Saturday, January 17, 2009

Adolf Hitler Campbell Mystery:
Why Did Authorities Take Him And His Sisters

Huffington Post commenting on a FOX News story:

It has been a few days since little Adolf Hitler Campbell and his sisters were taken from their parents by New Jersey's Division of Youth and Family Services. The mystery remains over why they were taken. Fox News reports on the possibility that their infamous names are to blame:

A state official was adamant Friday that a child would never be removed from his parents based solely on his name. But a First Amendment expert said that the boy's name might have had something to do with it...
More here.

Okay, I'm already on the record for opposing naming children after genocidal monsters in human form, but this bizarre and racist New Jersey family's latest turn on their funky voyage through life is arguably more interesting than the birthday cake fiasco that brought them to the nation's attention in the first place. I got into a brief but fun argument with a friend at work a couple of nights ago on this: his take was that naming your kid "Adolph Hitler" constitutes child abuse--the idea is that such a child would necessarily and foreseeably encounter intense and psychologically harmful resistance to his name while growing up and later, and bestowing upon him the inspiration for such travails amounts to de facto abuse.

I have no doubt that people are going to fuck with this kid because of his name. But is that really child abuse? Is it so severe that the government must take the child into state custody? Maybe. But to the best of my knowledge, there are no reputable psychological studies suggesting that an unpopular name is the same thing as molestation, or chronic beatings, or imprisonment in a closet for weeks. You get the idea. Naming your kid "Adolph Hitler" is obviously an awful thing to do, but it just doesn't rise to the level of the kind of abuse that calls for breaking up a family. I mean, this really is a slippery slope, having the government tell families what they can and cannot name their children, declaring that some names constitute abuse and others don't: I don't know about you, but I don't want the government to have that kind of power.

It would be like living in Nazi Germany.

Of course, we don't actually know that's why these kids were taken, but I have a very strong hunch that whatever "official" reasons are cited by New Jersey officials, odds are that they're trumped up, that the racist names are the real reason. The real problem here isn't the names, anyway: the real problem is these kids growing up in a white supremacist home. Unfortunately, that's the way it has to be. This, too, is a slippery slope. The moment the government gets into the business of dictating what kind of values we must teach our children in the home is the moment the government takes over the family.

And that would be like living in Communist China.

Maybe these people should have named their kids Mao or Dung. Dung has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?