Amid the fallout from Diane Abbott’s racist tweet, it’s hard to decide whether the Guardian’s advice to "Forget Diane Abbott’s Tweet – let’s talk about the Stephen Lawrence case" is surprising or depressingly predictable.
Personally, I don’t want to forget Diane Abbott’s tweet, because the founder-member of Unite Against Fascism is not acting in a vacuum. As two of Stephen Lawrence’s killers are jailed, the media compete to comment how far the Met has come since the 1999 Macpherson report coined the phrase "institutional racism". Despite Harriet Harman’s positive discrimination attempts, the force remains multi-cultural with the majority of officers being white British. I imagine Abbott is seething that such an organisation is being praised – and possibly is also suffering from acute attention deprivation.
Lawrence’s killers weren’t named by some diversity committee, but by that nemesis of everything Left, The Daily Mail, in a front-page J’accuse-style piece. Everything was askew from how "black community leaders" would have had it happen.
Criticism of said leaders by journalist Bim Adewunmi (right) sparked Abbott’s toxic tweet. Fellow hack Lindsay Johns made similar criticisms last June (while omitting Abbott from his list of black intellectuals). Was Abbott riled because she sees herself as a "community leader"?
British institutions have a long way to go before giving black people parity with others. Witness Conservative Councillor Dr Blaine Robin’s suspension from his local party for attending an English Defence League rally, where a white member would probably merely have been questioned over his actions.
So organisations like the EDL and the British Freedom Party will continue to campaign for people of all ethnicities to operate on the same level: there’s no such thing as associate citizenship. Our campaigning includes opposing the fascist UAF which, in choosing Diane Abbott as a founding member, exposes its own, unchallenged, institutional racism.