Uchenna's blog: I can't play that game
Trigger warning: racism
My darling son,
Today you asked me to play cops and robbers. You wanted to be the criminal.
I could not do it.
It hurt too much because I saw George Floyd. You don’t know who he is, but he died because a policeman took his life away by kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes.
A figure of authority who was meant to serve and protect, thought that his actions were justified. Bystanders pleaded with the policeman to stop, but he didn’t.
When I was six like you, your aunties, uncle, and I giggled, running around with toy handcuffs. We cackled making the noise of police cars and relished shouting “You’re under arrest!”
The innocent childhood game of cops and robbers is no longer that.
I asked myself if I was over thinking my reaction. And sent out the question by WhatsApp. Your aunts and uncles texted "not at all" and urged me to distract you with other things that relay positivity.
To show you that there’s more to life than cops and robbers.
But they feel my pain – our pain, which is still so raw, against the relentless social media feed of families breaking after losing sons and daughters in encounters with those who are meant to serve and protect.
We feel the fear because of our experiences outside with the police. Because of the stain of prejudice, we’re in a system that disproportionately criminalises black people.
Although the policeman Derek Chauvin was convicted for the murder of George Floyd, cops and robbers is not a role play I’m prepared to indulge in our home.
My work as a mother is to raise you to be the best man you can be despite what the system throws at us.
So my baby, no, I can’t play that game.
Uchenna works in strategic communications and engagement. Her/She has led initiatives on employee engagement and diversity and recruitment for different companies. Uchenna marvels at the new zest of life and clarity her Commanders-in-Chief have given her.