11-year-old Meath boy pens heartbreaking letter about racism in Ireland
"These things really hurt my feelings and I will hear things like this all my life"
By Clodagh Meaney
11-year-old Meath boy, Tré Jones, has penned a heartbreaking letter about racism in Ireland.
In the letter, the young boy describes his various encounters with racism throughout his young life.
The note, which was sent into RTE Radio One's radio show Liveline with Joe Duffy, includes some of the racial slurs that the pre-teen has been called.
Tré joined Joe Duffy on the show today where he read out the letter he wrote titled "My Encounters with Racism."
"My name is Tré Jones. I am 11-years-old. People say I am mixed race but I say that I am black because I know what people see when they look at me," the letter began.
"I am proud to be black. Since I was a baby I have suffered from racism from adults and children who are white."
Tré then went on to tell the show about the disgraceful things that have been said to him throughout his young life.
"I have been called the N word so many times. I have been told to go back to Africa. I've been called chocolate face monkey, I'm burnt and that I'm a little slave boy."
"These things really hurt my feelings and I will hear things like this all my life," he added.
"I wish white people would stop being racist and be kinder to all races," the letter concluded.
Tré's mother, Ciara, also appeared on the programme where she talked about the incidents of racism towards her young son that she has witnessed
"Some of the worst [things] have been said by adults," she said.
"They've said to him, 'I'm sick of your kind. I wish you would go back to Africa' and, 'get into your car with your little 'N' son and 'F' off'."
Ciara told the programme that he son feels like nothing is going to change and that racism is something he will have to face for the rest of his life.
The emotional story got an outpour of support on the radio, as well as on Twitter with many people paying tribute to Tré.
"Thank you Tré for sharing," began one tweet. "It is not acceptable and my heart breaks. Thank you, Joe, for using your platform to ensure children like Tré are heard. I stand with Tré and want him to know he matters and we need him. Words I would use to describe Tré are hero, kind [and] courageous."
"Tré that letter was so brave and strong and powerful. I joined twitter just to tell you how your voice has been heard and you will effect the change that is so badly needed in our society. I am ashamed to be white sometimes. Stay true to yourself and thank you," wrote another.