National Commemoration of Steven Lawrence

Here goes another rant. I cannot believe the type of ignorance that is continually displayed by individuals who should really know better. These people are in no doubt educated. But as my mother used to say, street wisdom and book wisdom are not the same. This rant comes out of overhearing a conversation about the National Commemoration of murdered London teenager Stephen Lawrence. It seems as though certain individuals cannot pull their heads out of the privilege derriere to consider the pain and struggle the family must have gone through over the 18 plus years to have justice over the racially driven murder of their son. Aside from the complete lack of compassion, it was clear that they lacked information about the events that led up to the decision announced on the 23 Apr 18.

What shocks me the most (although I have experienced enough of these ignorant and privileged conversations to know better) is that the individuals involved were not only mature but had a career that gave them the opportunity to travel and experience life outside of their country. Isn’t travel supposed to open your eyes? One of these personnel has a job that requires them to be culturally aware, literally. The Shock!

As much as much as we are all “entitled to our opinions”, it does not equate to being disrespectful. It is important that we listen not just to have a comeback but to understand.

The Impact of the Case on UK Law

It is 2018, education is at the fingertips of almost every individual. Yet we seem to be further away from wisdom and knowledge of one another. So for the people who clearly do not understand why and what led to the National Commemoration of Stephen Lawrence here are a few reasons why this was done. However, I cannot help but notice the convenience of this announcement after the disgraceful Windrush situation. Just like David Lammy said “if you lay with dogs you get fleas”

  1. This case was a cause celebre and one of the highest profile racial killings in the UK history.
  2. This case also contributed to the cultural changes within the police departments and attitudes towards racism, the law of police practice.
  3. It also led to the partial revocation of the double Jeopardy laws.

It took them over 18 years, 18 years before only two of the five suspects were convicted of his murder.  As well as this, the police department instead of focusing on the suspects chose to waste resources to smear the name of the family. Just for one moment, put yourself in the shoes of the parents and tell me that this is OK.

The Impact of this on Young Adults

Looking ahead, it is important to acknowledge the impact this will have on young adult within the British community and even those across the world. I hope for it to encourage us to speak up on social injustice, using our voices for change. For such a tragedy to fall on the Lawrence family, with sheer determination to remember and uphold the memory of their son, they have been able to gain a positive outcome to help young men within the society through their charity.

Well What About this Person??

For those who are comparing Steven Lawrence murder to Kris Donald. The suspects were caught, investigated and convicted within the space of two years with the trial lasting no more than six weeks. It is explicitly obvious that the same level of care and dedication was not given to the murder investigation of Lawrence. In fact, Lawrence case was likely to remain unsolved had it not been for the parents’ campaign and Nelson Mandela’s involvement.

Someone also asked the question, if he was “white” would he have gotten the same attention twenty-five years later? To this I ask, would it have taken 18 years and two police enquire for the murder investigation to be solved if he was a white Kid killed by a black gang? Would three of the five suspects still be at large twenty-five years later? Would the Metropolitan Police force have wasted money and resources to discredit the family as they did to Mr and Mrs Lawrence? If Steven Lawrence was a white kid, would these individuals be so up in arms about this National Commemoration day? Last but not least, If Steven Lawrence was your child would you be so quick to discredit this decision?

Further Information to Familiarise Ourselves With About This Case

Here are a few things I suggest to those who still do not understand the impact of this case to familiarise themselves with.

  1. The Steven Lawrence Documentary
  2. The Lawrence enquiry carried by Sir William Macpherson (1998)
  3. Seven Seconds (Not related to the Lawrence case but a great watch nonetheless)

It has never been more apparent to me than now how much we lack empathy as a human race. Real and True Compassion causes action. I really would like to advocate that before we make comments on such sensitive situations we really take the time to understand what has actually occurred. Last but not least let us educate ourselves. Ignorance is not bliss after you pass a certain age, it just another way of expressing stupidity. We should all be for Justice no matter who it for or against. This is our community after all.

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