Neo-Nazi parents lose children

C News, Canada/February 11, 2010

Winnipeg - Two children at the centre of a controversial custody case involving allegations of racism and substance abuse will remain in the care of Child and Family Services, a judge has ruled.

CFS seized a now nine-year-old girl and her four-year-old half-brother in 2008 after the girl was sent to school with a swastika and racist writings drawn on her body.

The girl's stepfather fought for custody of the children, arguing CFS is infringing on his freedom of conscience, belief and association.

In a 34-page decision released Thursday, Justice Marianne Rivoalen rejected the man's Charter argument and ordered both children become permanent wards of CFS.

"Using a permanent marker on a child to publicize cultish slogans and opinions is not just irresponsible ... is not just bad parenting," Rivoalen said. "Those interferences with a child's person are batteries.

"Teaching one's child that 'black people just need to die' is not just reprehensible parenting. Advocating genocide and the wilful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group are crimes in this country. These children have a right to be protected from these things."

White pride supporter

Rivoalen ordered the children remain in the care of the girl's aunt - her biological father's sister - and uncle.

At a child protection hearing last June, the girl's stepfather testified he is a white pride supporter and that he doesn't believe in "interracial breeding." He admitted saying people of other races "should be sent back to their own country," but denied allegations he believed they should be killed.

A social worker told court the man's stepdaughter used racial epithets to describe killing black people and said "everyone who is not white should die." Court also heard evidence the man has not sought treatment for his drug and alcohol abuse, has lost jobs for using racial slurs, and rarely works.

Rivoalen said the case was not so much about racism as it was about bad parenting, both by the man and his ex-wife. Rivoalen said the children lived "in squalor and filth" and were exposed to excessive substance abuse and violence. The man shot birds and squirrels and then fed them to his dog in front of the children.

"Now add to this milieu neo-Nazi flags hanging in the windows and neo-Nazi regalia on display elsewhere in the home," Rivoalen said. "This was not a wholesome or nourishing environment in which to raise young children with developing minds and characters."

Rivoalen rejected claims by the man and his ex-wife they held "Odinist religious beliefs" and told their children the swastika was a sun symbol.

"At the time of the children's apprehensions, (they) were both neo-Nazis and white supremacists," Rivoalen said. "They cannot have it both ways. They cannot whitewash that. They have deceived no one."

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