The latest Stephen Lawrence case has finished and his murderers are going to be sentenced shortly. Great, let’s get this over and done with and get it out of the news.
It is because of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry that an accusation of racism when committing a crime automatically makes that crime worse than if it was committed against a white person. It is because of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry that the police have to consult “the community” if they want to do anything that specifically targets members of an ethnic minority – even if that something is a terrorist raid. It is because of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry that black police officers have special status and are fast-tracked for promotions to fill diversity quotas. It is because of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry that police are criticised for stop and search statistics that show them disproportionately targeting black people despite said statistics proving that black people commit a disproportionate number of crimes.
The two people who murdered Stephen Lawrence were wrong and committed the ultimate crime but why is there this fixation on it being racially motivated? So what if they killed him because he was black? If they’d killed him because he was short or because he had brown eyes then it would have just been a “normal” murder, their prejudice against short people or people with brown eyes wouldn’t have even been mentioned or if it was mentioned it would probably only be to prove that they were mentally ill. Murder is murder, it is the worst crime you can commit and it doesn’t matter whether your motivation is the victim’s colour, religion, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality or any other prejudice – it’s just murder.
I’ve no doubt that racism existed in the police before the Stephen Lawrence inquiry and I have no doubt that it will continue to exist long after I’ve shuffled off the mortal coil. The Stephen Lawrence inquiry undoubtedly did some good in tackling it but it’s done a lot of harm as well. It’s put ethnic minorities on a pedestal where the law is concerned and the police spend an inordinate amount of time pandering to over-sensitive “community leaders”. The special treatment ethnic minorities get at the hands of the police does nothing to promote community cohesion, it just causes more racial tension.
The pair got minimum sentences of 15 years, 2 months and 14 years, 3 months. The judge sentencing them said that he was handing down long sentences because it was a racist crime despite the fact that they were supposed to be sentenced as if they were teenagers (which they were when the murder was committed) and under the guidelines in place at the time which didn’t impose extra punishments for racially-motivated crimes.
Thirteen years ago, before the Stephen Lawrence inquiry published its findings, everyone was equal before the law regardless of their race, colour or ethnicity. This is no longer the case and that isn’t a positive thing. If a crime is committed against me then it’s not right that the same crime committed against someone else with different colour skin to me is automatically considered worse and the perpetrator more severely punished if they did it because of the colour of that person’s skin.