It’s been a long time coming but I am hoping that our judicial system is at its absolute best as it hears the case that I hope will bring closure and peace to Stephen Lawrence and his Parents.
I believe that no Parent should ever have to bury their child but in this case it happened. The death of Stephen Lawrence sparked a massive debate about racism in our country, believe me some people still share the views of his alleged killers and the recent episodes in football tell us that we can never be complacent in these matters.
As a young boy who moved from Mile End, Stepney in the East End of London to North Chingford in 1977, it was here that I first experienced racism. Walking along Station Road a grown man spat in my face and told me in no uncertain terms that I did not belong here. School was no better in that I was one of 3 young people who had a different tone of skin colour to the majority. This experience has stayed with me but I have used it in a positive way to shape the person that I am. In many ways it has made me focused, determined and ambitious to succeed.
As a society we still have a lot to do and as Parents we need to teach our young that discrimination in any form is unacceptable. It doesn’t matter if you are black, white, brown, gay or straight, able or disabled, male or female we should treat one another with respect.
As I have grown up society has become more tolerant of others, the ability to travel the world has become affordable to many and people are open to other cultures, there are more mixed marriages all of which are good things. However we still have a long way to go and we all have a part to play.