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Statement about Child Q by Yvonne Field, Founder and CEO, The Ubele Initiative

March 21st, 2022

Source: BBC

The treatment of Child Q has shocked all of us at The Ubele Initiative along with the nation. Another case of Black Lives doesn’t matter.

Child Q could be my granddaughter; a child on the verge of young womanhood looking forward to a bright future. However, her future has been ruptured by the actions of others; by a system that was meant to protect her. She did not go looking for trouble (as our Black children and young people are often labelled as troublemakers); trouble was foisted on her!

I could not even begin to conceive this happening to a 15-year-old White girl in a school by two Black female police officers. However, we know that in this country, we pay a penalty for simply being Black. It often feels like a pair of bad fitting shoes; doesn’t matter how you try and ease the pain that comes from wearing them; and I have had some pairs of shoes in my life (!); try as hard as we might, they continue to cause us pain. Sometimes one gets light relief, but we know that the pain will probably come back at some point and it usually with greater impact.

Racism is like tight shoes for Black people; it is always there, and we constantly feel the pinch. It doesn’t matter how well we think we fit into your institutions (for example through our promotions) or how we try and operate within them (for example through Code Switching); we just don’t!

Institutions like schools and police are supposed to be there to protect us (in the case of shoes: to protect our feet), but they do more harm! Our experiences with them leave us damaged; often for life!

Why can’t we just be left alone to breathe? Why can’t we just be left alone to live our lives? Why can’t our Black girls’ rights be protected in the same way as White girls’? Our mere presence in this society continues to be perceived as a threat!

However, I am heartened to witness the determination in which we continue to stand up in solidarity and be counted; we will not be silenced when we experience injustice and pain.

We will call for justice for Child Q and her family until it has been achieved.

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