In 2008 a young couple here in Winnipeg had their children seized by the Child and Family Services after a teacher called CFS to report that the couple’s daughter had come to school with a swastika inked on her arm. The case finally made it to the courts in May of 2009. I wrote this essay the week the case opened. I had been disgusted although not surprised, earlier that week, with the commentary that had appeared about this case in the Winnipeg Free Press. The newspaper’s progressive columnists seemed to have been having a contest to see who could call the loudest for the cruficixion of the couple in question.
Child and Family Services is a government agency that I have long detested. It exists for no purpose other than to undermine parental authority within the family. Yes, I know that on paper their raison d'être is to deal with cases of child abuse. They are notoriously incompetent at handling this task however. There are clear cut cases of child abuse where all sane people would agree the government must step in to protect children from abusive parents – cases of sexual abuse and cases where the parents deliberately injure their children. This sort of thing the police can handle without the help of an agency staffed with arrogant social workers.
CFS, like similar agencies elsewhere, was not created out of a need for a special agency to deal with such cases. It was created because the increasingly totalitarian state wants to control our lives from cradle to grave and to do so it requires control over the raising of children. Thus the creation of agencies like the CFS, which exist to let parents know that it is by permission of the state that they are allowed to raise their children, that the state will be monitoring them, and that they will lose their parental privileges if they step out of line.
In this instance, where the CFS intervened because of a complaint about the family’s political views, it was a clear cut case of political persecution. This is something that we all should have been outraged over. It does not matter that the swastika is the symbol of an ideology, National Socialism, that all sane people consider to be repugnant. All sane people also consider Communism to be repugnant. If, however, a child were to show up in school with a hammer and sickle inked on their skin, does anyone seriously think a teacher would have called the CFS to complain? In the extremely unlikely event that happened, and the even more unlikely event that the CFS, staffed with people who were spoon-fed Marxism in their social “sciences” classes in university, actually took children out of a home because its parents were Communists, how do you think the columnists in papers like the Winnipeg Free Press would respond? Would they demonize the parents in print the way they did with the parents in this case? Of course not. The moment they got wind of such a thing happening they would be screaming “McCarthyism” as loud as they possibly could.
As the case progressed in the courts, further allegations of a different nature were made against the parents. Surely, however, such allegations cannot be considered credible coming from the CFS. It had taken children out of a home because of the political views of the parents and was now trying to cover its tracks.
The title of this essay is, of course, an allusion to Martin Niemöller’s famous poem “First they came…” Niemöller was a Lutheran pastor in Germany who ended up in Dachau in WWII. The poem describes how the Nazis came for the communists, trade unionists, and Jews, and he kept silent being none of those things, and then when they finally came for him there was nobody to speak out for him. The reference to this poem struck me as an appropriate title for two reasons.
First of all, the act of the government taking children from a home because of the political views of the parents is far closer to the evil of the Third Reich than the mere use of the swastika symbol.
Secondly, progressives have devoted much effort over the last several decades to instilling anti-racism in us. This effort has been largely successful and one of the results is that now most of us turn a blind eye to evil when the victim can be shown to be a “racist”. Marxist thugs prevented a controversial speaker from giving a lecture at a university where he was invited to speak to people who wanted to hear him speak by blocking access to the lecture hall, shouting him down and intimidating his would-be audience? Ah, but he is a “scientific racist”, so that means the anti-racist thugs were just expressing their “freedom of speech” rather than denying the lecturer his. The owner of a website is brought before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and charged with violating Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act for something that was posted on his website, and he now faces a hefty fine, legal bills, and a gag order? Ah, but it was racist material that posted on his website, so it doesn’t matter. Children are taken away from their parents because of the opinions of their parents? Ah, but their parents hold racist opinions so it doesn’t matter.
So long as we continue to think this way, government agencies and thugs will continue to be able to do whatever they want to people, so long as they label them “racist”.
“But the parents really were racists, in this case,” someone who misses the point completely will object, “they identify themselves as white nationalists and drew a swastika on their daughter’s arm.”
