Photo by Foxtongue.

Danger meets a redhead at every turn. Gingers don’t know when the next assault will be hurled at them, usually a sly “do the carpet match the drapes?” comment or a “carrot top” reference. On Friday, November 20, it was a swift kick I feared.

I didn’t realize I was being threatened until my coworker approached me at my desk, rolled out my office chair, and delivered a kick to my shin. She then announced to the entire office that it was Kick a Ginger Day, and I spent the remainder of my afternoon periodically darting glances over my shoulder.

(To be fair, the kick from my coworker was more like a foot nudge, and all my other coworkers are male and didn’t want to be accused of beating a woman.)

This phenomenon started with the famous South Park episode, and then exploded into a national event which inspired the Facebook group “Kick a Ginger Day” (no longer in existence, apparently) with nearly 5,000 members. For some reason, kids took this idea a little too far.

In an effort to avoid violence, some mothers even made their children stay home from school on Friday. Other kids were prepared to fight back.

The teen who created the Facebook group was actually investigated by the RCMP in British Columbia for promoting hate and violence. Some kids even ended up with bruises. I’ll be the first to admit Gingers are often unattractive — take Carrot Top, for example — but certainly nobody deserves a drive-by egging from morons yelling “Gingers suck!”

Photo by fotologic

The Ginger Solution

Is this whole thing a gross exaggeration? Maybe, but I still recall the time from childhood when I overheard the public health nurse whisper to another woman: “I hate seeing kids with red hair, it seems so cruel.” Never mind the fact I haven’t had my tonsils removed because a doctor once told me redheads tend to bleed heavily during surgeries, thus setting me on a path of total terror when stepping foot into hospitals.

Fortunately, there are some kind, open-minded souls willing to take action to defend the Ginger nation. Kick a Ginger Day has appropriately been replaced with Hug a Ginger Day, promoting love and peace and happy squeezes all around the world. So next time you see a Ginger pass by, don’t shudder or gasp in horror at our translucent skin and freckled complexions. Reach out, my friends. Embrace.

COMMUNITY CONNECTION

Ginger Matadorians: how have you overcome Ginger discrimination?