In February of this year (2019) I had a chance to be interviewed with my dad (seen in the picture) by BBC News about the Stephen Lawrence report and institutional racism. For those who don’t know or were too young to remember Stephen Lawrence was a young black man who was attacked and killed by some racist thugs in South East London on the 22 April 1993. Since the murder, there has been so much talk and attempted action for the memory of Stephen Lawrence and others who have been racially attacked and abused not just in the U.K. After the attack a damaging report came out by Judge Sir William Mcpherson against the police calling them institutional racists and called for change to happen. Whether that’s happened we get more into that later what I think but I wasn’t going to do the interview at first and got all the way and then thought “I don’t want to do this” but I had already met the cameraman and the producer of the piece so I was in too deep but I am glad I did it. I must admit watching it live on tv I gotta say they did a good job I wasn’t the worse but there were times I was too aware of the lights and cameras and it made me stumble a bit and I lost my thoughts a couple of times but I wasn’t that bad. The cameraman, producer and interviewer/newspresenter were very nice, I’m a bit of an oddball so I did wonder if they could pick this up but it would have been alright with me and anyway they probably had their fair share of whacky interviewees. At this point in my life, I was dealing with an old and getting ever frail dog so all I was thinking of was my dog Patch a lot and if she was okay, she’s not here no more I had to put her down in June this year (2019) so that’s why I said this point of my life as she is no longer part of me not in physical but more mentally now. This isn’t the first time I’ve been on tv nor my dad but I was actually on the BBC news before when I decided to walk around the Weston Super Mare Pier which is surrounded in mud they come rushing over asking me what I was doing etc. The way they put it on the news they made me sound like I was wreckless which I probably was thinking about it but it was dramatized a lot that time or though I must admit if the tide came in I would have been a goner or at least in trouble. My dad is a natural when it comes to being interviewed and has been many times and has his own slot on local radio Ujima and does a lot of work in the community of Bristol like dealing with racism and finding people jobs and other community stuff. I agreed to the interview for a couple of reasons
- It was something I could talk about and is something I am passionate for.
- put myself out there a bit more it was like a calling and a step for me to climb and conquer. I’ve always had a shyness for cameras but knew I had to put myself out there a bit more so this was a good way to do it and I swear I read somewhere ages ago and before the interview, it was good for dealing with being shy on camera and it is if you get the opportunity I say do it if you get the chance.
- I remember it watching it on TV and being personally affected by this as I then realised that some people might attack you cos of the colour of your skin I was 9 then. It did make me feel nervous walking down the street but thinking about it I was lucky and didn’t have to deal with the police just normal people but even then I was 9 and probably had nothing to worry about.
You know when they asked me questions for the interview I wasn’t fully ready and probably would have better responses now than then but I’ve had a thought of what I didn’t say and thought I share it now.
How Do I Find The Treatment Of Police When I Was Growing Up And Now A Days?
Now I think about it a few incidents pop up like when the police officer went pass and did a monkey chant at me. Or the number of times I’ve been unfairly stopped by police and questioned, they would always make up some sort of excuse. Like the time I was going to the shop with my dog, I was wearing a hood but that’s not the point but anyway he tried to tell me that I was about to jump an 8ft fence with my dog to rob a old people’s home. It escalated and I was arrested like he wanted (don’t play into their game, play yours) but I could tell he was you know that sort and a dirty copper. Growing up I do remember being with a white friend and the copper only had eyes for me and made a blatant remark about him being safe but he wanted to check this one for knives (this one being me.) Another example that comes to mind is when I was being interviewed they just couldn’t let it go that I wasn’t a statistic and that they were wrong and their dumb computer didn’t know shit. To the average policeman you fit a type and in that type is a statistic which you must fit as you can’t be dare I say normal god forbid that. Of course, it’s not just me and I hear it a lot from friends and their friends how they get judged and mistreated.
Do I Think There Has Been Change Since The Mcpherson Report?
Yes and no I think it’s less common for police to be openly racist in fear of it being recorded and I like to think the efforts of the streets and the fight against the police brutality. Now I’m not saying they are all bad but there is a rotten dozen who dominate the force but I still think the police force is still corrupt and still have that you are a statistic and are tarred with the same brush by most coppers or though there are good ones out there. I think it’s down to age and background to become a police officer and if it’s in your family blood so the younger you are the less you might not be a racist in hindsight but saying that it could be in the blood and something you enjoying being, being a prick. Though there have been small changes it brings bigger problems like institutional racism and people like the Daily Mail who lap up the gang stories and spray it all over the U.K not to make people aware but to scaremonger, they ain’t nothing but the paper version of Fox News. I only say this as the readers are quite clearly venting on the streets I’ve had it myself where this lady was screaming at me told me to go back home and everything #bitchplease but at one point she remarked “I bet you are in a gang” and other silly accuasations. I could tell which paper she reads and I knew she was yes a dumbass you could spot it from afar bet she had British flags coming out of her butt crack cos she’s so damn British or at least she thinks she is. It’s not just the institutional racism thing that is a mess it’s the treatment of mental health sufferers too. Speaking from experience and dealing with pyschosis myself I know the police can be bastards and treat you unfairly they do all sorts of things play tricks on you, purposly wind you up so they can attack you cos that’s what they do is attack when it’s unprovoked that is. They do that to anyone but it’s certain ethnics and minoritys they think they can get away with it and they usually do. It’s no hidden secret any police force needs to get a certain amount of arrests or to be seen doing something so they can say 30% of people arrested last year for X,Y and Z and pat the police force on the back.
How Do I Feel Hearing Of My Dad’s Run Ins With The Police?
What I couldn’t say is it made me quite mad to think my dad and others had to put up with so much crap by the police like the monkey chanting and unfair stops and brutality. It was no surprise when he told them about the run ins with the police and what they done but it did make me wonder what would I of done in that situation at the current state I wouldn’t play into their games and give them what they want and be on my way like I said in the interview but old me would of always been in cuts and brusies and down that police station cos I wouldn’t have put up with it. So I think that is it one last thing though I am glad that Stephen Lawrence has his own national day on April 22nd of every year from now and think it’s a good chance to talk more about racsim and race attacks and everything releated to the two, we should also be talking about the police force and their old timer ways too. We shouldn’t forget about the murder and it should always be remembered as the point where Britian met reality once again and was a wake up call to everyone. We must also keep fighting for justice and what is right and tell them backwards fools to go home up the tree where they belong. There is a reason why people fight against racsim as if you don’t it get’s out on the street where only bad things happen and that’s something we should all remember, anyway I think I said enough for today so take care and goodbye for now.