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Black children subjected to racism in UK

19 Mar 2022 at 06:40hrs | Views
Racism hurts children, in real and fundamental ways. It hurts not just their health, but their chances for a good, successful life.

It destroys their confidence and it is mostly applied by teachers and the police.

It is a call to action for all of us. If we care about the health and future of all of our children, we need to take real steps to end racism and to help and support those who are affected by it.

Racism informs our actions when we structure opportunities for and assign value to people based on our interpretation of how they look.

Biologically, we are truly just one race, sharing 99.9 percent of our genes no matter what the colour of our skin.

But historically we have found ways to not just identify differences, but to oppress people because of them. Racism grew out of and helped rationalize colonization and slavery.

Many Zimbabwean parents in the UK are heavily colonised. They don't believe that their children are systematically destroyed by racism and are looked down upon.

Despite our biological sameness, people continue to look for differences — and claim superiority. While we have made historical progress, the beliefs and oppression that underpin racism persist; it is a "socially transmitted disease".

And it truly is a disease. Racism and its effects can lead to chronic stress for children. And chronic stress leads to actual changes in hormones that cause inflammation in the body, a marker of chronic disease.

Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington told @EddieNestorMBE that "racism absolutely played a part" when Met officers strip-searched a black schoolgirl after being wrongly suspected of carrying cannabis.

During the incident, the girl was taken to the school's medical room and strip-searched by two female Met police officers, while teachers remained outside. Her parents were not contacted.

She was on her monthly periods, yet they forced her to remove the pad and was violated by glove dressed officers.

The report, published in this month, was conducted by City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership (CHSCP).

It said it was highly likely that "adultification bias" had been a factor, where adults perceive black children as being older than they are because they see them as more "streetwise".

The police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), was now investigating the Met's actions, the force confirmed.

Det Supt Dan Rutland, of the Met's Central East Command, said: "We recognise that the findings of the safeguarding review reflect this incident should never have happened."

But what really happened in this case.

Hackney MP Diane Abbott says racism absolutely played a part in the strip-search

A 15-year-old black schoolgirl strip-searched by police was pulled out of an exam so the "traumatic incident" could take place, a safeguarding report says.

Teachers at her Hackney school called the Met Police after wrongly suspecting her of carrying cannabis in 2020.

The report found the search, without another adult present, was unjustified and racism "likely" a factor. Local MP Diane Abbott also said it was racist.

Scotland Yard said the search "should never have happened".

The victim – referred to as Child Q – told the Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review: "On top of preparing for the most important exams of my life, I can't go a single day without wanting to scream, shout, cry or just give up."

The victim's mother told the report that after the strip-search in 2020, her daughter had been "asked to go back into the exam" she had been sitting "without any teacher asking her about how she felt knowing what she had just gone through".

The review said the impact on Child Q had been "profound" and the repercussions "obvious and ongoing", with family members describing her as changing from a "happy-go-lucky girl to a timid recluse that hardly speaks".

The girl's maternal aunt was quoted as saying the pupil had changed from "top of the class" to "a shell of her former bubbly self", adding she was "now self-harming and requires therapy".

She added: "From the time she was pulled out of her exam to the time she returned home, she was isolated, not given food or offered water, where is the care."

Child Q's ordeal happens to every black child in every 30 minutes in the UK. The police will be looking forward to an excuse to harass a dark skinned child.

Abbot told BBC Radio London's Eddie Nestor the strip-search had made her "feel sick as a mother".

"The Met Police is not going into private schools and asking white girls to spread their buttock cheeks," she said.

The report states that in 2020-2021, there were 25 searches of under-18s in the same borough and over a thousand country wide.

Abbott said: "Only two of those 25 under-18 searches were white, the figures tell you this is about race."

In a written statement to the review, the girl said: "I need to know that the people who have done this to me can't do it to anyone else ever again, in fact so no-one else can do this to any other child in their care."

If this child was white, nothing of this nature would have happened.

Black children are profiled and labelled criminals because of their colour of their skin.

Michael Nhandara, a social worker in Wales, said he was asked to accompany a colleague to a school where a black 13-year old boy was being accused of having stolen a purse.

