Very simple words, from an extraordinary woman. Baroness Doreen Lawrence, named as Game Changer of the year on BBC Woman’s Hour. I’ve just finished listening to the podcast and have had to put The Be Good Tanyas on to restore some equilibrium.
My first husband’s mother lived on the estate where Stephen Lawrence was murdered. Driving to see her, my husband told me that it was open knowledge that the five boys, of which only two have ever been brought to justice, had committed the crime. They were known and renown on the estate, but as their families were relatively wealthy, they were never brought to bear. Now I’m writing this, knowing that I was told this. I was not there, I have no foundation for those statements other than driving past the bus stop and being told about it.
Despite the murder happening so long ago, it remains clear in my mind, not least because the family of the poor boy have not stopped pushing for equality and fairness. They are aware that the police who conducted the initial investigation are still in high-powered roles, but due to the way they’re protected by the federation, will not ever admit to, or be punished for the mistakes made in the investigation.
If that wasn’t enough, The Lawrence’s then had to find out their phones were systematically bugged as well. Is it any wonder that such a simple statement ‘I shouldn’t have to keep fighting’ brought so many people to tears, across the world.
I wish that she wasn’t a Baroness. I wish that she had grandchildren playing at her feet. I wish she hadn’t carried the flag at the London Olympics. I wish I didn’t know the name Stephen Lawrence. I wish. But not as much as this gracious woman does.