One haircut, two five-year-old boys and a lesson in racial prejudice
When five-year-old Jax demanded a buzz cut like his school friend Reddy Weldon’s, he thought nothing of it, his mother Lydia Stith Rosebush explained.
“He just said, ‘I’m getting it cut like Reddy. I’m going to look like Reddy,’” Stith Rosebush told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview from her home in Louisville, K.Y. on Thursday.
Jax’s intention was simple enough: he wanted to trick their pre-K teacher, Ms. April, into mixing up their identities in class.
His logic seems spot-on, but the innocence of his plan turned his fashion choice request into a viral sensation after his mother shared the story online.
The reason? Jax is white and Reddy is black.
Stith Rosebush said she thought her son’s idea was hilarious and decided to share an account of the conversation, and an accompanying photo of the two boys, on Facebook.
“I just laughed,” she explained. “Jax is really funny and he just says funny things and he has no problem letting you know his opinion on things.”
To her surprise, the story quickly spread and was picked up the local news media in her area. As of Thursday, Stith Rosebush’s post has attracted 91,000 “Likes” and more than 5,000 comments.
“This is crazy. It’s been shared all over the world,” she said. “It’s complete insanity.”
The mother of two said most of the online reaction has been positive, with many praising her parenting skills and noting that adults could learn a thing or two from Jax.
“I think a lot of people, especially today, could learn from the innocence of children,” she said. “Like, of course they see that they’re different. They’re five. They’re not stupid. They see each other, but they don’t care. It doesn’t matter.”
On Tuesday, Jax’s wish came true and he received a buzzed haircut with the news cameras rolling and Reddy by his side.
“He loves it. He talks about his haircut all the time. He has no idea why people care so much about his haircut,” Stith Rosebush said.
The next day, Jax’s plan to confuse his teacher was set into motion. Stith Rosebush said Reddy had already laid the groundwork by convincing everyone in the class that he was Jax before the real Jax had even arrived.
As for how the scheme worked on Ms. April…
“It’s been all over the news here so she thought it was super cute and she played along with them trying to switch places,” Stith Rosebush said with a laugh.
Mission accomplished, Jax.