VIRAL VIDEO: Louisville preschoolers - 1 white, 1 black - get matching haircuts to fool teacher
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville boy who turned five this week is spreading love and acceptance across the country and around the world.
While many Americans are splitting hairs and squabbling over issues such as race, Jax is doing his part to heal the great divide - and he doesn't even realize it.
Jax told his mother last Friday that he wanted his hair cropped extremely close when he got it cut over the weekend so he could look exactly like his friend, Reddy, also 5. Jax said he couldn't wait for his his teacher to see them on Monday because she wouldn't be able to tell the two apart.
Jax's mother Lydia Rosebush was so amused by her conversation with Jax, she posted about it on Facebook later on Friday. Her amusement goes a hair deeper than than the obvious.
"I know what Reddy looks like, so that made me chuckle," Lydia said.
You see, Jax is white, and Reddy is black.
"He thought it would be so hilarious to confuse his teacher with the same haircut," Lydia wrote. "If this isn't proof that hate and prejudice is something that is taught I don't know what is. The only difference Jax sees in the two of them is their hair."
Not their skin color.
Since Lydia made the post last Friday, it's received 140,000 likes, 8,300 comments, and it's been shared 77,000 times on her personal Facebook page alone. Lydia only has a little more than 325 Facebook friends.
It has also been liked and shared millions more times and written about on other media sites based around the world, including Huffington Post UK, PopSugar.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, French and British sites, dozens of blogs, and the story has been featured on local television stations across the United States, the TODAY show and its website and on NBC News Nightly News with Lester Holt.
"This is total insanity!" Lydia said Tuesday. "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."
It's a lesson Jax might never have had the opportunity to teach because he and Reddy almost never made it into each other's orbit.
Reddy and his older brother Enock were born in Africa. They were 2 and 4 years old when they were adopted by Kevin Weldon, pastor of Carlisle Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, and his wife Debbie. The Weldons are white.
"My sons do not look like me... but we are family all the same," Kevin Weldon said. "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."
Jax, meanwhile, just wants to carry on Reddy's hairdo.
When he first asked his mom for the buzz cut, she initially said no.
"He has a big head, and I was afraid it would look weird."
Eventually, she realized the message of love that was spreading was far more important than looks. Lydia decided to let Jax get the haircut on Tuesday, and Reddy and his family were there to share with WAVE 3 News their shared experience of going viral.
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"It's really cool to see that move on from our family right into his relationships with his friends," Kevin Weldon, Reddy's father, said. "There's an innocence children have that sometimes we lose. If we could get some of that back, I think it would be amazing."
Lydia said on Wednesday, when the boys went back to school, their teacher played along, pretending she couldn't tell them apart - just like Jax had planned.
"She said by the end of the day, the girls (in the class) were also switching names."
Both families say they are overwhelmed by all the attention their boys are receiving. They currently are fielding several offers, including at least one opportunity to appear on a national talk show.
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