Friday 16 January 2009

Excellent overview of global redhead prejudice

From Sydney Morning Herald:

"Some months ago the sports pages and in fact all media reported on the incident of Andrew Symonds being called a 'monkey' by an opposing player," Leseley began. "Today, Kerry O'Keefe saw fit to call all redheads 'rangas' (orang-utans)." Why was one ape-ish label OK, and the other not, she asked, and ended with a plea. "I need to know that somewhere, someone may hear and agree."

I hear you, Leseley Willmott. I, too, am borderline ginger, and was quite dangerously so as a child. Ours is an affliction many with high levels of the pigment pheomelanin have endured throughout history. There is some evidence that the ancient Egyptians buried us alive. The ancient Greeks thought our humours - phlegm, yellow bile, black bile and blood - unbalanced.

In Britain, where the persecution of such people is virtually a national pastime, the BBC reported in 2003 that a 20-year-old man had been stabbed three times in the back outside a wine bar in West Yorkshire after comments were made about his ginger hair.

As recently as last year, the Beeb reported that a family had been forced to move home twice because of their children's orangeness.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"And I have it on good authority that one concerned citizen recently called the NSW Government to ask if red hair might provide the basis for an anti-discrimination case. The answer? No."

I think it's important to draw the distinction between general schoolyard teasing and genuine discrimination. But the idea that the government will not recognise actual prejudice against redheads as a form of discrimination really gets my goat.