He said he was horrified by the way the young boy was treated and that he had to stand up for the boy. "The boy was already convicted before he was given a chance to speak. He was crying and his parents were not invited at the school. If this boy was a white boy he would have been given a different treatment," he said.

"The teachers damaged the boy's ego and confidence before he was even given a chance to speak."

Dr Mbaleka Mbhatha said: "Stress that a mother experiences during pregnancy can affect children even before they are born. Despite improvements in health care, racial disparities exist in infant mortality as well as low birth weight.

"These days, it's important to think about chronic stress for the children of immigrant families. Many live in constant fear of being separated from their parents if they haven't been already."

Welcome Bhebhe, a human rights lawyer in the UK, said: "The juvenile justice system is another place where racism plays out. Minority youth are more likely to be incarcerated, with all the health and emotional consequences this brings, both during incarceration and after. Being incarcerated forever changes a person and changes how others see them."

Manuwelo Mutema, a sociologist said: "It is important to remember that it's not just the colour of one's skin that can lead to discrimination and all the problems that it brings. Differences in sex, religion, sexual orientation, and immigration status can lead to discrimination, as can having a disability."

The policy statement cited above reminds us that children are being hurt every day by racism and discrimination, and the effects can be not only permanent, but continue through generations. There is real urgency to this. Racism begins as child abuse through grooming by raceophiles.

One victim of child racism, Annie Yellowe Palma, said she was made to hate the colour of her skin. Studying to become a social worker ‘re-educated' her and today she reframes perpetrators of racism as abusers.

Mandinema Siwela said: "Many Zimbabweans contribute to racism. They always look down upon themselves and they will always ask their children to imitate the white kids.

"Some Zimbabwean families in the UK actually give their children white names. They do not want to give them Shona or Ndebele names. This then makes children feel inferior."

This inferiority complex destroys the black child's confidence.

Another social worker said: "Being of mixed heritage, like many, racism has been a part of my whole life. I am passionate and dedicated in contributing to its eradication.

"Having been brought up in Northern Ireland, in a predominantly white world and at the height of ‘The Troubles' in the 1960s, I have a lived experience of being separated and treated unfavourably in terms of religion and the colour of my skin.

"This has impacted my life to date and as I continue to educate myself and re-educate myself I have gained much knowledge. I say re-educate as I was once indoctrinated to hate the colour of my own skin and that of other black people."

Actually, racists are mentally challenged.

It is not a wonder that many of our black mothers are trying hard to be white.

They bleach their faces and they look like a butter fly, with their hands completely different from the colour of their faces.

It is a shame that there are those people who measure their success by how they have gotten closer to a white face.

However, healing the lasting scars of racism and self-hate is an on-going journey, but most of our people are most willing to walk that talk.

This journey is not easy given the racism that prevails today as highlighted in most torture of the black children by the police.

Many Zimbabwean parents in the UK need to go through reframing.

Reframing is a technique used in therapy to help create a different way of looking at a situation, person, or relationship by changing its meaning. It helps us to look at situations from a slightly different perspective.

The essential idea behind reframing is that a person's point-of-view depends on the frame it is viewed in. When the frame is shifted, the meaning changes and thinking and behaviour often change along with it.

Stereotypes that link race and child abuse may cause medical practitioners to suspect abuse when it hasn't occurred, and to miss it when it has occurred.

If the racists do not abuse your child, they use your child to abuse you.

Michael Mudzamiri, a journalist, tells this story which he said is true.

"On September 21, 2008, Adrian Thomas, a 26-year-old African American man, awoke to find his four-month-old son Matthew limp and unresponsive. At the hospital, the case garnered the interest of police investigators. While still treating Matthew, the paediatric critical care doctor told detectives, "Somebody murdered this child."

"The detectives took Thomas in for 10 gruelling hours of interrogation, leading Thomas to falsely confess to repeatedly slamming Matthew down on a bed. Meanwhile, Matthew passed away. Thomas was charged with the murder of his son, and after a trial jury watched his videotaped confession, he was convicted.

"However, the New York Court of Appeals determined Thomas' confession was involuntary and overturned his conviction. Without the incriminating false confession, Thomas was acquitted at his retrial.

"At both the original trial and the retrial, Thomas's defence included expert witnesses who presented evidence that his son's death was a result of an overwhelming bacterial infection and sepsis – not abuse. Why, then, did the doctor conclude that the infant had been murdered? We don't know, but cases like this one are not unprecedented.

