• STV
  • MySTV

Baroness Lawrence speaks at conference on tackling racism

The justice campaigner said she feels anger towards her son's killers but not hatred.

Doreen Lawrence Baroness Lawrence Scotland Tonight interview May 7 2014
STV

Two decades after the murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence, it is still an "affirmation" that there is a fight against intolerance in society, according to his mother.

Baroness Lawrence said that although there has been progress over the last 20 years, "stark inequalities" still persist, with society almost going "backwards" in some ways.

She said white groups facing racism in the UK is something that is currently not discussed.

The justice campaigner said she feels anger towards her son's killers but not hatred as she delivered the keynote speech at a conference in Edinburgh on tackling prejudice and hate crime on Wednesday.

Her son, an 18-year-old student, was stabbed to death by a group of up to six white youths in an unprovoked racist attack as he waited at a bus stop in Eltham, south east London, with a friend on April 22, 1993.

It took more than 18 years to bring two of his killers to justice.

Baroness Lawrence said: "I see prejudice as hurting one's feelings, whereas hate takes it to another area where people can get hurt physically, or even someone losing their life.

"Hate is deep-seated and vengeful. When I have been asked about my feelings towards those individuals who murdered my son, I feel angry at the fact these young men had taken away my son's life and his future, but I don't feel hate.

"As you know, my son Stephen was murdered just over 21 years ago and I have fought all these years to gain justice for his murder.

"It wasn't until 2012, after much campaigning and dedication, that we saw partial justice in the conviction of two of his murderers."

She told the audience gathered for the National Conference on Hate Crime in Scotland that it is important to work together to pursue the "dignity of difference".

"We want a society in which success and choice are not merely limited to a few but available to all," she said.

"We want a society in which not just opportunity but also the outcomes of education create success and are fairly balanced across all ethnic groups.

"Choice and equality must extend beyond the barriers of class, gender and race. We do not currently live in such a society.

"There has been progress over the last 20 years but stark inequalities still persist and in some ways you have to be seen to be going backwards.

"Critically, when we talk about hate crime, race is one of the incidents that can raise its head.

"We are not just talking about the experience of black and minority ethnic groups. The latest is immigrants. Here we are also talking about the experiences of white groups, yet this is something that we as a society still do not acknowledge or discuss.

"Just as we are a society that continues to be organised and shaped by class and by gender, we are a society that some 20 years after Stephen's murder continue to be organised and shaped by race."

Baroness Lawrence concluded her speech by saying: "Over 20 years after Stephen's murder, it is still an affirmation that we should fight against intolerance and promote integration.

"All communities should work together to raise awareness to the suffering of others. As a nation, we all are the same but different. Similarity is what unites us and difference is what enriches us."

The conference at Leith Academy, hosted by the Scottish Alliance for Regional Equality Councils, also heard from disability groups campaigning against hate crime and from police on the reporting and tackling of offences.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.