Rights violated: accused racist
Father challenges seizure of children by authorities
The father and his wife, who can't be named to protect the
identity of their children, are set for a legal showdown with Child and Family
Services over custody of their seized kids. A weeklong trial is slated to begin
May 25, and the father is seeking an automatic ruling in their favour by citing
numerous alleged violations under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
CFS seized the children last spring based on concerns about
their emotional well-being after the girl showed up at her elementary school
with hate propaganda inked on her body. Further investigation revealed the kids
were being raised in what agency officials described as a "white
supremacist" environment. The investigators also raised child protection
concerns not related to the parents' beliefs.
The parents -- who are legally married but currently living
apart from each other -- have denied any wrongdoing and the father recently
filed an affidavit supporting his position.
"(The mother) and I were excellent parents to our
biological child (the boy) and to (the girl), both before and after the
children were apprehended. I believe that there is no legal basis for the
children having been apprehended in the first place," the father wrote.
"State removal of a child from parental custody is a
serious interference with the psychological integrity of the parent and
infringes every parent's right to a fair hearing pursuant... to the
charter," the man's lawyer wrote.
The nature of the parents' belief is expected to play a role
both in the charter challenge and in the child protection trial.
In an interview with the Free Press last summer, the mother
described herself as "white nationalist... but not a neo-Nazi
skinhead." She admitted to postings made on two websites, which include a
picture of the couple standing in front of a Nazi flag, with the man raising
his arm in salute. She said postings attributed to her husband under a
particular pseudonym were made by him. She claimed to have no memory of ones
attributed to her under another pseudonym in which she speaks of posting
"White Pride" posters, uses racial slurs to describe black people and
makes derogatory comments about aboriginals.
"(The children) goose-step all the time. It really is
adorable, it's more fun when we're in the mall and I do it, too," she
wrote. Her husband claims he has "dedicated my entire life to being a
skinhead" and vows to never change.
The father describes the swastika as "an ancient Nordic
symbol for peace, life and new beginnings."
This case has generated national and international publicity
because of the unique issues involved. The court hearing is expected to address
the extent to which the beliefs as expressed by the parents are legally
protected and whether educating their children in these beliefs entitled CFS to
apprehend the children.
If the father is successful in establishing that his charter
rights have been violated, this may prevent the court from hearing evidence
about other child protection concerns CFS discovered during their investigation
that are unrelated to the parents' racist beliefs.
CFS recently filed a motion to have the media banned from
covering the upcoming trial, fearing further coverage
of the case will be harmful to the children. Several media outlets, including
the Free Press, objected to the proposed ban. A family court judge dismissed
the CFS application earlier this week.
Mike McIntyre 14/05/2009
Responses to “The
right to be racist”
How do we ban ignorance and/or stupidity? People should be
allowed to think what ever they want, no matter how odious it is, but we should
be concerned by their actions towards others. As long as this couple is not
going out at night and giving natives or Jews or any ethnic minority a beating
or somesuch than they should be left alone.
John. K says:
How about if they were counselling their children to do
Thoughts and actions are two different things. Parents can
teach their kids whatever they want and as long the kids don’t act out those
hateful thoughts it is acceptable. And if Mike T is accurate
about case law, that disturbs me a great deal because I am a bit
discombobulated by The State deciding what ‘the best interests’ of a toddler
should be. Physical abuse should be only the thing government should
John. K says:
Thoughts and actions may be two different things for adults,
but children have a much harder time distinguishing them. And surely, if racism
is intrinsically immoral, teaching it is also immoral. As for the State
deciding what’s in the best interests of the toddler, if the parents abdicate
this responsibility by overtly acting NOT in the child’s best interest, then
who but the State can intervene? Surely we shouldn’t just leave the child to
the vagaries of chance, hoping someone, somewhere, sometime, will intervene?
Isn’t making sure that children aren’t insane bigots one of
the things that… well, society is for? I mean, there are plenty of children of
renowned racists who have grown up to denounce their parents’ beliefs.
“How do you suppose
Society does this?”
John. K says:
People mimic what others are doing/saying around them. It is
why governments are now putting low income housing within middle-class
neighbourhoods. Theoretically, these kids will be around other children who
have decent parents and will see how others behave.
Mike T. says:
Don’t worry too much about the terminology. The bar to
remove a child from their parents is still very high. Some of this territory
has already been covered by the Supreme Court in a case called Young v. Young. that case was a dispute between divorced parents, however,
not two parents and child services. I suspect the court will say that the best interests of the child outweighs the right to freedom of
expression. But despite some people’s dismissive attitudes about what gets CFS
involved, you have to be a really really substandard
parent to get your kid yanked. I await developments anxiously.
I’m glad to see I’m not the only man who is really, really,
really freaked out by the government deciding it can take children from parents
for not being ideologically pure in the government-approved manner.
