Happy Stephen Lawrence Day!
Thanks to Conservative prime minister Theresa May, the United Kingdom just “celebrated” its first annual Stephen Lawrence Day, which commemorates the April 22, 1993 murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence by several whites. A witness claimed an attacker called Lawrence the N-word. Police arrested several suspects, but dropped charges for insufficient evidence. Lawrence’s family started a private prosecution, but the suspects were acquitted.
The case was a media sensation. Nelson Mandela intervened. A 1999 public inquiry under a Labour government blamed police incompetence, a failure of leadership, and “institutional racism” for the murderers’ escape. The celebrated “Macpherson Report” on the killing (named for its author William Macpherson) went on to define a “racist incident” as “any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”—regardless of motive. Educational materials for teachers published by the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust explain that the report “led to an overhaul in Britain’s Race Relation Legislation, which created the strongest anti-discrimination powers in Western Europe.” It was the “catalyst for permanent and irrevocable change.”
After a new investigation in 2006, two of Lawrence’s murderers were eventually convicted. There was enormous media coverage (the Daily Mail openly called the suspects “murderers” and dared them to sue), and the abolition of the ancient legal tradition against “double jeopardy.”
Now, everyone is celebrating. The murder, says Theresa May, was a “watershed moment for our country” that “demanded we wake up to the reality of racism.” Home Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted, “It’s crucial we continue to learn the lessons of the past & build a fairer, more inclusive society.” London Mayor Sadiq Khan called on all Britons to “reflect on Stephen’s life and legacy,” noting that the Lawrence inquiry was a “landmark moment in the history of British race relations.”
It was. It began the kind of cultural and racial transformation all too familiar to Americans.
According to Sam Francis, the Martin Luther King holiday marked the moment when Americans no longer understood the United States to be a white country. Conservatives pretend King supported colorblindness, but leftists shamelessly promote his support for socialism and race preferences. Every Martin Luther King Day, we ritually denounce America’s continuing racism and failure to achieve King’s “dream.” We thus condemn rather than celebrate our country.
Stephen Lawrence Day is the United Kingdom’s equivalent. Lawrence’s mother Doreen, who was made a Baroness and sits in the House of Lords, leads the denunciations. The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, she wrote in The Guardian, “has sent out packs to every school in England with teaching materials and practical ideas” that will help students “challenge racism and discrimination and to embrace inclusion.”
The trust has educational materials online, with lesson plans for different grade levels that teach students about “institutional racism.” The trust also bemoans the “post-Brexit rise in racist incidents,” much as American journalists claim there has been a post-Trump “rise in hate crimes.”
“We still have a very long way to go in dealing with racism in Britain,” reads one lesson plan. Americans are familiar with this cliché. Though Her Majesty’s Government criminalizes peaceful speech, arrests dissidents, discriminates against the indigenous white population, and spies on its subjects, it’s not and will never be enough to “deal with racism.” “There’s obviously a great deal more to be done,” agrees Sir William Macpherson.
“There’s always more to be done” because different races do not achieve at equal rates. Stephen Lawrence Day provides another opportunity to demand the impossible and condemn the unfaithful.
Foremost among the unfaithful are the police. For this first Stephen Lawrence Day, police were urged to dedicate “five minutes of their day” to remember the victim. (On Remembrance Day, which commemorates 800,000 British deaths, there is only a two-minute silence.)
Accusations of racism against police continue; Al Jazeera reported disapprovingly that blacks are still more likely to be searched or arrested. The police are also too white. The president of the National Black Police Association, Sgt. Tola Munro, complains of a “lack of representation.” Because of slow turnover, the Metropolitan Police reluctantly reported it may take a century for the proportion of BAME (black, Asian, and minority ethnic) officers to match the BAME share of London’s population. To achieve diversity, Sara Thornton, former chair of the National Police Chief’s Council,” is pushing for “positive discrimination,” meaning anti-white discrimination.
One of today’s awkward truths is that blacks are disproportionately both the victims and perpetrators of the “knife crime epidemic” that last year lead to London’s highest murder rate in a decade. The home secretary wants more stops and searches, but this would be “racist” because blacks are stopped more often.
It’s hard to blame London’s current crime spree on racism, so the victims’ parents won’t be made peers. They’ll be ignored. But Baroness Lawrence can’t be. “We still have some way to go in creating a truly civilised British society that treats everyone with fairness and respect,” she wrote on the first Stephen Lawrence Day.
Her efforts have accomplished the opposite. Today’s multiracial London of stabbings and acid attacks is chaotic and yet repressive. It’s anarcho-tyranny. It’s far from civilized and it’s not even British—and with each Stephen Lawrence Day, it will get worse, because there’s always “more to be done.”