For those of you who aren't UK natives (or are, but don't watch the news!) here's a quick summary of the Stephen Lawrence case:
He was an 18 year old lad from London, who one day, whilst waiting for his bus, was stabbed by a gang of 5 people back in 1993. The reason? Because he was black.
So his best friend who tried to run away and get Stephen to run away (Stephen didn't want to run away, he tried to stand up against the boys but didn't realise they were carrying knives) called an ambulance and the police. The police arrived on the scene, and instead of trying to stem Stephens two 5 inch deep wounds and reduce the loss of blood, as they should have done, they drove to the local pub to see if anyone knew what was going on, despite Stephens best friend telling them what had happened and in what direction the gang went (the pub was in the opposite direction). He died on the way to hospital.
It took the police 12 days to call in the suspects for questioning, despite Stephens friend and various other locals telling the police who committed the crime. After various trials, the boys were deemed innocent due to lack of evidence (Because of the polices crappy job collecting evidence, witnesses and calling the suspects in for questioning). This continued for about 5/6 years. They were called for trial and acquitted every time due to lack of evidence to hold against them, despite Stephen's best friends testimonies and other the boys characters (they were proud racists).
Now the remarkable people in this story are Stephens parents. Stephens parents took the case privately and never gave up on getting justice for their sons untimely murder by a bunch of racists. They prosecuted privately and accused the police of being institutionally racist.
A new chief inspector in scotland yard took over, and took the case seriously (as it should have been taken in the first place).
Stephen's amazing mum and dad, who never gave up on getting justice, inspired the then Prime Minister, good ol' Tony Blair to change the law....thats right CHANGE the law against double jeopardy. In the past, if you where acquitted from court you could not be prosecuted again. This law was CHANGED, changed so the Lawrence's could attempt to get justice again.
If you haven't watched the news or read the papers about the 5 men accused of this hate crime, you will not fully understand what disgusting human beings they are. Some of the racist things they were caught saying by a hidden cameras about black people where just...disgusting.
Basically, thanks to the amazing development in forensic technology, and the polices changed attitudes in actually trying to get to the bottom of this, two of the five guys were found guilty yesteday: David Norris and Gary Dobson.
It took 18 years for the Lawrence's to get some justice, 18 years.
It took 18 years to solve a crime that could've been solved in less than half the time if the murder victim was white (sad, but true)
The whole point of this post was to state that Stephen Lawrence did not die in vain. His death, his parents fight for justice and the nations backing of these heroes has changed the cultural face of Britain FOREVER. Ethnic minorities are not just second class citizens who do not deserve justice or to be treated the same as others. Britain is now the diverse, embracing, multi-culteral country that it is because of Stephen Lawrence and the legacy he has left behind.
But honestly, the hero's of this story are Neville and Doreen Lawrence, Stephens parents who DID NOT give up. They are true inspirations. They fought and stood up for their sons injustice, and have succeeded (well halfway, theres still 3 to go...).
It took 18 years.....18 years to get some justice.
But i want to say thank you, thank you to Neville and Doreen, who FORCED the police force to sort themselves out and shake out the lazy, bigoted coppers who did not give two shites about this, or any other hate crime, simply because of the colour of the victims skin.
I wonder if they fully understand the cultural impact they've had on this country? Eh, i'm sure someone will right a book telling them they have soon :P
'All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action' Prophet Mohammed (pbuh).
Racism stems from ignorance and lack of understanding, and I think in some respects fear, fear of something that is unknown or unfamiliar to a person......
Either way, if you ever encounter a racist, throw a Bob Marley CD at them and scream 'ONE LOVE, ONE HEART, LET'S GET TOGETHER AND FEEL ALL RIGHT' (then sprint as fast as you can).