Friday, May 29, 2009

Mom in swastika case has online history of hate

Parent of girl in custody battle posts on pro-white forum, says her now-closed skinhead website ‘was a joke'

Patrick White
Globe and Mail/
May. 29, 2009

The couple who sent their seven-year-old daughter to school with white supremacist slogans drawn on her skin once set up a pro-skinhead website that was the subject of a criminal complaint.

Now deleted, the website aimed to attract skinheads interested in “looking out for each other and helping to cleanse the area we live in,” according to a statement on the homepage.

The girl's mother says the website “was a joke” and has repeatedly denied allegations that she preached hate to her daughter and two-year-old son. The province of Manitoba seized both children last year shortly after the daughter was sent to school with a swastika and white supremacist slogans on her ski and is seeking permanent custody in a Winnipeg court.

No one involved in the case can be identified under Manitoba law.

Social workers have testified that during interviews with the girl she spouted racial epithets and said “What people don't understand is that black people should die.”

The mother said she believes social workers coaxed her daughter into uttering the statements. “My daughter would never say anything like that,” she said in an interview.

The website, however, suggests the couple were fluent in such language.

Song lyrics on the site advocate hatred of Jews, blacks and gays.

The lyrics also glorify General Heinz Guderian, father of the German army's Second World War blitzkrieg tactics.

In the site's “Rants” section, diatribes target the mentally challenged and aboriginals.

Ottawa human-rights lawyer Richard Warman lodged a criminal complaint regarding the site in 2005. “I think it's regrettable that charges were never laid in 2005 which might have avoided this whole debacle now,” he said in an e-mail.

In an interview Wednesday, the mother – who is now living outside Manitoba and has not attended the custody hearing – admitted the couple created the site, but closed it shortly after police came knocking. “We were investigated for that one,” she said. “They took me in one room and [the father] in another.”

She is also an avid commenter on Web forums at, a “pro-white” site, where she has posted comments expressing hatred of Jews.

But the mother insists her indelible online fingerprint can be misunderstood without context.

“A skinhead is just a working-class white person,” she said, referring to the roots of skinhead culture in England during the 1950s. “Just because some skinheads want to go gay-bashing doesn't mean we all do it.”

She has been an self-professed skinhead from age 11 and said she remains one today despite her kids being taken away.

She said that throughout high school, she buried her nose in law and history books, studying the legal implications of her beliefs. She said she may have let racist remarks slip in front of her children from time to time, but said it was never with malicious intent.

“I might have come home and said something like ‘That stupid nigger at 7-Eleven asked me for ID again and now I've got to go back,'” she said. “Or it could be like, one of my best friends, I make fun of him for being a Pollack. He calls me a Scottish bitch, you know.”

While she moderates her own views, she said she can't speak on behalf of her husband. The couple separated soon after Child and Family Services took their children away.

“We've had several arguments on politics,” she said. “I have said to him ‘You're a bigot.'”