Fire, Heat, and Ginger
All my friends give me crap about having red hair (gingerness). I take it. I like to think it makes me a better person, and anyway, it's all lighthearted. I get plenty of comments about fires and heat, which I thoroughly enjoy, and take part in frequently. I make jokes about other gingers. I personally don't like my hair color, but it's not going to change, and there issues of much higher importance in my life, like just about everything.
I was unaware that discrimination against gingers has become a serious problem in Great Britain. Along with the usual chav beatings after school, there are the ginger beatings (to use a friend's quip “injure the ginger.”) I am approaching this with tongue-in-cheek, which is probably inappropriate, but I find the notion that it is such a large problem in England rather comical. I had never even considered being discriminated against because of my hair color before South Park aired “Ginger Kids” in 2005, although that may have been because I was just young and ignorant. From this highly controversial show, I learned that I was a Daywalker (as I am not freckly nor particularly light skinned.)
Last year there was an incident in which several kids were suspended from school in Canada. “Kick a Ginger Day” was promoted by a Facebook event that thousands 'attended.' Several kids were kicked, resulting in the typical school-mom overreaction. The story was even worthy of television news. Although this was one incident of little importance, many such acts have taken place in England:
While there has been at least one report of a serious anti-red hair hate crime in the UK - a 20-year-old stabbed in the back in 2003 - it's unclear whose responsibility it is to monitor discrimination.”
This 2007 BBC article talks extensively about “Gingerism” In the UK:
Some claim it could be a throwback to anti-Irish sentiment from the 19th Century and before when the Irish, with a greater prevalence of red hair, were regarded as ethnically inferior.”
Maybe Gingerism is a problem. But a hate-crime?