No justice in fight against crime in Van Dyke conviction

No justice in fight against crime in Van Dyke conviction
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No justice in fight against crime in Van Dyke conviction

Two issues continue to bother me. The first is the imbalance and lack of justice in the prosecution of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, and the lack of attention to the criminal behavior of the victim Laquan McDonald. The second is the increasing amount of products manufactured by China that are sold in the United States. More than 85 percent of toys sold in America are made in China. We need to change our tariffs and trading practices

By Ray Hanania

I have mixed feelings about the conviction of Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer who killed 17-year-old “student” Laquan McDonald.

It’s offensive to me that the entire focus has been on Van Dyke and that McDonald was made to look like a Saint. As tragic as it might be, the 17-year-old was wielding a knife, vandalizing police vehicles, threatening police and acting like he was on drugs. Turns out he was on PCP.

This entire tragedy could have been avoided if McDonald had just dropped his weapon and listened to police.

But unfortunately, communities plagued by high crime rates, don’t seem to listen to the police. Many in those communities don’t do much to confront the crime.



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10-11-18 Hanania column Van Dyke China

10-11-18 Hanania column Van Dyke China

I read columns sympathetic to McDonald argue that he was raised by a single mother in poverty and in the poor neighborhood and bad environment. There just are not enough public services to help them, writers have claimed.

Well, McDonald’s mother may have been alone in trying to raise her son. But after he was killed, she was surrounded with people who suddenly showed up to offer sympathy and support. They got a lot of press. Their protests helped force Chicago to pay McDonald’s family $5 million in a civil settlement.

While we spent a lot of time focusing on what Van Dyke did wrong, in an extremely dangerous, life-threatening job, not enough was put into the role McDonald played.

Van Dyke fired too many shots. Other police officers were there and did not fire. Those are real problems.

But what about the drugged-up knife-wielding suspect who became the victim? And what about his family?

Parents of children who break the law should be punished for the criminal actions of their children. They shouldn’t be rewarded.

I don’t know why anyone would want to be a police officer in Chicago at all. It’s a thankless job and teaches you to hesitate before you go into a dangerous situation. Clearly, no one in a crime-ridden community will have your back in struggling to protect them.


Think of Tariffs as an Intervention.

More than 85 percent of all toys sold in America, are made in China.

But it’s not just Toys. China sells more than $500 Billion of product to the United States each year but less than 40 percent was subject to Tariffs.

As of September 2014, foreigners owned $6.06 trillion of U.S. debt. That’s nearly half of the average American public debt of $12.8 trillion, and one-third of the debt held by American corporations of $17.8 trillion. As of 2018, the largest holder of foreign debt is China.

In China, children under 16 are forced to work 28 days each month, and they are not paid until the end of the month, usually working in clothing factories on sewing machines, or in manufacturing companies where their little fingers are needed to put tiny pieces together in electronics, plastics and more.

China has 1.4 billion people and it needs to create jobs. They do that by exploiting its population, paying paltry sums of pennies for the same work that people in America demand. Chinese eyebrows must rise when they hear Americans complain about raising the minimum wage to $15. Many of the children in China who produce the products we purchase make less than a few dollars each week.

The truth is America is mortgaged to the hilt with China. They practically own us. So, I am not so angry with President Trump trying to change that huge imbalance. I also know that trying to change that won’t be easy, just like a drug addict trying to stop using drugs.

Buying products from China is like a drug. It will be painful for many to break that habit, but it needs to be done. We have to take back this country, and impose our sense of morality on countries like China. We shouldn’t be enabling China to expand its industry and profit on the backs of little kids.

Why do you think they profit so much? The profits don’t go to the children or the poor in China It goes to the government, which owns many of the businesses.

I know that when I go to a store and see a label that says a product was “Made in China,” I put it back on the shelf. I refuse to buy it. You should refuse to buy it, too.

(Ray Hanania is an award-winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and political columnist. His personal website is Email him at

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

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, Hanania 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. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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