Published November 20, 2009
As Facebook page calling for “Kick-A-Ginger Day” went up, many redheaded Icelanders feared for their physical safety.
Icelandic language specialist Esther Ösp Gunnarsdóttir told Vísir that discrimination against redheads is seldom taken seriously, and has herself completed her BA on the subject of redheaded historical figures in children’s literature. She told reporters that if “Kick a Black Person Day” or “Kick a Homosexual Day” were launched on Facebook, the matter wouldn’t be taken lightly.
“Kick-A-Ginger Day”, itself a derivative of Britain’s “ginger bashing” tradition, was, however, taken seriously here in Iceland. The National Parent’s Association of Iceland sent out notices to schools across the country, warning of the impending event, encouraging school authorities to be on the lookout for bullying of redheaded children.
Eiríkur Jónsson, editor of the magazine Séð og Heyrt, wrote an article on his blog, expressing worry for members of his family – his son is redheaded, as is a female relative; the Social Democrat MP Ólína Þorvarðardóttir. Not backing down from those who would persecuate the redheaded, Jónsson challenged would-be attackers, “Bring it on if you dare.”
At the time of this reporting, no serious incidents of ginger-bashing have made it to press. The above photo, however, is taken from a Daily Mail article from 2007 about a family of redheads who were forced to move from their home due to excessive neighborhood bullying.