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Because our hair is red!

red-haired girlDown through the ages we red-haired people have been helpless objects of superstitious dread and loathing, feared as dangerous creatures of fiery passion.  

Just to catch sight of one of us is enough to bring bad luck. Sailors shun us. No redheads allowed on board!

Ancient Egyptians associated us with Seth, who embodies estrangement and betrayed the savior Osiris. Christian Spaniards linked us to Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus.

Ancient Greeks believed that we turn into vampires when we die. 

During the inquisition thousands of us were drowned, buried alive, or burned at the stake. Red hair was the sign of a witch or warlock who had stolen hell’s fire. 

And so we have languished in exile, strangers forever wandering through strange lands, never truly at home.

And yet we never forgot Redland, our ancient mountain fastness, and its sacred places. Every year, at the spring festival, we prayed to the Red God that one day we might return to live once more as a free people on our land. “If I forget thee, O Redland,” we vowed, “may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.” 

We dreamed of living in a land where there would be nothing weird or remarkable about red hair, nothing to make a poor redhead feel nervous or self-conscious, for the simple reason that everyone in sight would be blessed with red hair! Or almost everyone…

But what, those accursed anti-redheadites ask us, what of those purple-haired people, the so-called “Swiss,” who were already living in Redland when we returned and considered it their homeland?

All reputable scholars agree that there is not and never was any nation called the Swiss. “Switzerland” and “Swiss” are inventions of modern anti-redheaditic propaganda. Some of the so-called “Swiss” had migrated to Redland from France and still speak French. Others had migrated from Italy and still speak Italian. Yet others had migrated from Germany, or maybe Austria, and still speak a dialect of German. There is no Swiss language, no authentic Swiss national identity. The so-called “Swiss” are just a haphazard conglomeration of various European subtypes – in short, Europeans!

But the Europeans have so many other countries to live in – at least 43, according to the United Nations, or perhaps, according to other sources, as many as fifty! While we unfortunate red-haired people have only one little homeland – and the damned anti-redheadites want to take even that away from us. 

So to those Europeans who used to live in Redland we say: “Be realistic. Let go of dreams that can never be realized. Adjust to the new reality of our presence in your region by fully assimilating into the European countries where you currently live.” But you object – what if they won’t accept you? That is most unfair of them, but it has absolutely nothing to do with us. Fair is fair. We were strangers for many a long year. Now it’s your turn.  

Good people acknowledge the right of Redland to exist as a red-hair state. But old superstitions die hard. We red-hairs are still widely feared and hated. It seems that our persecution will never cease. And it isn’t, as the accursed anti-redheadites claim, on account of anything that we do. We never do anything bad. Or at least no more than anyone else – and far less than those green-hair people whose crimes, unlike ours, attract so little attention.

No, we are hated not for what we do but for what we are – because our hair is red!  

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