Today I walked my five-year-old daughter to her kinder class, with her little brother on my hip. My son who is two and a half has bright red hair and beautiful sky-blue eyes.

When I am on semester break obviously he doesn’t attend daycare so I sometimes get the chance to take him with us to school drop-offs and pick-ups, but it is pretty rare. When I do there is always one child, who is actually a very nice little boy, in Ruby’s class who yells “Your brother is a REDHEAD!” at the top of his lungs whenever he sees Archer. This type of thing does not bother me too much as I’ve dealt with it before. Strangers come up to me in the shop and have done ever since Archer was just a week old. They awe at him and say something along the lines of “Doesn’t he have such beautiful hair!”. Again, this stuff does not bother me because yes he is a redhead and yes his hair is beautiful (but maybe I am a little biased being his mother).

But today was a little different. As I was helping Ruby put her bag in her little locker, the little familiar boy comes running “Ruby, your brother is a redhead!”. I just smile at him because it’s nothing different. However, then comes another little boy with beautiful blonde hair and says, “I hate redheads”. I felt my cheeks blush and without even thinking I respond with “That is not very nice” and walk off. I thought to myself, this kid is five and a half, at the most! How does he even know what he hates and what he likes (heck I don’t know what I like half the time).

But in all seriousness, where has this come from? What adult or other influence has put this thought in this little boy’s mind?! Where has he heard this from? Because I doubt he made this assumption for himself. Kids aren’t born with hate, yes, they may notice differences in skin colour or hair colour but born hating another person because they are different? I doubt it.

– Ebony Curtis

Read more: Kids That Hate

Image by Morgan Basham from Unsplash