On Feb. 24 Lydia Rosebush, from Louisville, Kentucky, posted an anecdote to Facebook about her son, Jax, and his desire to have his head shaved so that he would look like his friend from school, Reddy.
“This morning Jax and I were discussing his wild hair,” Lydia wrote. “I told him that he needed a haircut this weekend. He said that he wanted his head shaved really short so he could look like his friend Reddy.”
“He said he couldn’t wait to go to school on Monday with his hair like Reddy’s so that his teacher wouldn’t be able to tell them apart,” she continued. “He thought it would be so hilarious to confuse his teacher with the same haircut.”
But the real story is told by the image that accompanies Lydia’s post: Jax is white, while his friend Reddy is black.
“Here’s a picture of Jax and Reddy from their Christmas program,” she wrote. “I’m sure you all see the resemblance.”
“If this isn’t proof that hate and prejudice is something that is taught I don’t know what is,” Lydia added. “The only difference Jax sees in the two of them is their hair.”
The post got more than 36,000 likes and had been shared over 20,000 times in six days.
Speaking to WAVE, Lydia said she couldn’t believe how much the story resonated with people.
“This is total insanity,” she said. “I just made the post because my kid is hilarious and cute. I never anticipated this. It just struck me as funny that Jax doesn’t even notice that Reddy is a different color. When he describes Reddy he never mentions it. I thought with all the hate in the world today, we could use this lesson from an almost 5-year-old.”
Reddy, for his part, was born in Africa. He and his brother, Enock, were adopted by Kevin and Debbie Weldon and when Reddy was 2 years old and Enock was 4.
“My sons do not look like me … but we are family all the same,” Kevin told WAVE. “We share the same last name, love each other with all we have, and are a forever family. One day when I am gone, they will inherit all that I have and carry on our family name.”
“It’s really cool to see that move on from our family right into his relationships with his friends,” he added. “There’s an innocence children have that sometimes we lose. If we could get some of that back, I think it would be amazing.”