Christopher Lasch, the “social conservative of the Left” who was professor of history at the University of Rochester until his death in 1994, wrote the following about such people:
The problem of racial intolerance is closely linked to fanaticism. Here again there is a good deal of complacency and self-righteousness mixed up in the fear of intolerance. The thinking classes seem to labor under the delusion that they alone have overcome racial prejudice. The rest of the country, in their view, remains incorrigibly racist. Their eagerness to drag every conversation back to race is enough in itself to invite the suspicion that their investment in this issue exceeds anything that is justified by the actual state of race relations. Monomania is not a sign of good judgment. But whether it spring from self-righteousness or panic or a mixture of the two, the assumption that most Americans remain racists at heart cannot stand up to close examination. The improvement of racial attitudes is one of the few positive developments of recent decades. Not that racial conflict has subsided, but it is a serious mistake to interpret every conflict as evidence of the retrograde outlook of ordinary Americans, as a revival of the historical intolerance that has played so large a part in our country’s history. The new racism is reactive rather than residual, let alone resurgent. It is a response, however inappropriate and offensive, to a double standard of racial justice that strikes most Americans as unreasonable and unfair. Since opposition to an “affirmative” double standard is routinely dismissed as racist, one reaction to this insult, from working- and lower-middle-class people harassed by affirmative action and busing and now from college students harassed by attempts to enforce politically correct language and thought, is to accept “racism” as a badge of honor, to flaunt it, with studied provocation, in the face of those who want to make racism and minority rights the only subject of public discussion. (Christopher Lasch, The Revolt of the Elites: And the Betrayal of Democray, New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1995, pp. 90-91)
Here, in his last work, Prof. Lasch demonstrated far more insight into what makes these people tick than most typical leftists.
Canada and the USA, and virtually every other Western country have, after WWII, introduced:
1) Anti-discrimination laws. These forbid racial discrimination on the part of private businesses and property owners in certain situations. In practice they tend to be only enforced against whites.
2) Affirmative action policies, in which schools and employers discriminate in favour of non-whites against whites. These can either be imposed by the government or actions taken by companies themselves to ward off the threat of lawsuits under anti-discrimination laws.
3) Forced racial integration for lower and lower-middle class whites.
4) Liberal immigration policies that seem to be designed to deliberately alter the racial demographics of the countries that practice them.
These policies were all introduced by progressives. Conservatives should be the effective voice of opposition to these policies and the injustices contained within them. We have failed to be such and as long as we continue to fail those who are not willing to suffer in silence under such injustices will find other, less wholesome, movements and ideologies to speak for them.
First They Came For The White Supremacists…
By Gerry T. Neal
May 27, 2009
The big news this week, is the opening of the child-custody case that started last year here in Winnipeg, when Child and Family Services took a girl and boy into custody after the girl’s teacher reported that she had been sent to school with swastikas and racist words drawn on her skin. Following the seizure a debate arose over whether or not the state has any business taking children out of their homes because they don’t like the views of the parents. Now the legal answer to that question in Canada is going to be settled by the courts. The moral and just answer to the question, however, lies in hands other than those of the Canadian legal system.
That answer is clear, and that answer is a resounding no. When the government says that you cannot think a certain way, that you cannot hold a certain opinion, or that you cannot convey your thoughts and opinions to others, they are engaging in something called thought control. Thought control is the mark, not of a legitimate and just government, but of a totalitarian and tyrannical one. The most oppressive regimes of the 20th Century, the Communist governments of the USSR, Red China, Cuba, North Vietnam, Cambodia, etc. all engaged in thought control.
So, for that matter, did the Third Reich.
Which makes it all the more ironic the government is using people’s fears of Nazism as the basis for their experiments in thought control. What was it about Hitler’s regime that made it so terrible? I always thought that it was the fact that the Third Reich was a tyrannical regime with secret police and a fanatical leader-worship cult that encouraged people to turn in their parents, neighbors, and friends if they were suspected of disloyalty to the state, in which freedom was non-existent and the state was in the hands of a gang of petty thugs who ruled by fear. But apparently I was wrong. Everyone else seems to think it was because Hitler was a racist.
