Monday, November 23, 2009

Yet Another Reminder That Many People Lack Internal Moral Compasses

Yet Another Reminder That Many People Lack Internal Moral Compasses

Apparently, some years ago, there was an episode of South Park where Cartman declares November 20 "Kick a Ginger Day." Gingers are redheads with freckles. As a way of making fun of racism and other forms of prejudice, this sounds kind of funny. But apparently someone created a "Kick a Ginger Day" group on Facebook--and now there are multiple incidents of attacks on gingers.

In British Columbia, according to Ski Channel Television Network:

Red-haired students at as many as three separate British Columbia schools were victimized last November for allegedly having "no souls," and being inherently evil people.

While the original South Park episode "Ginger Kids" aired over three years ago, this was the first reported acts of targeted violence against gingers.

Nanaimo high school student Aaron Mishkin figures he was kicked or hit about 80 times, all because of a created Facebook group inspired by the episode.

At another school in Sooke, west of Victoria, BC, more than 20 students at Journey Middle School were suspended after shocked teachers received complaints they were kicking redheads.

In the outskirts of Los Angeles, according to this November 23, 2009 Los Angeles Times report:

Authorities said today that an assault on a 12-year-old Calabasas boy who was allegedly targeted by his fellow middle school students because of his red hair is not being investigated as a hate crime.

The attack on the boy occurred at A.E. Wright Middle School by as many as 14 classmates, police said. The incident may have been motivated by a Facebook message on Friday saying it was "Kick a Ginger Day."

However, the incident does not meet the criteria of a hate crime, said Lt. Scott Chew of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

"This doesn't apply," he said.

"Ginger" is a label given to people with red hair, freckles and fair skin. It gained notoriety from a 2005 episode of "South Park," an animated comedy show with adult humor, in which "gingers" were picked on.

The boy, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, was kicked and hit with fists in various areas of the body, police said. His injuries were not severe.
From the November 21, 2009 Welland (Canada) Tribune:

NIAGARA FALLS — They represent a small part of the population, but kids with red hair had to be on guard Friday — it was "national kick a ginger day."

Most parents have never heard of it. But ask a teenager and chances are they know all about the episode from the satirical cartoon South Park, where one of the characters delivers a class presentation that targets red-haired people.

The episode resulted in the formation of a Facebook group that urged nearly 5,000 members from across Canada and around the world to "kick a ginger" on Nov. 20.

One Niagara Falls woman called Sun Media on Friday to say she was keeping her kids at home because they have red hair and she feared they might be kicked or beaten up.

"It's on Facebook and all the kids are texting it," said the exasperated mother of three high school-aged students. "So these poor kids are going to get beat up over this.

"What's a parent supposed to do?"

Pretty clearly, what kids watch influences them in ways that are truly irrational. Hatred of "gingers" isn't something that they learned from their parents. It isn't something that the government has encouraged. This is something completely absurd, created as a joke--and yet it leads to violence. Anyone convicted of crimes against "gingers" obviously lacks the sense to be driving a car for many years.

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