Regional Web banner January
Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Carjacking should be pol’s wakeup call

By Ray Hanania

A disturbing consequence of the violent and destructive protests after the killing of George Floyd in May 2020 was the far left’s clarion call, including from many African Americans, to “defund the police.”

The call to defund police became a war cry of their movement, and received much political support. The irony is that despite the few, highly publicized police officers who violated their responsibilities to treat citizens fairly, the majority of police are professional and put their lives on the line every day to defend victims of far greater violence.

The defund police movement creates an environment in which police are basically stereotyped. It resulted in passage of Illinois House Bill 3653, which re-enforces rights for criminals and eases prosecutions.

RayHanania 1

Ray Hanania

The hypocrisy of the “defund the police” movement surfaced when one of the loudest advocates of HB 3653, Illinois State Senator Kimberly Lightford, was carjacked in Broadview on Dec. 21.

Three masked criminals driving a Dodge Durango carjacked Lightford as she was driving her black Mercedes Benz SUV in the 2000 block of South 20th Avenue, near Fillmore Street.

I always wanted a Mercedes Benz or other high-end cars, but I can’t afford them. Very costly. But I never considered carjacking as an option, because I am law-abiding.

Lightford and her husband, Eric McKennie, were lucky. They survived the encounter without injury. Lightford reportedly pled with three armed gunmen not to shoot her husband, whom they forced to lie down on the street as they took her purse and car. Friends nearby reported hearing 15 gunshots during the crime.

Lightford is truly lucky because these criminals have found it easy to kill, destroy and do so with impunity, knowing that today’s environment has put the police under public scrutiny and pressure, not the criminals.

I am sure Lightford would like to see the criminals arrested, right? I assume the people who might arrest the criminals, and investigate the crime, are the police.

It’s not so easy when you browbeat police, cut their salaries and funding, and restrict their ability to do their jobs, just to pander to a voter base for an elected official’s re-election.

I think life is more important that popularity or votes. I am happy the senator and her husband were not injured.

In today’s world, criminals “have rights” as codified in HB 3653 that Lightford aggressively fought to pass.

Maybe in her calls to defund police and expand rights for criminals, she means police shouldn’t try to identify her carjackers, or recover her car? Fortunately uninjured, the senator can easily purchase a new one. Don’t defund the insurance lobby, that’s for sure!

To me, police are heroes who put their lives on the line every day to protect law-abiding citizens. HB 3653 empowers criminals and weakens police.

Lightford should urge the repeal of HB 3653 and call for tougher sanctions of criminals, like the ones who put her and her husband’s lives in peril.

The chairman of the Black Caucus and first black Senate majority leader, Lightford called HB3653 “necessary,” saying it would bring “social justice” for the black community. The changes would allow blacks to “reach their full potential.” She said she is “tired of waiting” for change.

On Feb. 11, 2021, Lightford hosted a Zoom conference in defense of HB 3653, declaring, “I am a black woman, mother and wife. And I tell you we are tired of waiting. Black and brown families and black and brown communities still see barricades keeping us out of places they deserve to go. Every generation we see lives lost. People beaten. People shot. People humiliated for no reason other than the color of their skin.”

She added, “I am glad I have lived to see this change.”

Race didn’t stop her from being a victim.

Yes, there are a few bad apples, just like there are a few bad apples in every profession: politics, government and business. Those bad apples should be punished through a fair criminal justice system that isn’t twisted for partisan political and racial reasons.

Too many people I know and many businesses have been the victim of the violent protestors, losing their businesses and being physically attacked.

The way to confront crime is to fund the police even more than we do. Stand by them. Stop bullying and demonizing police. Give them the power to target criminals, regardless of the race. Criminals should be defined as criminals and nothing more.

If it weren’t for the police, all this horrible violence would be even worse.

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

Local News

Justice Police Chief Kraig McDermott (from left), Justice Police and Fire Commissioner Don McGuire, Justice Police Officer Kady Sassenger, and Justice Mayor Kris Wasowicz. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Justice swears in new police officer

By Carol McGowan The Justice Village Board approved the recommendation of the Justice Fire and Police Commission to hire Police Officer Kady Sassenger at its January 10 meeting. Her move from the Coal City Police Department to Justice is considered a lateral move, which means the officer transfers from one department to another for the…

Michael Medeisis chats with village Trustee Norma Pinion after the board promoted himto the rank of fire battalion chief. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Medeisis promoted to fire battalion chief in Bridgeview