"The National Registry of Exonerations reports that 17 individuals have been wrongfully convicted of crimes involving shaken baby syndrome based on misleading or false forensic evidence supporting a mistaken diagnosis. And these cases likely reflect only a fraction of wrongful convictions related to misdiagnoses of abuse.

It is important to consider whether stereotyping and bias might contribute to such misdiagnoses. Research has shown that a child's injuries are as much as nine times more likely to be reported as resulting from abuse when the child is black rather than white (Lane, WG, et al, JAMA, Vol. 288, No 13, 2002). "

Moreover, though there is no racial or ethnic difference in the frequency with which children are confirmed as abuse victims, children from minority backgrounds are more likely to be reported and evaluated, but ultimately determined not to have experienced abuse (Hymel, KP, et al., The Journal of Pediatrics, Vol. 198, 2018).

Another Zimbabwean was convicted in Australia for having raped his niece.

Later, it was proven on appeal that he did not abuse the child. If he was white, he would not have been even referred to the police.

Many Zimbabwean children who are born in the UK understand that they are not liked because of their colour. To that end, they have become aggressive.

Mercy Mwanga, a social worker in the UK said: "As with all forms of abuse, the abused do not automatically go on to become abusers having been re-educated and breaking the cycle of abuse.

"So to recap, racism begins as child abuse through the grooming process of #raceophilia. The child being groomed to fear, mock, humiliate, abuse or possibly murder a black person.

"As stated previously, the ‘philia' in this context is not ‘love', rather its meaning is similar to the ‘philia' in paedophilia.

"I believe racism needs to be recognised as a form of child abuse in order to protect children and enable them to have access to resources to recover.

"Recognising racism in this way will ensure perpetrators (raceophiles) are held to account for their actions.

"They need to have repercussions for perpetrating this child abuse and face the full force of the law. Like paedophiles, raceophiles need to be risk assessed and receive re-education and rehabilitative treatment."

Black Pride, a charitable organisation reported: "Fixing racism and discrimination is obviously not easy and cannot be quick. But there are things we can all do immediately. We can take a hard look at ourselves, take stock of our beliefs and our biases, and work to change them.

"As part of this, we need to think about and change how we talk about each other, as individuals and as a society.

"We need to speak up when we hear or see racism or discrimination in any form. Empowering ourselves and each other is an important way to begin. We need to talk to our children about racism, and teach them healthier ways to think about themselves.

"We need to work to stop institutional racism. We need to work with our schools to be sure that all children, no matter what, have access to a good and supportive education. This is no small endeavour, but it needs to be our goal. We need to be sure that there are programs in place to not just help people who are poor or struggling, but lift them out of poverty.

"We need to be sure our laws truly protect all people, not just some people. This is about the future of our children — and our children are our future."

As many as three-quarters of children from London held on remand in prison are black.

Children on remand have not been convicted of any crime. Instead, a judge or a magistrate has decided that they must await their trial in prison.

There, potentially vulnerable, even innocent children, can be exposed to hardship, and to hardened criminals.

And figures seen exclusively by LBC show that in February this year, 74 percent of the children from London on remand were black.

LBC show indicated that an even higher proportion, 88 percent, or nearly 9 out of 10 children were from black or other minority ethnic backgrounds.

The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act to the charity Transform Justice, also show that for large parts of last year, the figures remained as high as 90 percent.

Although the number of black children rose markedly from around 60 percent for most of last year to 74 percent by February.

Being a black child is a challenge and the country pays a blind eye in this matter.

These numbers are hugely disproportionate, given that the black population of London is around 13 percent, according to Greater London Assembly data from 2020. The black and minority ethnic population of London as a whole is thought to be about 34 percent.

"But even if we account for the fact that the justice system often has disproportionate outcomes for ethnic minorities, our findings are still striking," said LBC show.

"The figures for black and minority ethnic children on remand in London are also much higher than in England and Wales as a whole, where the figure last year stood at 57 percent, and just 33 percent for black children alone.

"There is no light at the end of the tunnel. There is more abuse of our children. Kill them young seems to be the motto of the white populace."

Source - The Herald
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