The recent horrific murder of a student in Dehli has led to demonstrations calling for “anti-racism” legislation. If past experience is anything to go by, these cries will grow louder, and the lobbying will become vociferous. But before Indian politicians bow to the baying of the mob, they should look West and think again.
Nido Tania was just 19, and was said to have been beaten to death in an argument over his “appearance”, the implication being that this murder was racially motivated. Whether or not it was remains to be seen, but there have been a number of such murders in the West over the decades. Let us examine one such murder. In April 1993, 18 year old Stephen Lawrence was attacked by a gang of thugs as he waited for a bus in South East London. He was stabbed to death by one member of the gang – but by the doctrine of joint enterprise, they should all be held culpable. Stephen Lawrence was black; his attackers were white. Because of this, and because one of them was heard to have used the dreaded N word, the murder was immediately branded racially motived, racist, and so on.
Although it took place on a well lit street in front of a number of witnesses, there were a number of problems with regard to their testimony. This is nothing unusual, when people witness sudden, traumatic incidents, they often “see” different things. This can and does cause problems at trial which can be exploited by a guilty defendant. Whether or not any of the men charged with the murder of Stephen Lawrence were guilty, the case against them collapsed.
Shortly after the murder, a big campaign had been mounted by the usual suspects. When the parents of the victim realised what they were up to, Doreen and Neville Lawrence parted company with them. In the London Evening Standard of September 14, 1993, they were quoted thus:“To our dismay we found that the political agendas and rivalries of different organisations began to take over the meetings.” They stressed that their son’s name was “too precious to be used in a cynical way”.
Alas, that was not to be. Both the criminal prosecution and an ill-advised private prosecution failed, and the Lawrences turned on the police themselves. They were accused of being “institutionally racist”, a claim that was rubber stamped by Sir William Macpherson in the ludicrous report he issued following the extensive public inquiry into the murder and the allegedly botched.
Macpherson made a number of recommendations that had little or nothing to do with either the murder or police procedure, indeed he appears to have been and to remain totally ignorant about the latter.
One of his recommendations was that “racist incidents” should be reported and investigated even if they were not crimes. What business is it of the police to investigate such incidents that are not crimes? And his definition: “A racist incident is any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”.
Any other person in the world?
One of his most serious and sinister recommendations was the abolition of double jeopardy, referred to disparagingly by some as “a 900 year old law” as though it was somehow way past its sell by date. None of these people thought to ask how old is the law of theft, or even the law of murder? - Thou shalt not kill!
Double jeopardy has now been abolished in the UK, and in January 2012, two of the men originally accused of the murder of Stephen Lawrence were convicted after new forensic evidence was allegedly “found” on one of the original exhibits.
Let us look at the bigger picture though. While to date the abolition of double jeopardy has been used only in murder cases – the Lawrence murder and the murder of Julie Hogg – will it end there? Does it ever? The reality is that now if the prosecution is dissatisfied with a trial verdict it can have a second bite of the cherry, and why not a third, and a fourth? The abolition of double jeopardy has been criticised severely by numerous legal scholars.
Leaving aside the outcome of this one case, we have seen the phenomenon of mission creep with both the Stephen Lawrence case and other race cases; the original goal is expanded and will continue to expand indefinitely until someone pulls the plug on it.
Of course, the race industry did not begin in 1993. In the United States, which has a much larger black population, it has been going for decades, and the way some of its proponents talk you could be forgiven for thinking that slavery had been abolished, that the Ku Klux Klan had dwindled from a nationwide organisation with millions of members to a diminutive fringe group derided for its members’ garb of white sheets and pointed hats. You could be forgiven for thinking that legal segregation had been abolished, or that blacks in particularly the music industry are among the highest earners in the country.
The rise of the race-hustlers has been a marvel to behold, rather than improving race relations we have seen the multiplication of different brands of racism including food racism – seriously; benign racism – people who are nasty by being nice; subtle racism – as opposed to the blatant kind; colorism – practised by one racial group against itself; and so on.
Many charges of racism are based on apparent statistical disparities. The Baldus Study is a classic example of this kind of race-hustling. This purports to prove that the death penalty is applied disproportionately to blacks, but as was pointed out in a Congressional debate:
“Cases cannot be fairly compared unless every nuance of each case is thoroughly understood, but in capital cases especially, which are extremely complex, that type of comparison is impossible. The fact that approximately 50 percent of all murders are committed by blacks, but 60 percent of all criminals on death row are white, for example, does not mean that juries are biased against whites.”
In the US, some states have the death penalty for murder, others don’t. Juries are also prone to make up their own minds. For example, the black serial killer Andre Crawford who murdered 11 women – all or most of whom were black – was spared the death penalty against the wishes of the victims’ families. The white home invasion murderers Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky were sentenced to death for three murders.
Statistical disparities in other fields – real and imagined – provide endless fodder for the race-hustlers, which can and does lead to endless meddling by the state in affairs which are no business of anyone but the parties concerned. And how does any of this facilitate justice for murder victims? Clearly it does not. Two of America’s finest economists - Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams - demolished this statistical racism nonsense three decades and more ago, but it continues to be parroted unthinkingly by the usual suspects.
So what should India do about the murder of Nido Tania or of anyone else? The simple answer is it should apply the law. In December 2012, New Delhi was in the news for a similar reason, the shocking kidnap, rape and murder of a young woman. The apparent indifference of the authorities to this crime led to outrage, as it should have. There is no need to pass special laws for the protection of women, minorities or anyone else. What is needed is for serious crimes to receive serious investigation, and to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. India should not make the mistake of allowing itself to be led down the same path as the UK and the US by political agitators whose real concern is not to obtain justice for victims but to exploit human tragedy in order to further their own agendas.
[The above article was published originally February 17, 2014].
Back To AllVoices Index