Stalin, who was our ally in WWII, ran the same kind of totalitarian state as Hitler. In fact Stalin’s regime killed more people, operated more prison camps, and ruled more ruthlessly than Hitler’s did. Communism’s total record of bloodshed, human suffering, and oppression makes Hitler’s look pretty small in comparison.
Yet you can be an avowed Marxist and remain respectable in academic circles. You can hang up the flags of murderous Communist regimes, wear T-shirts glorifying Communist mass-murderer “Che” Guevera, and praise Castro and Mao to high heaven, and nobody will say anything about it. Or, if somebody does say something about it they will be drowned out by the cry “MCCARTHYISM!!!”
The name of Senator Joseph McCarthy has become synonymous with “witch-hunting” but McCarthy never attempted to use the power of the state to persecute people merely for holding Communist views. He was dealing with a legitimate security problem – the infiltration of the American federal government by agents loyal to a hostile power. We now know, since the mid 1990’s declassification of the VENONA Project transcripts, that the problem was worse than he thought.
That is a remarkable contrast with the professional anti-racist “watchdog” groups and their liberal allies in the media and the schools. These people want the government to take action against people, not for violence, not for acts that hurt others, but for holding racist views. They want it to be against the law to express certain opinions. They want the courts to hand out harsher sentences for beating people up because of their skin color than for beating them up because they were being lippy and obnoxious. Now, apparently, they want children removed from their homes and put in the custody of the state, because the parents don’t kowtow to what liberals and the government say everybody is supposed to believe about race.
On Monday, as the custody case began before the Manitoba Court of Queens Bench in Winnipeg, social workers from Manitoba Child and Family Services informed the court that the girl had told them that “black people don’t belong” and that “black people should die” and that she gave a graphic description of how to kill a black person with a chain and spiked ball.
That’s pretty nasty stuff. Is this really what the parents in question were teaching their children, however? Or is this a case where the social workers at Child and Family Services, convinced by their ideology that “those evil racist Nazis” talk that way, interviewed the girl in such a way as to get answers that confirmed their own preconceived ideas. The latter is by far the most likely explanation. So likely that I would call it a certainty.
If you find that to be preposterous then you are obviously unfamiliar with the way social workers and government agencies like CFS think and operate. Ignorant, young idealists, enter social sciences programs in universities where their professors stuff their heads with Marxist ideology, and they emerge to take jobs with government bureaucracies convinced of the righteousness of their mandate to invade the private lives of ordinary people and boss them around for their own good. That is how the social worker is made.
The ideology the social worker is taught, identifies certain ideas and attitudes as pathologies that are harmful to society. These are ideas that are transmitted primarily by families, churches, and small communities, and which until very recently were universally regarded as healthy and normal. This reclassification of normal ideas as mental diseases provides a justification for government agencies to interfere in the workings of other societal institutions. It also allows those doing the state’s dirty work intruding on people in their homes, spying on them, and taking their children away, to feel good about themselves, to think they are doing something for the greater good.
In reality they are just obnoxious busybodies on a power trip.
What are these ideas that are being pathologized?
Do you have feelings of patriotic attachment to the ancestral people from whom you are descended and to the land they live in? Once considered one of the highest of virtues by the poets of our language, this attitude is now condemned as “racism”. Do you think that men and women have different natures leading them to behave differently and take different roles in society? If you do, you are now considered a “sexist”. More recently recognition of the obvious fact that the complementary nature of the sexes makes heterosexual coupling the norm, and same-sex attachments the exception, has been pathologized as “heterosexism” or “homophobia”.
These new ways of looking at old ideas began in the 1940’s and 50’s as part of a deliberate program on the part of neo-Marxists, such as those belonging to the Frankfurt School, to delegitimize the culture they believed was standing in the way of the revolution and the utopia they desired.
Obviously, this tactic is working well for the neo-Marxists. It is truly frightening how many young people are buying into their nonsense. Far more frightening than the thought that somewhere out there some family might be teaching its kids to admire Adolf Hitler.
More frightening yet, though, is the future of society if the government is allowed to take children away from their parents because the parents are “racists”. If it is “white supremacists” who have their children taken away today, whose children will be taken away tomorrow?