British singer says ginger jibes are akin to racism

He's right. In politically correct England, some bigotries are still OK: Dislike of people from a different social class; contempt for people from the North of the country; amusement at anything Scottish; dislike of Jews and mockery of redheads

He may have found fame with Simply Red, but you mustn’t mention the colour of Mick Hucknall’s hair. The ginger singer claims making fun of his roots is akin to racism.

After facing a series of belittling comments on social networking website Twitter, the 51-year-old told his followers: ‘Let’s play a game: whenever you read “ginger” try replacing it with “black” or “asian” and see how it reads.’ A later post added: ‘Bigots are mostly best ignored. Tho a little outing once in a while spices up ones Tea!’

The pop star questioned why a string of prominent Britons were not similarly defined by the colour of their hair. ‘Interesting also that Prince Harry almost never referred to as Ginger by the media,’ he noted. ‘Or Churchill, or Elizabeth 1 or Shakespeare (allegedly). And lest we forget, dear old Henry VIII!’

Approximately one in ten people in the UK [mostly in Scotland] has ginger hair, or titian hair as it is sometimes known, giving us one of the highest redhead rates in the world.

The colouring is caused by high levels of the pigment pheomelanin and relatively low ones of the darker eumelanin.

There are plenty of historical examples of extreme ‘gingerism’. In 15th-century Germany, redheads were seen as witches and 45,000 were tortured and murdered. Elsewhere, the Egyptians burned ginger people alive, and the Greeks claimed they turned into vampires when they died.

Nevertheless, some of the modern world’s most desirable women are redheads, including models Lily Cole and Karen Elson.

Hucknall – once known as the Ginger Lothario for his womanising ways – married former art dealer Gabriella Wilke-Wesberry, 40, the mother of his four-year-old daughter Romy True, 13 months ago.


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