A three-year-old boy with red hair got on a bus with his mum, and got teased.
Without Shameful Things Happening On Public Transport, those of us who work online would have to pack up our laptops and go home.
Manspreading, idiotically racist outbursts, inappropriate touching, misplaced pregnancy congratulations, Loud Talkers… the status updates go on. And on.
But today’s missive from the frontline of Terrible Bus Tales will bring a tiny tear to your eye.
Because it’s about Noah, a three-year-old boy with red hair who got on a bus with his mum, and got teased.
Lauren Russell, from Southampton in the UK, posted about what happened:
“Today my heart broke in two. Whilst travelling on a public bus number 12 I witnessed such cruel behaviour towards my three year old son from a very narrow minded boy who couldn’t be much older than 13.Advertisement
“Unfortunately this hasn’t been the first time and I know it won’t be the last. He’s been targeted by people of all ages.
“And what for? Because he has ginger hair. My beautiful boy was told social services should have taken him away because his hair colour is disgusting.
“The boy then turned to his friend and said if he ever had a ginger child he would kill it.
“Now my little boy is only 3 and was left very confused. I feel devastated as I to have ginger hair and no all too well what it’s like to grow up being singled out/ the target of such bullies.
“He hasn’t stopped asking me why people don’t like his hair. He asked me if I could change it for him so people will like it.
“He asked me if he could be like his brother who doesn’t have ginger hair. I can feel my heart breaking every time he asks me. My little boy looks so sad and I want to make it better.
“The reason I am trying to go public with this is because I know these cruel bullies are in the minority. I want to show my little boy that there is more good in this world than bad.
“There are kind and caring non judgemental people who won’t ever single him out.
“I ask you all to please share this and show my boy how beautiful he is. I want to show him the good in this world with the power of Facebook.
“It isn’t okay to bully somebody for their hair colour, not now. Not ever. Thankyou xxx’
Lauren’s post has been shared more than 105,000 times, and as a result, she has become an instant pin-up for redhead rights.
It’s hard to believe that in 2015, when all of the world’s variety is within a finger-swipe, the sight of a flame-haired kid can still illicit a reaction from a bullying fool.
Behold the Ginger Pride march:
But, young Noah, we fear what we envy, and what we don’t understand. And the regular-hair-coloured world can barely contemplate a universe where a person doesn’t have to pay a quarter of their weekly salary and sit in a chair for half a day to achieve a show-stopping topper.
True red-heads make up less than 2 per cent of the world’s population. They are special. They are clearly the chosen ones, Noah, and it’s not really surprising that the mousier among us just can’t deal.
Lauren said that her son had asked if he could change his hair colour so that he didn’t stand out. Noah, one day, you will want to stand out, and your remarkable, hair will be a blessing, not a curse.
Maybe the day’s not so far away.
Two days after her post went viral, Lauren wrote
Thank you all for your support you all made this happen for Noah. Noah now says he loves his red hair and that’s all I’ve ever wanted him to say!! Thank you all ????
Parents began to proudly post pictures of their gorgeous red-headed kids. Noah’s face made national newspapers.
There might be far worse going on in the world right now than a little ginger boy having mean things called out to him on the number 12, but as any parent can tell you, they would like to unleash holy hell on anyone who messes with their baby.
Well played, Lauren.
Mamamia’s biased view of some very handsome gingers: