Saturday, 7 January 2012

Justice for Stephen Lawrence drowned out by Dianne Abbott

This week should have been a celebration of the fact that a young black man, called Stephen Lawrence, and his amazing parents, were finally getting justice. I know some of the lawyers who have fought for over 10 years for justice for the Lawrence family. The decision further reinforces the wonderful idea that the true force of the law will get bad people in the end.

Sadly, this groundbreaking struggle for justice, democracy, persistence and equality has been completely drowned out by the idiocy that is Dianne Abbott, MP, and her ill advised comments on white people and the ability of black people to get a taxi in London.

Put to one side the fact that both her comments this week are racist, in the technical sense of the word, and the likelihood that if a white person had said these things I doubt such a person would still have their job as a shadow spokesman for the opposition.

My biggest concerns arising out of the disaster that has been Dianne Abbott's week are twofold:
i). The drowning of the key message that Great Britain is a genuinely multicultural society. I speak as the ancestor of immigrants. The Lawrence verdict has just demonstrated that killing someone on a lonely suburban London street merely because of the colour of his skin is unacceptable, and that our society agrees with this. Note how BNP support is dwindling not rising in these times.

ii). However, the second message is that we lack good black role models in public life - in a way that America is far ahead of us:
Where is our General Colin Powell?
Miss Abbott is hardly Condeleeza Rice is she?
I hope that this spurs on black children and teenagers to get involved in public service. We need them to show the way.
The papers have mixed views on the affair but probably the best piece is this: