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article imageMom of victim Stephen Lawrence talks of U.K. race relations

By Marcus Hondro     Apr 21, 2013 in Crime
The mother of a young male murdered 20 years ago in London because his skin was black is still not optimistic about race in the U.K.. Doreen Lawrence, whose son Stephen was killed by 5 racists thugs at a bus stop, said this week she wants more progress.
"When Stephen was killed my whole idea of London changed," Lawrence told reporter Tim Adams of the Observer. "I used to see it through rose-tinted glasses. I had never imagined racism would take anyone's life. I used to talk to Stephen about not getting involved in certain things, but he was always, "Mum, I'm not doing anything!" I think that's how a lot of young black men feel still today.
"But that doesn't stop them being harassed in stop and search, or if they drive a nice car it is always assumed they are drug dealers. That is as true now as it was then. If I ever see anyone stopped on the street, it is invariably still a crowd of white policemen around a young black guy."
Justice slow in Stephen Lawrence murder
On April 22, 1993 in southeast London her son, 18, was guilty of nothing more than waiting for a bus - and the color of his skin - when he was set upon by a gang of white youths who attacked and fatally stabbed him. A friend of Stephen's, Duwayne Brooks, also a young black man, managed to escape.
On Jan. 3rd, 2012 Gary Dobson and David Norris, both now in their mid-30's, were found guilty of the racist murder of Lawrence in London's Old Bailey courtroom, the conviction a result of new-technology and of Doreen and Stephen's Dad, Neville, refusing to give up. There were more attackers that night, at least 3, brothers Neil and Jamie Acourt and Luke Knight, but to date the police have been unable to build a sufficient case against them..
Doreen Lawrence's pessimism comes on the heels of a survey released on race relations in the U.K.. 'British Future's survey' is part of a project called 20 Years On: Stephen Lawrence. The survey shows improvement in race relations since the murder of Lawrence, an excellent student who intended to become an architect. For example a majority now say they'd have no issues with neighbours, managers, medical professionals or political leaders coming from different ethnic backgrounds.
Doreen Lawrence said she sees some improvement in the lives of blacks in London and the U.K. but remains unconvinced.
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