Out of the bedroom…

... but into the crib. CFS must be wary of precedents

A woman, who posts online under the name Aryanprincess1488, has been denied visiting rights to her children. This is the latest development of a case that first began when the children were seized by Child and Family Services (CFS) after her daughter repeatedly showed up at school with a swastika penned on her arm in permanent marker.

Many sides cloud the issue here: from allegations of drug and alcohol abuse by the mother and her estranged husband to the defense that the mother is not a white supremacist, but a white nationalist.

“A black person has a right to say black power or black pride and yet they’re turning around on us and saying we’re racists and bigots and neo-Nazis because we say white pride. It’s hypocrisy at its finest,” she said to CBC.ca. This was during her first public admission of regret for marking her daughter with the swastika.

The pervasive danger to society in this case is coming from Child and Family Services

This is essentially semantics. Personally, after reading forum posts and descriptions of her home, I think she is as supremacist as they come. But no matter how ‘dangerous’ the views of a blogger are, the pervasive danger to society in this case is coming from Child and Family Services – primarily from the extra-legality of their approach and the dangerous legal precedent they have set.

Of the two major laws in play here, neither give CFS the mandate that they seized. The Canadian Human Rights Act does not mention raising children in a discriminatory home in any of its 14 Discriminatory Practices. The Child and Family Services Act (CFSA) is, at best, mixed. Child and Family Services claimed that the emotional well-being of the children was threatened, giving them grounds to take the children under protection. However, one can see perfectly happy neo-Nazis all over the Internet.

There certainly is not enough evidence of emotional battering to overwhelm the other stated aims of the CFSA: Protecting the integrity of the family, and the principle of least government interference.
The fact that the government is overstepping its bounds is exactly what white supremacists want in this case. It allows them to take the role of the oppressed and marginalized, giving a uniting issue to various groups that lack central leadership.

University of Winnipeg professor Helmut-Harry Loewen said to CBC, “Clearly, leaders of the movement have identified her as potentially useful for their ultimate aims and she’s playing along with it.”
The other major issue is the legal precedent. While it is easy to not want a white supremacist mother to be able to pump out two or three more neo-Nazis, who would tolerate it if a war-on-terror government seized children from Iranian immigrants, or if those children defending the Gaza Strip were taken from their classes and put into foster homes?

It has been said that the government should stay out of the bedroom, but it is increasingly obvious that it should stay out of the nursery as well. If CFS had acted on firmly defined legal grounds, that would be one thing; but when walking along such a slippery slope, we would hope the government had more solid ground under their feet.

Steve Currie is president of the student debate club: Debate Until Intelligent.

Published in Volume 63, Number 22 of The Uniter (March 5, 2009)

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