We could all learn something from the impressive nine-year-old, Ishema Kane from Germany who doesn’t want to live in a world where racist language is allowed to be printed for children to read in their favorite books. German Family Minister Kristina Schröde cut words like “Negro King” from books like “Pippi Longstocking” when she’d read them to her daughter. A German newspaper, ZEIT published a story that defended such language and nine-year-old Afro-German, Kane was hurt by this.
The girl’s pain and understanding is beyond her nine years, but her mother claims that she reacted very emotionally, even crying because this type of language was deemed acceptable for people to use. It wasn’t acceptable to Kane. The German child picked up her pen and angrily wrote the paper this letter (translated by Stop! Talking):
Check out Kane’s letter to the editors below:
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 sh*t that this word would 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.
I don’t know about you, but Kane’s letter opened my chest and poked at my heard until it popped. She’s only nine and her passion is more than many of us can claim we have. There’s a young leader among us!
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