Powerful words from a Chilliwack child filled the BC Legislature this week.
Eevah Macdonald, an 11-year-old student from the Chilliwack-Kent area, has been the target of racism and bullying at school, and her mother, Marina, posted about the incidents on Facebook.
Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon saw those posts and reached out to the Macdonald family.
Eevah was invited to visit the BC Legislature, and while she wasn’t able to address MLAs directly in the House, she was asked to put pen to paper, writing a statement for Paddon to read.
Paddon delivered Eevah’s impactful message Thursday (Oct. 21).
The following is what the young girl wrote:
“They said because I am black, I should go kill myself, that I should be an example for other black people to do the same. They said that I am like a dog. It’s kind of like when a tree gets cut down and it’s just left there and forgotten. That’s how I felt. Left there with damage, by myself.
“It’s like some people think that because I’m black, because I’m not white, I am just something. An object. But what’s real is that it doesn’t matter what your skin looks like. You’re beautiful just the way you are. The most important things about me are my funniness and my kindness. I’m proud that I stick up for people. I speak up for people. I’m a safe place for someone.
“Someday, I’m going to dance en pointe. Someday people are going to see me — that I’m brave and I’m smart and I’m good and I’m strong, that I’m a sister and a daughter, that I’m sensitive and I’m funny, that I like to laugh, and I like to make people laugh. That I’m more than Black. But there’s nothing wrong with being Black. I’m happy that maybe this doesn’t happen as much anymore, that maybe some people don’t know it still happens. It’s not funny. It doesn’t matter where you heard it or who said it or if you read it on the Internet. It doesn’t matter how they meant it. It’s racism. It hurts. I’m a person, and I matter.”
The bullying happened days before Eevah’s birthday, and Paddon took the opportunity to gather birthday wishes from women of colour in the BC government, “so that she (Eevah) could see and hear that racism is not winning.”
“I thank them for the real difference that they made to this young girl in Chilliwack-Kent,” Paddon said. “Then, we invited her here so that we could show her that her voice can be a powerful vehicle for change. It was certainly powerful to meet Eevah and hear her words.”