No justice in fight against crime in Van Dyke conviction

No justice in fight against crime in Van Dyke conviction

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

Ray HananiaI 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 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.

A critic of mainstream news media bias, Hanania advocates for peace & justice for Israel & Palestine, & the empowerment of Arabs in America. 

"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."

Click Here to LISTEN to Hanania's live radio show on 2nd Friday every month 7 AM CST. Click here to listen to Ray's Podcasts. 

His columns are archived here. 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

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