WINNIPEG — Racist slogans and symbols written on the skin of a young girl last year may have been just the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of what she was being taught by her parents, a psychologist testified Tuesday.
The child’s parents had frequently expressed hatred for Jews, blacks, aboriginals and other minorities on Internet message boards, he said, and appear to have instilled “a set of beliefs” in the girl and her younger brother.
The children were seized last year by Manitoba Child and Family Services after the girl showed up at her elementary school with racist writings on her skin.
The government department is asking a Court of Queen’s Bench judge for permanent guardianship of the children, alleging they were taught to believe in violence against minorities, were neglected and lived in squalor.
No one in the case can be identified under Manitoba law.
One Internet posting allegedly made by the mother under an assumed name said that Jews controlled the government in Canada and what people are allowed to say. The father is alleged to have written under an assumed name that the world would be better off without Jews and that defending the white race requires violence.
Social workers have already testified that the girl frequently used racial epithets and would talk about how to commit violent acts against minorities.
The girl’s mother has denied teaching her children to hate minorities, and accuses social workers of putting words in her daughter’s mouth. The mother has said she wears a swastika to demonstrate “racial pride,” but does not condone violence against others.
The girl’s stepfather, who is the biological father of the boy, argues that he has a constitutional right to teach his children his beliefs. In an affidavit, he says the seizure of the children violates his freedom of belief and association.
The psychologist interviewed the parents several times in order to assess their ability to care for their children. He told the court neither adult sees any harm in what they have done.
“What you see throughout (the interviews) is the strong view and feeling that they are victims,” he said. The stepfather is “extremely egocentric”, he added, and would repeatedly respond to questions about the children by talking about himself.