By Steve Metsch The Bridgeview Fire Department has a new battalion chief. Michael Medeisis, 55, was promoted from the rank of lieutenant at the Jan. 5 meeting of the Bridgeview Village Board. “Hey, hot diggity dog, we’ve got a great guy (promoted),” village Trustee Michael Pticek said. Trustee James Cecott said the promotion was due.…

Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty congratulates Steven Karasek after he was sworn in Jan. 4 as a commissioner on the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Retired village employee appointed to Lyons ZBA

By Steve Metsch The Karasek family has a long history of working for the village of Lyons dating back decades. And that history is getting a new chapter. Steven Karasek, 60, who two years ago retired after 36 years in the public works department, has been appointed by Mayor Christopher Getty to serve on the…

Diane Merrion (from left), CCFB Ag Literacy Coordinator, Eva Manzke, Teacher of Year Runner-Up, Kevin Dougherty, IL AITC Education Director. (SUpplied photo)

Walker teacher Eva Manzke honored by farm bureau

By Carol McGowan School District 104 teacher Eva Manzke was recently honored by the Cook County Farm Bureau for her work with teaching students about agriculture. Students at Walker Elementary in Bedford Park, and Manzke herself were surprised when Principal Amanda Venegonia said they were gathered to honor Manzke, as she had been selected as…

Argo graduate Tom Diaz at junior college nationals in the final straightaway about 50 meters from the finish line. (Supplied photo)

Moraine Valley’s Tom Diaz earns All-Conference honors

By Carol McGowan Tom Diaz is a freshman at Moraine Valley Community College, and is making big strides with their cross country team. Diaz is also a 2021 graduate of Argo Community High School, and is the first Argonaut to earn All Region honors while pursuing his cross country career. MVCC’s Men’s an& Women’s Cross…

Summit native Flip White is a member of the Harlem Globetrotters. (supplied photo)

Summit native marks decade with the Harlem Globetrotters

By Carol McGowan Saul White Jr., better known as Flip White to basketball fans, has been with the famed Harlem Globetrotters for just over 10 years, and has no intention of stopping the entertainment he provides for his fans. White, who grew up in Summit, attended Wharton School and Graves Junior High (now Heritage) in…

GSWNH_HeavenlySound_012122

A heavenly sound

In what is arguably the most ornate and beautiful house of worship on the Southwest Side—St. Joseph Church in Back of the Yards–the Polonijna Orkiestra Chicago played liturgical music selections last Sunday. Founded in 2011, the orchestra is designed to teach young musicians Polish music and culture. St. Joseph parishioner Konrad Pawelek served as conductor…

Screen Shot 2022-01-14 at 8.10.36 PM

Crime images spark outrage in Gage Park

Robbed at gunpoint in his own garage By Tim Hadac Home-security camera images of a 48-year-old Gage Park man being robbed at gunpoint in his own garage outraged a number of Southwest Siders this week. Images showed the man driving his car down the alley in the 5500 block of South Richmond at about 3:50…

Oak Lawn’s Davion Lawrence (right) led his team with 14 points in a 57-52 victory at Evergreen Park on Thursday. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Here’s the skinny: Trimmed-down Lawrence helps Oak Lawn top Evergreen

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Oak Lawn senior basketball player Davion Lawrence is 45 pounds lighter than he was last season, but insists his eating habits are the same. He has, however, changed up his training habits. Heading into football last fall, Lawrence and a few fellow seniors wanted to get in the best shape…

Former Mother McAuley star Hannah Swiatek (right) smiles and walks off the court with Justene Charlesworth after a recent University of St. Francis victory over Cardinal Stritch. Photo by Jeff Vorva Former Mother McAuley star Hannah Swiatek (right) smiles and walks off the court with Justene Charlesworth after a recent University of St. Francis victory over Cardinal Stritch. Photo by Jeff Vorva

College Report: McAuley grad Swiatek plays hero for St. Francis

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Hannah Swiatek comes off the bench for the University of St. Francis and is averaging 3.1 points per game. But when called on for the biggest shot of her college career, the 5-foot-8 junior guard from Oak Lawn delivered. Swiatek scored the winning basket in a wild 99-97 overtime road…

Neighbors

AladdinsBanquets WebAd
USALiquidators WebAd
Justice Police Chief Kraig McDermott (from left), Justice Police and Fire Commissioner Don McGuire, Justice Police Officer Kady Sassenger, and Justice Mayor Kris Wasowicz. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Justice swears in new police officer

By Carol McGowan The Justice Village Board approved the recommendation of the Justice Fire and Police Commission to hire Police Officer Kady Sassenger at its January 10 meeting. Her move from the Coal City Police Department to Justice is considered a lateral move, which means the officer transfers from one department to another for the…

