Using the police surveillance video transcript and the Martin Bashir interview with the suspects on Tonight, David Jackson interprets how the prime suspects in the Stephen Lawrence murder case make sense of their inner and outer worlds, in their own terms. It draws attention to their concealed fears of being seen as white “losers”. In terms of jobs, income, reputation and style, the suspects’ lives are often characterised by uncertainty and anxiety that are covered up by “brave” performances. They also possess fantasised perceptions of being ruined or usurped by a young, masculine, black presence.
Jackson concludes by arguing that the killing of Stephen Lawrence might be construed as a defensive bid to counter the imaginary threat of a black menace.
David Jackson is involved in men’s health awareness and co-founded Nottingham Agenda – an anti-violence men’s programme. Formerly an English teacher at a comprehensive school, and writer on educational matters, he has written widely on issues of men and masculinity. He is the author of Unmasking Masculinity: a critical autobiography.
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