Murder trial of Stephen Lawrence exposes deep rooted racism in Britain
The murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993 and his family getting justice after a long wait of 18 years, has once again exposed the presence of racist elements in the British society. Gary Dobson and David Norris have been found guilty of killing British teenager Lawrence after 18 years of long trial.
Dobson and Norris were 17 and 16 years old when they murdered 18-year-old Lawrence due to his black color. The sentences for both convicts in this case would come out today. Stephen''s parents Doreen and Neville wept as the verdicts were delivered and Stephen's mother criticized the original police enquiry, which had acquitted all those who were accused.
The police officers who had initially enquired the murder case had blatantly denied the presence of a race angle in the Lawrence' murder despite of the fact that they recorded the case as a racist act but that remained as a mere procedure. The initial police enquiry in the murder case had been severely criticized by various quarters due to the deliberate stand of the police authorities of not investigating it with a race angle, which was deemed as a defensive move by them, The Independent reports.
The fact that out of the five people who were standing at the Eltham bus stop on that eventful night, only the two black ones (Stephen and his friend, Duwayne Brooks) were attacked clearly implies that it was a racist attack. "The rejection of the race motive was an indicator of something much bigger. Most of white Britain that is, most of Britain was so deeply uncomfortable with issues of race that we tended to pull down the shutters at the very mention of the word," says Brian Cathcart, a professor of Journalism in the Kingston University, London.
"Some of the most memorable moments of the Macpherson inquiry of 1998-99 involved the exploration of denial among police officers involved in the first, failed investigation of the murder. Again and again, in baffling terms, they insisted that Stephen''s race had nothing to do with the crime," he added. "Denial, denial, denial. A race murder had happened and to compound the horror the police were making a dreadful mess of the investigation, but nobody in authority wanted to address the problem, and when Neville and Doreen raised the alarm, Britain''s white establishment told them to talk to the hand," he added.
The verdict has once again brought out the issue of racist elements prevalent in the British industry and if it wasn't for Stephen's parents, whose long struggle had finally brought their son justice, the case would have ever stayed as a mystery.