Stephen Lawrence: Triumph of Mother Courage
By Taju Tijani
Happiness and sadness fused together in the post-conviction speech of a tired Doreen Lawrence at the footsteps of Old Bailey where two of her son’s killers were convicted. Doreen Lawrence! What a woman!!! Against all mocking odds, she stood against the tide of time to wrench victory out of the jaw of defeat. The memory of the death of young Stephen kept on reminding her of the battle ahead; it kept on reminding her of an unfinished business, it kept on reminding her that Steve’s stubborn soul will not rest until her murderers are all brought to justice.
Doreen’s initial cautionary step was understandable. For a black woman to take on the might of Scotland Yard and its applauding right wing press and politicians would be more than a Broadway epic. After 18 years of bloody rehearsals, legal chamber strategies, diplomatic inclusion (Nelson Mandela), Steve’s invisible spirit guide and Doreen’s tireless search for the Holy Grail of justice, something resembling a landmark happened. Again, after 18 years, an epic drama initially signposted to flop before a watching but biased audience eventually turned Doreen into a legendary heroine of our time.
Winter may have come with its offerings of cold and withdrawal, but to Doreen, the winter of January 3, 2012 brought a relieved waft of victory. Doreen who had never prepared for turning claimed moral victory against a white society that had always view the loss of Euroafrican lives as worthless and inconsequential. Doreen is an unlikely heroine. The petite, pretty South Londoner is a quiet, law-abiding, respectful and dignified housewife. Neville and Doreen had to inject the ethos of hardwork, honesty and scholarly pursuit in the mind of young Steve.
But Eltham, a leafy South London suburb aborted the dream of seeing their star son graduated as a professional Architect. Five white cowardly rats possessed by demonic Euromanic hate pounced on him. In a mad-dog butchery, in itself a reminiscent of slave raid mentality, the blood of an innocent black youth was shed with savage impunity. Eltham suddenly turned into the ugly rack where Euroafricans receive their regular torture.
In an angry tribute like this, please permit my slippage into tasteless verbal husk. Behind my journalistic licence is a solid kernel of truth. I have always lusted after the reason behind century-long, Eurocentric racial perfidy against the black race. What is our sin to deserve an unconcealed white hate? Each time I tried to plumb the depth of it all, these incongruities keep bubbling up: racial arrogance, savage brutality, divide and rule (Diane Abbot you are spot on) toward conquered and subjugated people, genocide, human cargo of the slave trade, imperial depravity over the lands of other people and control of the very people themselves.
Stephen Laurence assassins – Gary Dobson, David Norris, Jamie Acourt, Neil Acourt and Luke Knight – on that April night of 1993 may have honed their hatred on a convincing conviction of white cultural and racial neurosis. It is a neurosis that has its heritage of blood. It is this: I am a white man, lord of the manor, licensed to kill any ni**er with impunity because my history portrays them as dirty dogs, beasts and savages…
Doreen speech was also studded with scathing backlash against Scotland Yard and Met Police. For any Euroafrican Londoner, the Met Police is the perfect white machine often deployed to contain, confine and oppress these savage aliens in a civilized society. Over a decade ago, Sir William Macpherson’s report rebranded the Met as institutional racist. He was considered a large-mouthed fool. Since then the Met has row backward all the holistic and radical thinking of Macpherson that would have foreclosed injustice, unfairness and disrespect for Euroafricans trapped in this sceptre isle. Rather, Met police masculinity often finds fulfilment in the controversial sus law (stop and search), death in custody, Mark Duggan’s cover-up, heftier sentencing for black convict for same offence committed by white and Asian and the unrelenting criminalisation of Euroafricans at the slightest infringement of the law.
By demonstrating this Amazonian virtue, Doreen has rescued the remains of our fossilized spirit for justice from the black ghetto to which it had been confined. There is no language; no tribute, no epical flourish to illuminate the realities of our new found empowerment when faced with savage butchery of our sons and daughters in the future. Old world racial injustice against Euroafricans must now collapse. Also, the old certainties of our fear for miscarriage of justice from white Judges has to be re-examined.
Doreen’s mother courage with its infusion of calm dignity, perseverance, faith, refusal to be a powerless bystander and lofty moral guidance have all combined to end our sufferance from apoplectic Eurocentric right wingers who see our children as fair target for execution.