Girl’s racial views in video shocking
Makes faces, fidgets like normal child, then outlines parents' feelings toward minorities
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 06/06/2009 (5115 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
At first blush, she strikes you as a perfectly normal, happy and energetic seven-year-old child. She poses for the video camera, makes funny faces, hums a few notes of a song and appears unable to sit still for more than a few seconds at a time.
But everything changes the moment she takes off her winter jacket, rolls up her sleeves and shows off the markings that have landed her in the middle of a high-profile child custody battle.
"My mom said I was a descendent of a Viking. That’s why she drew some of this stuff on me," the girl stated matter-of-factly during a March 2008 videotaped police statement played Friday in a Winnipeg courtroom.
She took the police officer through a crash course on what everything on her arms and legs meant — describing the "heil Hitler" reference and the popular neo-Nazi slogan "we must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children." The girl also described a large swastika on her arm, saying it’s also known as a "sun wheel."
"It’s a symbol of love and peace," she explained in a sweet, high-pitched voice. She told a police officer how her mother drew all over her body the previous evening, then sent her to elementary school. The girl said that to others, the markings represent a symbol of "hate" and she admitted learning from her parents about Adolf Hitler.
"He’s a very bad man who killed many people," she said. But she said her mother and stepfather think he’s "good because he killed all those people." And she said she likes her mother’s artwork, even though she knows some people find it "not good."
Her statements became increasingly shocking during the 40-minute interview, which Child and Family Services is using as a key piece of evidence in its bid to gain a permanent order of guardianship for the girl and her younger brother. CFS seized the children following the school episode and have argued in court that the parents’ racist views amount to emotional abuse and put the children at risk.
"Some people from Pakistan have AIDS. And they can kill you. Chinese people probably carry something, too," the girl explained. She said her parents "don’t like" people of other colours and had told her not to play at school with kids who aren’t white. The girl admitted most of her class is made up of various ethnicities.
"I usually just play alone," she told police. An officer asked if she wanted to be friends with any of those kids. The girl replied by giving a "so-so" motion with her hand.
The girl said her parents believe people of colour should "be killed or go back to their country." The officer asked if she agreed with that view.
"Not kill. But to go back to their country, maybe," said the girl.
"I’m not too sure about all of this stuff," the officer said at one point in the interview.
"Neither am I," the girl replied.
She said her mother had also drawn symbols on her little brother, but only used a highlighter because a marker could poison and kill him because of his tender age.
"I can just get sick," she said.
The girl also explained how her mother and stepfather created a poster, using pictures of her and her brother, with the slogan "Missing: A Future For White Children."
Her mother has admitted drawing the swastika, claiming she wanted to get the school’s attention because she was concerned about how little homework the school was giving the girl and that staff were not returning her phone calls. But she denied the other writings, claiming her daughter must have done them herself.
In an earlier 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 believed strongly in what her parents taught her. The girl also gave a graphic description of how to kill a black person.
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 girl’s biological aunt — who has become a foster parent to both seized children — finished off her testimony earlier in the day Friday. She told court how she first contacted police in 2005 because she feared the parents were starting up a white supremacy organization in Brandon. No charges were ever laid.
She did not contact child welfare officials because there was no evidence the children were in danger.
"If I had had any evidence… I would have had no problem reporting it regardless of the consequences," said the woman. "There were obviously all kinds of things (going on) that I didn’t know about. I think we’re all still reeling to think (the girl) has been through all that."
The witness’s elderly brother is the biological father of the little girl and nearly 40 years older than the mother. He has no role in the girl’s life and no standing at the custody case.
The aunt admitted her entire world has been turned "upside down," including having to put off her own retirement and raising two children in her so-called golden years. But she told court she hopes the situation can somehow be worked out for all parties.
"I’m scared to death the kids won’t go back (to the parents), but I’m scared to death they will go back if nothing changes," she said.
"My dearest wish would be… if these parents can get it together to meet the needs of these children, then everybody wins."
The trial has adjourned until June 23.
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.