Wednesday, 4 January 2012
Are we really a less racist society?
The sentencing of Dobson and Norris for the murder of Stephan Lawrence will hopefully bring some small comfort and an element of closure to the Lawrence family. Unfortunately, in the wake of the trial comes an unpleasant wave of self satisfaction from police and pundits alike who seem to be falling over themselves to convince us (and each other) how much better the Met and society as a whole have become since Stephen was murdered. Perhaps we are a less racist society, I certainly hope so, and perhaps the police have reflected that change in their dealing with minorities - but there are a lot of black people out there who will tell you otherwise. What is true is that we have witnessed an increasing bourgeoisification of society. Working class culture and behaviour was traditionally more brash and boisterous than it more refined, some would say more hypocritical, middle class counterpart. It may be more pleasant to not want a certain type of person in the golf club rather than hurl racist abuse at someone in the street - but it's hardly less racist.