After a German newspaper defended the use of racist language in children’s book, a nine-year old German girl, Ishema Kane, has penned down a response expressing her disapproval.
The debate began with German Family Minister Kristina Schroder saying that she had skipped racist words and expressions like ‘Negro King’ from a Pippi Longstocking story while reading to her daughter which was reportedly defended by the German Newspaper ZEIT.
Kane’s mother, Kathrina Lobec Kane bought the newspaper issue and read it to her daughter who became quite emotional and started crying after listening to it.
The nine- year old then sent a handwritten letter to the paper expressing her thoughts on the sensitive issue.
It has been translated on the blog Stop! Talking
You’re in luck that I’m at least writing this letter to you in my best handwriting because I am very angry at you. Why should it not be prohibited to write ‘Neger’ in children’s books? One has to be able to put oneself in somebody else’s shoes. Because my father is Senegalese, and he is a very dark shade of brown; I am café-au-lait brown. Just imagine if you were Afro-German and lived in Germany. You’re a newspaper reader and unsuspectingly buy the ZEIT of January 17th 2013. Suddenly, you note the article ‘The Little Witch Hunt.’ This is when you read that the word ‘Neger’ is supposed to be deleted from children’s books, and that this would allegedly spoil the children’s books. I find it totally shit that this word should remain in children’s books if it were up to you. You cannot imagine how I feel when I have to read or hear that word. It is simply very, very terrible. My father is not a ‘Neger’ [lightning bolt sign] nor am I. This is also true for all other Africans. Right. That was my opinion. This word should be deleted from children’s books.
Ishema Kane, 9 1/2 years old
P.S.: You’re welcome to send me a response.
[more lightning bolt signs]“
The fact that a little girl came up with this response is proof of the fact that topics like racism and discrimination on the basis of caste, creed and color should not be taken lightly since they have an emotional effect on children as well. This thoughtful letter has gone viral on the internet and has been shared more than thousand times on Facebook.