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This article was published 25/5/2009 (4498 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WINNIPEG – She showed up at school with neo-Nazi propaganda written all over her body, calmly described how to kill black people and spoke proudly about white people being superior to all other races.
Now the disturbing views of a seven-year-old girl are at the centre of a heated child custody case that began Monday in Winnipeg.
"Black people don't belong. What people don't understand is that black people should die," the little girl stated matter-of-factly in the March 2008 interview with a Child and Family Services worker.
Although disturbing, the Free Press is reporting on some of the girl's comments because they form a central part of the legal battle. CFS is seeking a permanent order of guardianship for the girl and her three-year-old brother, saying the racist views of their 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.
"They have been taught to hate absolutely everyone in the world who's not white," a CFS social worker wrote in a report tendered in court Monday. "She didn't see her family views as anything other than normal."
CFS got involved last year after the girl showed up at her Winnipeg elementary school with a massive swastika on her arm and other slogans on her legs, including references to Adolf Hitler and the slogan "we must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children." Photos of the markings were shown in court.
"The meaning of that is that black people don't belong," the girl later explained to the social worker. The woman told court Monday she was stunned by what transpired during an hour-long interview with the girl, who 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." The worker asked the girl if those ideas "scared her."
"No, black people just need to die. That's not scary. This is a white man's world," she replied.
The girl 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. She said her parents even made a poster of her and her brother with the slogan "Missing -- A Future for White Children," which they plastered around Winnipeg.
"White kids are not safe because of (racist term for blacks)," she told the social worker.
The girl's stepfather -- who is currently living apart from the girl's mother -- has denied any wrongdoing and recently filed an affidavit supporting his position. The girl's mother repeatedly demanded the return of her children in a series of phone calls to CFS last year, noting the children had not been physically harmed in any way. Police had also investigated but laid no charges.
"You have no right to steal my children because of religious beliefs," she said, according to the social worker. She admitted drawing on her daughter to "piss them off" at the school and said her children "are proud to be white."
"(The mother) made it clear that multiculturalism was the poison of society and she was proud to be able to influence her daughter that way," the CFS employee told court. "My concerns were the emotional impact this was having on a seven-year-old child, that she would describe in detail how to kill a black person. It was concerning that someone would mark their child up like a billboard and send them to school."
The lawyer for CFS told court Monday this case has nothing to do with infringing free speech or expression. He said it is about "long-standing family dysfunction" -- including drug and alcohol abuse, mental health issues, neglect and criminal activity and associations -- which will prove the children are at risk if returned to their parents. The couple allegedly gave out alcohol to some of the girl's schoolmates as "rewards" for helping with babysitting, court was told.
CFS is also relying on a doctor's report that both parents "are not in a position to offer either of their children care at this time," court was told. 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. The trial will run until Friday, then be adjourned until June 23 for another week of testimony.
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.