Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Politics of Baby-Snatching

by Bryan Doherty
Basics Issue #10 (Aug/Sep 2008)

So the Canadian government doesn’t want babies to be raised by racists? Five months ago Child and Family Services in Winnipeg removed a 7-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy from their mother because it was felt the children’s emotional well being and safety were at risk due to their parents associations and conduct. The mother, who can’t be named as it would identify the children, has been all over the news claiming she’s no nazi – just proud of her white race. Her home is decorated with white supremacist flags, posters and, slogans. One day her 7-year-old daughter went to class sporting a classic nazi symbol – the swastika – drawn on her arm. Her teacher scrubbed it off and sent her home. Before the mother of the grade-schooler sent her back the next day she was sure to draw the white supremacist images back on. Children’s Services were alerted and the mother was left childless.

The mother has a long history in white supremacist organizing. When she’s not on the internet ranting about how she has to raise her children in a city “infested by Indians” she might be found out postering Winnipeg with white supremacist propaganda. Her children are likely being raised to hate everyone that doesn’t share their skin colour and political views. But are her attitudes much different than the Canadian society she lives in?

Child and Family Services objecting to parents raising their impressionable kids with racist views may seem like objecting to racism itself. But Canada is one racist country. The systemic discrimination based on the race of families and children runs right through all levels of power: governments, police, social services, schools, health, etc. This country was built through racist policies that continues to this day. Is Child Services going to be carrying out visits to police officers homes after they shoot unarmed young men of colour? Will politicians that under-fund social housing and then sell off the land to condo developers have their children taken in the middle of the night? What about all the children of soldiers that are busy occupying the lands of people oversees – do they go into foster care? Is racism really the issue here? We aren’t going to let this one case fool us into thinking racism is honestly being tackled by either Canadian social services or the government.

Let’s not be fooled into thinking that the Canadian government is opposed to fascism or the racist ideas that support fascist governments. Canada’s genocidal reservation system against the Natives was where apartheid South Africa and apartheid Israel first learned how to colonize. And the Canadian government has no problem supporting governments whose policies are genocidal and whose governments are pretty close to fascist: U.S.? Israel? What about the authoritarian Karzai government ruling under Sharia law in Afghanistan that Canada is propping up?

The solution to racism isn’t to take away the kids of racist parents, even if their parents advocate the most despicable ideas history has known. The point is that these ideas are the outgrowth of living in a society born out of slavery, colonialism, endless imperialist wars, and class exploitation with racial divisions between the classes. Capitalist society is riddled with all of these contradictions, and racism is an ideological expression of these contradictions. Without making apologies for racists, ultimately the fight against racism must be the fight against capitalism.