January 17, 2012 in Blog
Since the late 1990s and the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report, there has been the popular view that the head of the monster of racism in British society has been exposed and that the nation and its institutions are at last both aware and free of the perniciousness of racism.
Curiously, the conviction last week of Gary Dobson and David Norris has earned the Metropolitan Police many plaudits in an ever widening number of circles. Yet, despite the Lawrence’s herculean struggle since 1993, this is a case of ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ in more ways than one. Let us hope that the other killers of Stephen Lawrence will be brought to justice in his parents’ lifetime.
One of the dangers of locking in on a murder such as Stephen’s and on the Lawrence’s indomitable struggle for justice is that one murder becomes a ‘cause celebre’ and defines the state’s and the country’s attitudes to the outrage itself and to those centrally involved in it. We need to remember, as the Institute of Race Relations points out, that there have been 96 racist murders since Stephen Lawrence was so savagely knifed to death in 1993. Only a handful of those have had campaigns organised to secure justice and bring their murderers to book. The nation does not know of the 96 or of how the police failed their families just as they did the Lawrences. Read the rest of this entry →