I got a bit upset with the online community – certainly some of whom I regularly engage with, and politically respect – for failing to recognise the gravitas of the successful conviction and subsequent sentencing of the murderers of Stephen Lawrence.
The murder of Stephen Lawrence has become a kind of cultural shorthand for racism; both social and institutionalised. And to a certain extent, I feel that some people are ‘past’ it. So familiar are they with the story, the injustice and the battle that they are no longer able to properly react. And, in fairness, it HAS gone on for an extraordinary length of time.
On the other hand; there’s youth. A lot of people on social network sites and forums, weren’t born when Stephen was murdered. And are either unfamiliar, or out-of-touch with the impact this case has had on society.
All that being said; what the FUCK are people playing at?
The same youths devoting five tweets a day to the ‘disgusting’ racism exhibited by a wealthy football player, against another wealthy football player during the course of a football match (that is NOT to downplay or reduce that obvious, overt and unforgivable display) have said fuck all, or next to fuck all about a boy with a promising enthusiasm and talent for architecture who was stood at a bus stop and stabbed to death – in seconds – for being black.
Lawrence’s mother, Doreen, has endured 18 years of barbaric legal struggle and has failed at every juncture – aside from this – in order to expose racism in the British Justice System, as well as the basic human right to punish the people who killed her child.
Everybody knows who killed her son.
I got engaged in a petty argument about whether or not people should be watching the match when there was a Panorama TV special focussed on the last year in the life of Doreen Lawrence. I maintain that they shouldn’t.
I’m a red. Liverpool and City are two of our most hated rivals and their play last night was fairly significant to the standing of my football team. But more relevant than an 18 year wait for sentencing? No.
Especially when you’ve spent three months working out the racial undertones within the word ‘negrito’.
Get. To. Fuck.
It’s true that I don’t think justice has been served. There is very little positive to be gleaned from the situation. Knife crime is still prevalent. Young males of all races tied to hatred and violence and anger.
The perpetrators of the murder were working class, disaffected and angry. Society is as responsible for continuing to neglect these sorts of young people, as we are for supporting institutional racism.
Doreen and me are mums. Of males. I do not expect this case to resonate so acutely with everyone.
But let it resonate.