All the senseless deadly discriminatory violence that is occurring across our country has reminded me of historical accounts revealing the many different groups singled out for rejection at one time or another.
Discriminatory stories prevail about the Native American Indians, Chinese, Irish, Italians, Hawaiians, Japanese, Negroes/African-Americans/Blacks, Puerto Ricans, Mexican, various religious groups, and many others. Discrimination occurs from some on the basis of how others speech sounds, or other differences considered to be outside the so-called prevailing range of what they consider "normal", or acceptable, though we're all human beings.
Could it ever happen here? For example, could discrimination occur based on even hair color? Could redheads ever be discriminated against as a group? Surely not!
But ... given so many of our fellow country-persons continuing to believe our former President's lies, his new ones, including conspiracy theories, the most despicable discriminatory words and behaviors with individuals being physically attacked have been more openly expressed. There are those who believe that it's okay to treat some people as "less than," because they are different from them in some respect -- by skin color, other physical body differences.
Perhaps redheads and some other groups, including religious, political, social, to which some of us belong shouldn't be so confident we'll never be discriminated against. As for redheads, it's not as though those with red hair have never experienced discrimination before.
A recent prime example of discrimination is a woman in India with natural red hair I recently discovered when researching whether or not there were no redheads in India as a Google search statement reported. I thought, considering India was under the rule of Great Britain for so many years with many English persons and some other nationalities living there that possibly there might have been some genes mixing.
During my process of verifying the facts, I found this story written in 2017 with photos of a lovely young woman and her parents where you can see this, apparently, rare redhead in India. She was thought to be diseased, her parents shunned because she looked different. Perhaps there are other redheads in India hidden away for self-protection who simply have not been discovered.
Redheads have been revered by some and reviled by others through the ages. Given the current obsession and susceptibility some people have for believing conspiracy theories perhaps we redheads should be concerned we could be placed on the list in the future to join those being discriminated against in our own U.S. country.
For what, could others discriminate against you? Those who discriminate against others should be aware that all groups of people are at risk of being discriminated against if some others decide, for whatever their reasons, to single them out for rejection because of their looks, beliefs, behaviors, or simply for political reasons as happens in some countries.
We see journalists as one group that are systematically under discriminatory attack by some nations leaders trying to exert excessive message control -- as did our previous President in his discriminatory press treatment. Think also of Saudi Arabia's Jamal Khashoggi's assassination. Other leaders stifle similar dissidents by imprisoning them as in China, Russia, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Turkey, to name a few current ones, by censoring their nation's press.
Some physical appearance differences occur that are unnatural. I had occasion to be in Quito, Ecuador in the 1950's for a visit with family. All of us had natural red hair and drew much attention with many stares, especially from native Indians we happened to encounter when we walked about the downtown area.
The surrounding region was inhabited by Indigenous Tsachila (means "true people") also known as Colorados which means "the red-colored ones" whose men traditionally dyed their hair red with sap from the achiote tree as in this Science Source link to a photo of a boy and one also on that site of an adult man. So, some cultures have found red hair, even if artificially colored, to not only be desirable but to signify honored exceptionality.
Redheads reportedly are thought by some amid current senseless conspiracy theories to be the result of aliens breeding with humans, citing supporting evidence involving red-headed kings and queens as farfetched as this may seem to most of us.
Then, there is also the belief some have had that redheads become vampires when we die. Long ago ashes of redheaded males burned alive are reported to have been used to fertilize fields. Redheads were believed to have no souls. All this and more with photos appear in brief accounts of 11 historical myths about redheads by clicking on this link.
Redheaded women were thought to be witches, have volatile tempers. A recent blurb featured by Wisewebwoman on her blog: "The Other Side of Sixty" gave me pause, seeming apropos here:
"Who knows why we were taught to fear the witches, And not those who burned them alive?"
On the other hand, redheads have been said to bring good luck. When all is said and done, I don't think we have any special powers simply because of the color of our hair.
Red hair (or ginger hair) is present in people all over the world though we're considered to be only less than 1-2% of the population. Scotland and Ireland have the most frequency of redheads.
A number of years ago redheads were reported to be becoming extinct but this study was subsequently refuted when Proctor and Gamble was disclosed to have sponsored the research in relation to selling their hair dying products as noted in a Smithsonian article, "Requiem for the Redhead" available with a direct search using this title.
A Geneticist reports redheaded people and even those with blue eyes will decrease significantly in number to become more rare, but will not completely cease to exist though there may be some disagreement among geneticists on that matter.
Whatever our future holds I hope discriminatory words and actions cease. How everyone talks everyday with loved ones, friends, and others -- beginning in the home with children, our grandchildren, nieces and nephews, strongly contributes to eliminating discrimination. Communication demands civility, courtesy and respect to all -- those we know and those we don't. There is no place for physical assaults.
Language, words and actions matter!