Tanesha Melbourne-Blake, a 17-year-old girl, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Tottenham. Within 24 hours of the incident, a second teenager, aged only 16, was shot dead in Walthamstow. There have now been more than 50 killings in London during 2018 alone.
Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy has lost four of his constituents to this violence epidemic. Mr Lammy has been vocally appalled by the political response to what some have described as a national crisis.
Shunning party politics, in the aftermath of yet another tragedy in Tottenham, Lammy asked: “Where is the prime minister? Where is the home secretary? Where is Sadiq Khan?”
His palpable frustration should have been part of a political chorus, with swathes of legislators getting together to demand and implement much needed change.
When discussing the shooting of a 19-year-old man outside a cinema in Wood Green, Lammy suggested as to why the case had been given so little national attention: “Because he was black.”
This uncomfortable truth is one that we need to discuss and address. In this country, we must finally acknowledge the gross disparity between the ways in which we treat murders where non-white people are the perpetrators. We must also acknowledge how we treat violence where non-white people are the victims.
If a 17-year-old middle class white girl was gunned down on a tree-lined road in the suburbs, the national outcry would be guaranteed. The calls for change would be deafening. But currently, politicians calling for increased police surveillance and better youth services are few and far between.
When a terrorist attack happens, in places like London Bridge, Westminster, and Manchester Arena, the whole country undergoes the same chilling sensation, thinking, “it could have been me”.
But when it comes to inner-city domestic violence, only people of a certain demographic have that wave of empathy and wrench of fear.