David Matthews is a writer whose work has appeared in The Sunday Times, The Mail on Sunday and the Observer, and on the BBC and Channel 4. He is the author of several books, including Voices of the Windrush Generation. Follow him on Twitter @mrdavematthews.
As the culture war rages over gender identity, men with cervixes, ‘pregnant people’ and who has the right to abuse whom, an unlikely alliance may be emerging between two much maligned ‘minorities’ – women and black men.
The 2020 kidnapping and murder of Sarah Everard and the conviction last week of her killer, Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens, has raised many serious and long-overdue questions. While the immediate focus in Britain, quite rightly, is on violence against women, cultural misogyny and the inability of senior and rank and file figures within the Met to weed out psychopaths within its ranks, as a black man I can’t help but say, “We told you so.”
Ever since the first black person to step off the HMT Windrush in 1948 got a shakedown from the boys in blue – simply for the crime of being ‘black in public’ – Britain’s black community has argued, lobbied, protested and yes, on occasion, rioted for the sort of civil and human rights the mainstream population takes for granted. Yet we constantly have to run to stand still.
Long before the racially-motivated murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993 by a gang of white dirtbags, there was the murder of Kelso Cochrane, an Antiguan expat carpenter who had journeyed to the so-called ‘motherland’ in 1954 only to be stabbed to death five years later on the streets of Notting Hill, West London, by a similarly racist group of white youths.
Decades later, and despite obfuscation by corrupt elements within the Met – which allowed Stephen’s murderers to walk free for many years – the constant campaigning of his parents Neville and Doreen, activists within the black community and allies in the media including, curiously, the Daily Mail (along with the efforts of DCI Clive Driscoll who re-examined the case, in spite of attempts by colleagues to ‘sabotage’ his investigation), eventually led to the 2012 conviction of petty criminals Gary Dobson and David Norris, both of whom received life sentences for murder, at Her Majesty’s pleasure.
No such justice, however, was afforded to Kelso Cochrane. Over 60 years on from his murder, and despite accusations of a. Brinkwire Summary News. For more information, search on the internet.