Mothers from all over the country refused to send their children to school during the increase in positive cases of the Covid19 virus sweeping the world. They were told to send their precious children to school amid uncertainty and a very real likelihood that those children could contract the disease, become violently ill and or die or bring it into their homes where they may spread it to vulnerable family members. There were a huge uproar and parents were adamant that unless the Minister of Education ensured that the schools be sanitized, the children have masks and practice social distancing and so on. They wanted to know that the children, the future leaders would be safe. Given global statistics on infections, that is not an unreasonable request. Nobody would willingly sacrifice the children they love without any reassurance that at the end of each day they would be safe in the arms of their parents.
Yet, that is exactly what is happening in the world today. The black family that sends their child to school, to the shop, to play outside with friends, have no guarantee that their children would be alive at the end of the day.
They send their precious family members out on a hope and a prayer that today is not the day the child will encounter police brutality, racist remarks and or attacks based on their skin colour. When the child returns unharmed, there’s a grateful breath expelled, and a silent prayer given up that the child is alive that day. Tomorrow, however, the same scenario is played out. There is no guarantee that the child will live to the end of the week, the month, the year. The only guarantee they have of their child being alive is when the child is in front of them, in the safety of their homes and as history has attested sometimes that’s not even a safe place. Every goodbye from a black parent to their child in this world should be interpreted as, “I hope I see you later!”
Imagine if you had to tell your child every single day to be careful, not for the vehicles in the street, but for people that don’t like the colour of their skin, for people in blue that you can’t run from for fear of being killed but that standing still could also mean that they could die. There is no time for the child to enjoy themselves outside because there are hate and brutality that awaits them. They may play with their friends but they can’t play with toy guns because they could be murdered. They may walk to the shop but they can’t walk with a hoodie for fear of being killed. They may be violently assaulted when they are relaxing at a pool, or be handcuffed for having a tantrum at school. They could also simply be walking to the shop and be beaten for not obeying rules or shot in the eye with rubber bullets for not explaining quickly enough why they are outside. The trauma that black children have to face every single day isn’t only from the police but from fairer skinned people who hate with such violence that they never forget.
Children have rights and have a right to a safe, happy loving environment except if you’re black.
Don’t tell me that all lives matter or white lives matter because it always has.
When do we move onto black lives matter beyond the hashtag and save our children?