are shot and killed, mainly by street gang members.
Emanuel pleaded to both the citizens of Chicago to work with Police and not give them a hard time as they investigate killings. And he pleaded to the police to not dismiss the needs of the city’s residents.
The truth is most police are good Cops who are trying to do their job in a difficult situation. And many of those suspects killed by police are actual street gang members, only a few have been victims of excessive force and even the racism of a few individual police officers.
Emanuel’s plan is simple.
The first is to increase the city’s police manpower by 1,000 additional police officers.
Chicago needs that and needs it right away.
The second is to toughen laws on the ownership of weapons.
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The third initiative is to launch an $8 million plan to bring more jobs to the economically crippled areas of Chicago where gang violence is at its height, feeding on the despair and suffering of the community.
But Mayor Emanuel can do this on his own. He needs your support. Citizens need to stop their knee-jerk response to news reports about crime and the police need to stop their knee-jerk defense of police officers who violate ethical conduct.
A police officer that wrongly shoots an innocent suspect should be punished and thrown out not only of the police department but also the police fraternity. Stop supporting bad cops!
But the community needs to do the same and they need to stop pretending that many of the victims are innocent teenagers but instead are hardened street gang thugs who bully not only their families and friends but also their neighborhoods.
Street gangs are a plague. They need to be wiped out. Government can’t do that without the help of parents who need to take control and responsibility for the actions of their children.
In several neighboring communities, residents have banded together with their governments to form “Parent Patrols” where parents walk with all the children to school.
Children suspected of street gang activity are sent to police run Juvenile Intervention Programs, not only to identify them as children who need help but to help the children understand why street gang membership is a cancer that will destroy the lives of others along with their own lives.
We need a society willing to courageously standup and call the police when they see street gang members causing trouble or bullying others.
The image of a 71 year old man being attacked, beaten and shot by a man who rode by on his bicycle is disgusting. I bet everyone who knew that suspect knew he was carrying a gun and was a troublemaker. But no one dared to standup to him before he was captured.
Mayor Emanuel’s program will only succeed if every resident in Chicago decides to make a difference. Set aside race and racism. Stop berating the Police as an institution. Recognize that individuals who do wrong are just that, individuals, not symbols of their race or their profession.
Do something to help Mayor Emanuel, Chicago. The suburbs are doing it. Why can’t you?
(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 538 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
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