Michael Medeisis chats with village Trustee Norma Pinion after the board promoted himto the rank of fire battalion chief. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Medeisis promoted to fire battalion chief in Bridgeview

By Steve Metsch The Bridgeview Fire Department has a new battalion chief. Michael Medeisis, 55, was promoted from the rank of lieutenant at the Jan. 5 meeting of the Bridgeview Village Board. “Hey, hot diggity dog, we’ve got a great guy (promoted),” village Trustee Michael Pticek said. Trustee James Cecott said the promotion was due.…

Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty congratulates Steven Karasek after he was sworn in Jan. 4 as a commissioner on the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Retired village employee appointed to Lyons ZBA

By Steve Metsch The Karasek family has a long history of working for the village of Lyons dating back decades. And that history is getting a new chapter. Steven Karasek, 60, who two years ago retired after 36 years in the public works department, has been appointed by Mayor Christopher Getty to serve on the…

Diane Merrion (from left), CCFB Ag Literacy Coordinator, Eva Manzke, Teacher of Year Runner-Up, Kevin Dougherty, IL AITC Education Director. (SUpplied photo)

Walker teacher Eva Manzke honored by farm bureau

By Carol McGowan School District 104 teacher Eva Manzke was recently honored by the Cook County Farm Bureau for her work with teaching students about agriculture. Students at Walker Elementary in Bedford Park, and Manzke herself were surprised when Principal Amanda Venegonia said they were gathered to honor Manzke, as she had been selected as…

Argo graduate Tom Diaz at junior college nationals in the final straightaway about 50 meters from the finish line. (Supplied photo)

Moraine Valley’s Tom Diaz earns All-Conference honors

By Carol McGowan Tom Diaz is a freshman at Moraine Valley Community College, and is making big strides with their cross country team. Diaz is also a 2021 graduate of Argo Community High School, and is the first Argonaut to earn All Region honors while pursuing his cross country career. MVCC’s Men’s an& Women’s Cross…

Summit native Flip White is a member of the Harlem Globetrotters. (supplied photo)

Summit native marks decade with the Harlem Globetrotters

By Carol McGowan Saul White Jr., better known as Flip White to basketball fans, has been with the famed Harlem Globetrotters for just over 10 years, and has no intention of stopping the entertainment he provides for his fans. White, who grew up in Summit, attended Wharton School and Graves Junior High (now Heritage) in…

GSWNH_HeavenlySound_012122

A heavenly sound

In what is arguably the most ornate and beautiful house of worship on the Southwest Side—St. Joseph Church in Back of the Yards–the Polonijna Orkiestra Chicago played liturgical music selections last Sunday. Founded in 2011, the orchestra is designed to teach young musicians Polish music and culture. St. Joseph parishioner Konrad Pawelek served as conductor…

Screen Shot 2022-01-14 at 8.10.36 PM

Crime images spark outrage in Gage Park

Robbed at gunpoint in his own garage By Tim Hadac Home-security camera images of a 48-year-old Gage Park man being robbed at gunpoint in his own garage outraged a number of Southwest Siders this week. Images showed the man driving his car down the alley in the 5500 block of South Richmond at about 3:50…

Oak Lawn’s Davion Lawrence (right) led his team with 14 points in a 57-52 victory at Evergreen Park on Thursday. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Here’s the skinny: Trimmed-down Lawrence helps Oak Lawn top Evergreen

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Oak Lawn senior basketball player Davion Lawrence is 45 pounds lighter than he was last season, but insists his eating habits are the same. He has, however, changed up his training habits. Heading into football last fall, Lawrence and a few fellow seniors wanted to get in the best shape…

Former Mother McAuley star Hannah Swiatek (right) smiles and walks off the court with Justene Charlesworth after a recent University of St. Francis victory over Cardinal Stritch. Photo by Jeff Vorva Former Mother McAuley star Hannah Swiatek (right) smiles and walks off the court with Justene Charlesworth after a recent University of St. Francis victory over Cardinal Stritch. Photo by Jeff Vorva

College Report: McAuley grad Swiatek plays hero for St. Francis

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Hannah Swiatek comes off the bench for the University of St. Francis and is averaging 3.1 points per game. But when called on for the biggest shot of her college career, the 5-foot-8 junior guard from Oak Lawn delivered. Swiatek scored the winning basket in a wild 99-97 overtime road…

House Ad Subscription1
Regional dermatology associates House Ad