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So my mixed race 5 year old son was the only person not wearing red at school today – that will stop racism in its tracks

Tom Winnifrith
Friday 22 October 2021

My son is a 5 year old kid just like all the other kids in his form at Primary school.  He plays, he learns, he obeys the teacher. He gets on well with his peers and with older kids in a school where there are, I think, three children of colour. Joshua is the only one in his form. Boy must he have stood out today.


The school council – that is to say the older kids – decided that everyone should wear red on one day as a stand against racism.  Natch the teachers did not think this through but just organized it as the 9 year olds dictated because to oppose them would be racist.


48 hours ago we were told about this great day and my Mrs went even more mental than I did. Hell’s teeth our son has just turned five. Just let him enjoy the pleasures of being a child, learning to read, playing with his pals, dancing atb the Halloween disco and having too many chocolate biscuits. Do we really want to have to explain to a five year old why some folk might dislike him because he, like his mother, has brown skin?


The Mrs would rather save that for a later day. Just as I rather resented having to answer questions, prompted by a discussion at school after the teacher put a picture of a kid with two dads on the whiteboard, about how a child can have two dads. I have no problem with discussing this with Joshua and explaining that it is not wrong or abnormal but when he is five? When he has no ideas about birds and bees? Surely that is too early?


Anyhow we overslept today.  In a rather rushed way, did Joshua want to wear red, we asked, as the school is having a special day? He said no.  Of course, all the parents of the white kids and ALL the teachers are so terrified of being thought racist that they were all dressed entirely in red. The only non-white in the class is thus the only one wearing the actual school uniform. That will make him feel right at home and part of the gang won’t it?


Of course, none of the older kids or the bloody teachers thought about how parents of a five year old might handle explaining what is going on to their child when they came up with this great idea. The main thing is that they can all say how progressive they are as they look at the little boy with a different coloured face and wearing different coloured clothes. Yup you are all really supportive and thoughtful. Thanks.

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About Tom Winnifrith
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Tom Winnifrith is the editor of TomWinnifrith.com. When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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