I don’t agree with racism, but it shouldn’t be up to the
state what you teach your children. An issue like this sets a dangerous
If this wins in court, I believe our next step should be
removing children from the homes of Liberals, for the good
Craig O. says:
When one of the kids shows up with hate speech on her body
in ink, then we’ve passed a line of freedom of speech. If it was a simple “X
race is bad”, that’s one thing, but the brief description in the full article,
one that does not include all that the social workers must have witnessed,
indicates that this probably crossed the line into brainwashing, or involved a
degree of emotional abuse. Right now, however, everyone here (myself included)
is debating a situation for which we don’t have enough information to make a
I think that in our society, where racism is generally
agreed to be a bad thing, social stigmas attached to overt racism (this is a
good kind of stigma) help a lot to take care of this kind of problem. If the
government is too heavy-handed in addressing problems like this one, it could
contribute to a siege mentality that would strengthen their movement. But I
agree with Craig O.; we need a better understanding of the nature of the
indoctrination that is happening in order to make a judgment.
Here's hoping that the courts rule in favour of CFS. How
parents can bring their kids up to be intolerant to
any race other than their own is appalling.
It's no different than being raised to be a pig-headed
teenage jerk who picks on smaller kids in high school,
or brought up in a home that despises gays. I wish that this didn't happen, but
it does every day. Sadly, these parents do have the right to teach their
beliefs to their children. Let's just hope that the kids are also watching
their teachers, peers, and good role models to realize there are other points
I personally hate that people teach their children intolerance!
Well the CFS better get on it if they are going to take
children from racist parents. They will have a big job ahead of them. Many
parents from many other countries teach their children to be racist too! They
don't like the Canadian ways, the freedoms our kids have. The freedom our women
have. And pass those opinions and beliefs onto their children. Yes, even
immigrants can be racist...don't be shocked.
Know It All says:
Good for them. They obviously aren't Canadian bringing their
children up in a Nazi fascist way. Publish their names & let’s see what
their neighbours & co-workers think of them then. Justice served cold, just
the way it should be.
I wonder what kind of reaction they were hoping for from the
school when they drew swastikas on their children? It
boggles my mind how people can be so ignorant and closed minded. It’s sad that
one would devote their "entire life" to such anger and hatred.
How is this any different than indoctrinating your child
into any of today's 'popular' religions? These religions ALL teach children a
particular point of view and that anyone else who doesn't share your views will
'Burn in Hell', or are infidels that don't deserve to live. There are also many
views in these religions that teach hate and intolerance towards women and
homosexuals. I agree, a child should not be raised in this type of
brain-washing environment, but it's much more common - and generally accepted -
than you think. This couple's real crime is teaching a set of hate and
intolerance that differs from most of the population today.
My Opinion says:
The children should never be returned to those parents...the
parents have failed their children miserably.
I have so much anger to those who are cruel to others because of ANY reason that they can't help! In my opinion their thinking is like a deadly disease and needs to be contained before it contaminates others.
I would like to know what opinions readers would have if the
situation were a little different. I do not like animals. I don't like to be
near them, the smell of them, just the look of them. I have a strong and set
opinion towards animals and won't be changing my mind any time soon. I raise my
children the same way. Does this give CFS the right to take my children away? Although,
I do not share the same opinions as the father and mother in this situation, I
do agree that as parents, they should have the right to raise their children
the way they want. CFS should only intervene if there was any harm towards the
children, and as the father mentioned, they were "excellent parents".
It is interesting to see what the children's opinions are on this matter.
Because of course ... even though their parents raise them in their beliefs,
doesn't mean that they will follow their parents’ beliefs when they grow up. Let
us not forget that children do have minds of their own.
I do not condone what these parents are teaching their
children. But we need to ask ourselves if their behaviour is that different
from parents of other cultures, who also reside in
Are you people not being intolerant of these parents? Did
your parents not teach you to allow other their own beliefs? Look at what you
write as it's very hypocritical. I don't agree with what the parents were
teaching nor would I teach my own children the same, but they have the right to
their own beliefs, just like you're free to bring your kids up as you want to Canada
is a place where there are many different types of people, yet your guys are
ostracizing them for not believing what you do! What if CFS were to take your
kids away for teaching Christian values or anything similar you would be
It is true that there are still many racist and intolerant
people, but most have enough sense not to shout it out, at least in
These parents are ugly racists and I think it's abhorrent
how they're raising their children, but I have similar opinions about religious
zealots who indoctrinate their kids, and right-wing, gun-crazy hunters who take
their 6-year-olds out to shoot animals. We can't take peoples' kids away just
because we don't agree with their views or we think they're raising their
children to have similarly ugly views. It's unconstitutional.
I teach my children not to drive or walk alone in the North
end of the city unless they absolutely must. Does that make me a bad mom? No,
it makes me a mom who cares about her children's safety. I tell them about
birth control and safe sex, that they will not go to hell if they have
premarital sex. I teach them about good and bad relationships, the dangers of
meeting online 'buddies' they don't know about. About parties at places they have
never been to and not to trust anyone other than family. Oh I'm terrible! These
parents never starved or beat the kids in any way. They just taught them what
they thought was best. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. What makes you people out
there judge and jury? The kids will grow up with a mind of their own and choose
their own paths. How many of you have followed to the letter your parents’