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Colourblind – The story of Jax

26 Jun 2017

Jax Rosebush is a five-year-old who recently became internet famous by teaching us all a valuable lesson. If you haven’t already read about this young man, let me bring you up to speed.

A few weeks ago, Lydia Rosebush – his mother – noticed her son’s hair was getting quite long, and shaggy. She told him he needed to get a haircut and what he replied to his mother caught her by surprise.

“He said that he wanted his head shaved really short so he could look like his friend Reddy”, the  mother shared on her Facebook page. “He said he couldn’t wait to go to school on Monday with his hair liked Reddy’s so that his teacher wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. He thought it would be so hilarious to confuse his teacher with the same haircut.”

“If this isn’t proof that hate and prejudice is something that is taught I don’t know what is”

She then shared a picture of the preschoolers from their Christmas program with the caption “I’m sure you all see the resemblance,” and the post went viral. Why was this?

Well, Jaz is white. Reddy is black.

“If this isn’t proof that hate and prejudice is something that is taught I don’t know what is,” shared Rosebush. “The only difference Jax sees in the two of them is their hair.”

After I first read about Jax and his beautiful act of pure love, my heart warmed in my chest. I thought to myself how funny it was that something as simple as a young boy’s decision to get a haircut was able to win the hearts of millions online. How sweet it is that hair length was the only distinguishable difference he saw between himself and his friend.

In a world where we have all been taught to see everything as black and white, Jax challenges this with just his hairstyle choice. A haircut which was supposed to be a joke made me question how I choose to see people with my own two eyes.

I couldn’t help but ask myself. Why do we see race? What does recognising race do for us? At times, seeing colour affects us more negatively than it does positively. Why do we feel compelled to ask people where they’re from? What does this knowledge do for us? All it does it give us a little geography and ancestral history of a person. It doesn’t tell us anything about them as a person. What they are like, how they were raised, what they believe, or who they are.

“It would be ignorant and naive of us to forget that not all people are viewed as equals”

So why do we choose to see colour when interacting with other humans? Is this preschooler onto something? Should we all be colour blind like young Jax? I don’t think we should force ourselves and children to become colourblind and oblivious to their racial privileges if they have any. It would be ignorant and naive of us to forget that not all people are viewed as equals.

I hope that one day, being colourblind is achievable for the world. But as of right now, with the world’s current mess, it’s just not possible. But a change of perspective can be given to us by Jax. He taught me that we are all identical to one another.

He isn’t even aware of the valuable lesson he has brought to the world. These two innocent children do not know the impact of the statement they have both made on overcoming racial differences, because they don’t see one. They are just two friends who got the same haircut. That’s it.