Sunday, February 15, 2009

That Adolf Hitler Kid

I'm still following this story. I'm waiting for DYFS to release a statement on why these kids were removed from their homes. This was too much of a one sided story and I want the record set straight.

In case you missed it: Late last year it came to light that some ignorant white supremacist trolled the world by naming his kids after nazi* icons. On a slow news day his local ShopRite did the right thing by refusing to make a cake saying "Happy Birthday Adolf Hitler." He was instantly a hero to those who portray common sense and decency as "PC," a martryr to racists everywhere, and a huge jackass to everyone else. End of story.

Only, it wasn't the end. DYFS came in a few weeks later and removed his kids. That's when the martyrdom was kicked up a notch. Suddenly, everyone in the world became a Monday morning social worker and the popular assumption was that these kids were removed due to their ridiculously stupid names. This was compounded because only the parents are allowed to talk as DYFS, as most such social services, has strict confidentiality laws about their cases.

I take issue with the parents, the names they gave their kids, their defense for the names, at least one popular defense for the names given by others -- including their aunt, and the assumption that DYFS is doing something wrong.

The Parents
These people have to be off their rockers. Honestly, who gives kids such names? What did they think the result would be? If nothing else, they are obviously too stupid to realize that freedoms go both ways and everyone else is free to shun their kids for their names and treat them like manure. The saddest part is that they had three children and didn't learn.

The Names
Well, this goes without saying. It's one thing to name your kid after someone controversial. If I were to name my kid after Malcolm X I would probably raise some eyebrows. Yet, I would not be naming him after perpetrators of some of the worst acts in human history. It's unfathomably gross to think that someone in good conscious named these children such.

Ignoring all of the psychology involved for the kid, by giving that name they paid tribute to Hitler and publicly acknowledged that they held Hitler in the highest esteem. Hitler's name should be ascribed to waste baskets and poop scoops, not children.

If they had chosen the name Adolf you wouldn't be reading this now but that's not what they did. They chose Adolf Hitler, leaving no doubt about who they were naming the child after. It's sick and stupid and the parents deserve whatever misfortune this name brings about.

Their Defense of the Names
This is one of the more insulting aspects of this story. These people are either completely delusional or they just take the public for suckers, probably a bit of both. Their claim is that they gave these names due to a desire for a unique identity for their children. Seriously? You couldn't think of anything better than to name your children after insane war criminals responsible for genocide? We're supposed to buy this?

Further insult to our intelligence comes when questioned about the swastika tattoo on the father's neck. He's not racist, he just likes the artwork. Sure, buddy.

The Popular Defense
Several editorials, blogs, and comments I came across about this situation offered the same quip that one of the family's relatives did during an interview with the local NBC affiliate. They combined two current events, this one and the election, and came up with the brilliant "but we just elected someone name Barack HUSSEIN!!!!!!!! Obama."

Do you really not see the difference? If you don't, stop reading and never return to this site again. There's no help for you. Just to spell it out, though: President Obama was named before the tyrant dictator took power. He was not named after Saddam. Further, Saddam sullied a fairly common name, but by no means to the extent that Hitler did with Adolf. It is very clear that Barack was not named after Saddam at all, but it is even clearer that this child was named after Hitler. To indicate that it is acceptable to name someone after Hitler because someone who is accepted by society coincidentally shares one of his names with Saddam Hussein is flawed logic of the worst kind.

If you still have a problem with Barack Obama's name then you should read this article by Juan Cole. He does an excellent job explaining why there is no good reason to have a problem with our President's name.

The Assumption About DYFS
Here's the big one. No one seems willing to let DYFS have any slack. Even the more analytical and understanding people I know have criticized the removal of the children because "it's just because their names."

I have a hard time believing this. From what I know about social services it is quite improbable that the children would be removed from their parents purely due to their names.

The more likely scenario is: The national news story sent one of their neighbors over the edge and they decided to make a report about abuse. DYFS is then legally required to investigate. Upon investigation some legitimate reason to temporarily remove the children from the home was uncovered. The children were removed.

Why would I assume that DYFS didn't do anything wrong?
The parents in this situation can offer no evidence that DYFS did anything wrong. They are merely throwing out baseless accusations that make us condemn the agency for our own prejudice against the family. This is classic behavior when a child is removed from a family.

Meanwhile, DYFS isn't giving us any reason to believe them. The problem here is that we don't need any more reason than we already have. DYFS is regulated and they cannot just go around removing kids for no reason.

Further, it is not easy to remove children from a family. Social workers take no pleasure in doing this, except maybe in the worst of circumstances. There is a lot of work involved and a lot of regulation. There is no joy in taking a child from their parent.

To insinuate that DYFS would remove children for no reason beyond their names, with no evidence aside from wild accusations by the parents in an attempt to start a media war, is ridiculous. However, it's beyond ridiculous for the social workers involved. Human beings, who obviously have more common sense than these parents, and are compassionate enough to take a thankless job so they can try to help kids, are behind these actions. These parents, and those who accept their claims at face value, are demonizing these faceless social workers who can't even legally speak for themselves.

I'll leave the fate of the children to the courts. Until then I won't assume that the parents are guilty of anything. I also won't assume the DYFS did anything wrong. Regardless of the outcome, I will continue to believe that Heath and Deborah Campbell are failures at life.

*I don't care about spell check, this word does not deserve to be capitalized.

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