December 17, 2008

Aryan Nations Campbell and her daddy_34900.JPG

I never really know what to do with stories about messed-up white-supremacist parents who force their kids into their lifestyle and all that it contains, like the "Prussian Blue" Gaede twins. My first impulse is to keep the kids out of the discussion, even though their parents have dragged them into it.

But damn. This is just sad:

HOLLAND TWP. | In a living room decorated with war books, German combat knives and swastikas, a 2-year-old boy, blond and blue-eyed, played with a plastic dinner set.

The boy, asked his name, put down a tiny plate and ran behind his father's leg. He flashed a shy smile but wouldn't answer. Heath Campbell, 35, the boy's father, encouraged him.

"Say Adolf," said Campbell, a Holocaust denier who has three children named for Nazism.

Again, the boy wouldn't answer. It wasn't the first time the name caused hesitation.

Adolf Hitler Campbell -- it's indeed the name on his birth certificate -- turns 3 today, and the Campbell family believes the boy has been mistreated. A local supermarket refused to make a birthday cake with "Adolf Hitler" on it.

Yes, the Campbells are raising a stink because the local Shop Rite won't make a birthday cake with little Adolph's name on it. And to be honest, I'm not sure the store's rationale is viable. But on the other hand, you have to wonder about any parent who would do this to their kids -- not only name them "Adolf Hitler" and "Aryan Nations" but then make public political causes celebre of them.

Especially a mother who can rationalize it to herself thus:

"I just figured that they're just names," Deborah Campbell said. "They're just kids. They're not going to hurt anybody."

Heath Campbell said some people like the names but others are shocked to hear them. "They say, 'He (Hitler) killed all those people.' I say, 'You're living in the wrong decade. That Hitler's gone,'" he said.

"They're just names, you know," he said. "Yeah, they (Nazis) were bad people back then. But my kids are little. They're not going to grow up like that."

Sorry, lady, but "Adolf Hitler" is not just a name. It's the name of the man directly responsible for the murders of 6 million Jews and millions more in other liquidations and his wars. It's a name that signifies real, living evil to many millions of people still living. And you pay homage to him by naming a child after him.

And don't get me started on "Aryan Nations".

I just hope young Adolf and Aryan have the inner strength to grow up normal, which some of these kids actually manage to do. And that's probably the sweetest comeuppance for their parents of all.

[H/t to Susie.]

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