Mother vowed to disown: CFS

If girl had a non-white friend, child-custody trial told


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WINNIEPG – A Winnipeg mother allegedly threatened to disown her seven-year-old daughter if she made friends with a child who wasn't white, according to Child and Family Services.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/05/2009 (5049 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

WINNIEPG – A Winnipeg mother allegedly threatened to disown her seven-year-old daughter if she made friends with a child who wasn’t white, according to Child and Family Services.

"If you have a friend who is not white I won’t be your mom… I’ll say I’m not your mom," the girl said her mother told her. The girl reported the comments in a March 2008 interview with a social worker that was related in court on Tuesday.

The girl and her younger brother are at the centre of a heated, high-profile child custody battle. CFS is now seeking a permanent order of guardianship, arguing, among other things, that the racist views of the alleged white supremacist parents have clearly been passed down to the children and amount to emotional abuse. The girl’s stepfather is fighting back, claiming his rights to freedom of expression and religion have been violated. The mother has moved out of province, has not retained a lawyer and is not participating in the trial.

The parents — who can’t be identified pursuant to the Child and Family Services Act — also spoke with CFS after the children were apprehended. They downplayed the girl’s graphic description of how to kill black people, claiming she was likely just making "a joke." They also blamed her for the majority of racist, neo-Nazi markings that were all over her body when she showed up at her elementary school.

The mother admitted to drawing a swastika on her daughter, claiming she wanted to get the school’s attention because she was concerned about a lack of homework they were giving the girl and not returning her phone calls, court was told. She claimed the symbol is also known as a "sun wheel" and represents peace.

"It was a stupid mistake. I regret it," she told CFS. But she denied the other writings, which covered much of the girl’s arms and legs and included references to Adolf Hitler and the slogan "we must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children." The girl told CFS her mother was responsible for those markings.

"(The girl) is famous for lying," her stepfather told a social worker.

In an interview at her school, the girl told a social worker that "black people don’t belong. What people don’t understand is that black people should die." She frequently used the N-word to describe blacks and said she believes strongly in what her parents taught her. The girl also gave a graphic description of how to kill a black person, telling the social worker about using a spiked ball attached to a chain and then "whipping them until they die." She also made racist remarks about the World Trade Center attacks, described watching "skinhead" videos and websites with her parents and watching them regularly smoke marijuana.

The parents told CFS they didn’t force their own views on their children. A social worker who dealt with the family told court Tuesday the couple didn’t seem to understand the seriousness of the situation.

The worker admitted there was no evidence of physical abuse and said the family seemed to get along well in three spring 2008 supervised visits.

Lawyers for CFS began calling evidence Tuesday about what they called "long-standing family dysfunction" — including drug and alcohol abuse, mental health issues, neglect and criminal activity and associations — which they say will prove the children are at risk if returned to their parents.

The girl’s mother had issues with alcohol abuse in her teens and was linked to criminal gangs. Her own mother had contacted CFS in the late 1990s seeking help with her "out-of-control" daughter, court was told. The girl’s stepfather was a junior high school dropout described by family members as an unemployed "druggie" who would steal from loved ones to support his habit.

Family members say the couple often referred to themselves as "skinheads" and frequently shaved their heads. They also shaved the little girl’s head on at least one occasion, court was told. CFS eventually ordered a psychiatric assessment and parental capability assessment. The findings of those reports will be made public later in the trial.

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Sports columnist

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.

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