On My Life As a Statistic
From the minute I was born in my brown skin I have been an outcome waiting to happen from a targeted campaign placed by a government program dreamt up by white people in a room devoid of brown faces.
I am a number in a column full of other numbers in other columns belonging to other brown people. Spread sheets for miles populated by living breathing individuals with hopes, dreams, problems and lives. Reduced to outcome targets and KPIs.
Born brown, this row. School, this row. Criminal record, this row. Single parent, that row. Mental health, new book. Drug addiction, other row. Victim of violence, wheres that other sheet. Unemployed, whole column.
Is there any other population in the world more closely studied and statistified? If so, I bet they’re Indigenous too.
Am I a person? I’ve read about the institutionalisation of our people through prisons. Being given a number, the loss of identity, the rigidity of routine, the breaking. I’m not in prison. Or am I?