ANALYSIS – Last night, Newsnight sent its reporter to the bus stop where Stephen Lawrence was killed by racists.
He spoke to youngsters – one who was 18, the number of years it has taken police to convict two of the killers, and instantly you were aware of time and how it can pass despite the fact that in a strange sort way it has stood still.
There are now a generation of children for whom the killing of Stephen Lawrence is a story, part of history, even dare I say it a myth.
Were they as struck by the events of yesterday and by the sentencing today – one for 15 years, 2 months, the other 14 years, 3 months – perhaps not.
Does that mean that young Black and Asian children growing up now are any safer from racist attacks – well no, and a conversation with two young men told you all you need to know about Eltham in the year 2012.
As you can probably hear, one young man told the reporter, as we have been talking people have been drving past and shouting things and then you heard someone shout ‘He deserved it’ before speeding off.
Eltham had not changed that much the young men said, and you could tell that was a huge disappointment to them.
Until I heard Doreen Lawrence’s words yesterday, I would have argued that Britain was a better place for someone with colour than it was eighteen years ago.
Now, I am not so sure.
UPDATE .. APRIL 22 WILL BE REMEMBERED AS STEPHEN LAWRENCE DAY, UK PM THERESA MAY ANNOUNCED ON APRIL 23 2018 ..