Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Race, class influence media coverage of violence

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By Ray Hanania

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

The after-response in the Highland Park massacre has 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 crime-plagued Chicago, the issue is more about race, police and protecting the offenders.

RayHanania 1

Ray Hanania

Maybe we should pause to define this homicide phenomenon.

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 murderers over a period of several days, the definitions are blurred. 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. At least 30 people were injured.

In Chicago, over the same 4th of July weekend, 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 black street gang members are shot while refusing to surrender their weapons to police, often while they are on drugs, the police are blamed. Media coverage portrays the victims in photos, usually in graduation caps and gowns.

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

The response in Chicago usually involves activists protesting against how police handle the shootings of gangbangers there. But no one points a finger at the responsibility of parents, or, more often the case of a 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 in 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 over Marie Newman (who beat Lipinski in 2020).

Dan told Politico Playbook columnist Shia Kapos 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 even more.

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.com … Hassan Nijem and the American Arab Chamber of Commerce AACCUSA.org launches the “Taste of Arabia Showcase” Aug. 9 to celebrate Arab-owned businesses that are under siege from the likes of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

TWO GOOD PEOPLE are running for Secretary of State, Alexi Giannoulias and 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 the 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 …

Check out Ray Hanania’s columns and political podcasts at hanania.com.

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