Leader: Justice for Stephen

Finally, justice has been done. On 3 January, 18 years after the black teenager Stephen Lawrence was stabbed to death in a racially motivated attack, Gary Dobson and David Norris were found guilty of his murder. The nation breathed a collective sigh of relief. Yet eight days earlier, on Boxing Day, a 23-year-old Indian student was killed in Salford in what police deemed to be a "hate crime".

British attitudes to race have transformed in recent years but there is still much to be done. In 1999, a black person was six times more likely to be stopped and searched by police; in 2006/2007 it was seven. Since 1993, 114 black and minority ethnic people have died in custody. The Lawrence verdict is welcome, but this is no time for complacency. We cannot rest in the struggle against racism, institutional or otherwise.

This article first appeared in the 09 January 2012 issue of the New Statesman, Forget Obama