South Park is a comedy show often accused of being socially irresponsible. The show’s creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, endeavor to make fun of everything and everybody and usually the results are harmless and funny. But one particular episode that first aired in 2005 turned out not to be so funny for some kids. That episode featured one of the show’s characters creating a new holiday called “Kick a Ginger Day.” “Ginger” refers to red-haired, pale-skinned, freckled people and the purpose of the fake holiday is to abuse them.
Unfortunately, that episode inspired real-life Facebook pages dedicated to beating up red-haired people. And that, say police, is the story behind a Calabasas, California boy’s recent beating. The 12-year-old middle school boy was physically assaulted in two separate incidents at A.E. Wright Middle School. Police say that as many as fourteen kids took part in the beating and, although the boy wasn’t seriously injured, they are investigating the incident as a possible assault with a deadly weapon.
This isn’t the first time a red-haired kid has been hurt in the name of “Kick a Ginger Day.” A similiar incident happened in British Columbia in 2008 and there are likely others we never heard about. As a parent of another student at A.E. Wright wonders, can’t Facebook can’t do something about these groups that inspire violence and hatred? Maybe not, but Facebook users can. A search of “Kick a Ginger” on Facebook returned over 300 results – the majority of them anti-Kick A Ginger pages.