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December 20, 2013 3

Pennsylvania White Supremacist Loses Fifth Child To State

Just days after the Novem­ber 11 birth, Penn­syl­va­nia author­i­ties took into cus­tody the new­born child of white suprema­cist Isidore Heath Camp­bell and his fiancée Bethanie Rose Zito, both of Ban­gor. The infant, named Eva Braun after the mis­tress and even­tual wife of Adolf Hitler, is the most recent child of Campbell’s to be taken away by fam­ily ser­vice agen­cies in Penn­syl­va­nia and New Jersey.heath-campbell-NSM-rally

Camp­bell, a heav­ily tat­tooed neo-Nazi with a pen­chant for wear­ing Nazi-themed cloth­ing, gained inter­na­tional noto­ri­ety in 2008 after a New Jer­sey gro­cery store refused to per­son­al­ize a birth­day cake for one of his chil­dren, named Adolf Hitler, from his ear­lier mar­riage with Deb­o­rah Lynn Campbell. 

Heath and Deb­o­rah had named their other chil­dren together Joyce­Lynn Aryan Nations (to honor a noto­ri­ous neo-Nazi group), Hon­z­lynn Hin­ler Jean­nie (in an attempt to honor infa­mous Nazi Hein­rich Himm­ler) and Hons Hein­rich (also a nod to Himmler). 

In 2009, New Jer­sey author­i­ties took cus­tody of those chil­dren as a result of alleged evi­dence of abuse or neglect due to prior domes­tic vio­lence as well as a deter­mi­na­tion that the par­ents did not have the psy­cho­log­i­cal capac­ity to prop­erly care for the chil­dren.  Heath Camp­bell has insisted that the chil­dren were taken by the state only because he gave his chil­dren white suprema­cist names. 

Camp­bell, the father of eight chil­dren from four dif­fer­ent moth­ers, does not have cus­tody of any of his chil­dren.  In June 2013 a New Jer­sey judge denied Campbell’s attempt to regain cus­tody of the chil­dren he had with Deb­o­rah.  Camp­bell and Zito appeared at the hear­ing wear­ing Nazi cloth­ing and regalia.

Camp­bell has had the sup­port of some of the local white suprema­cists in Penn­syl­va­nia and New Jer­sey, who have been post­ing updates from him on his fam­ily sit­u­a­tion in which he labeled the author­i­ties’ actions a “kid­nap­ping” and claimed that “they are tak­ing only white chil­dren [and are] now try­ing to clas­sify us as slaves.”  Camp­bell has urged peo­ple to fly Nazi flags and burn “Jew­ish flags” in sup­port of him.

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January 11, 2013 0

The Trouble With Make Me a “Stereotype”

Appli­ca­tions for smart­phones and tablets have become an emerg­ing seg­ment of the online and enter­tain­ment indus­try.  As with videos, blogs and social net­work­ing plat­forms which came before, Apps are now being cre­ated that some con­sider funny, but which  actu­ally cross the line from humor­ous to offen­sive.  Recent exam­ples include two free apps on Google called “Make Me Asian” and “Make Me Indian,” that allow users to edit pho­tos in ways which play on racist stereo­types. Users of the app can darken skin color, change eye shape to an “Asian” slant or add eth­nic acces­sories like an Amer­i­can Indian head­dress.

Young chil­dren often make fun of Asian Amer­i­can class­mates by pulling their eyes to make a slant or play “Indian,” com­plete with head­dress or a “war-cry.” As adults, this is the very kind of think­ing we try to chal­lenge in our chil­dren.  We want them to under­stand and respect dif­fer­ent cul­tures, not belit­tle or ridicule them or make assump­tions about all mem­bers of a group based on com­mon stereo­types.  We teach them that every­one has dif­fer­ent phys­i­cal fea­tures, qual­i­ties and char­ac­ter­is­tics that have noth­ing to do with the groups to which they belong.

Stereo­types make over­sim­pli­fied gen­er­al­iza­tions about peo­ple or groups with­out regard for indi­vid­ual dif­fer­ences. The prob­lem is that these gen­er­al­iza­tions soon become beliefs about groups which form  the build­ing blocks for prej­u­dice and dis­crim­i­na­tion, fea­tures of life that have seri­ous impli­ca­tions for us all.  Apps like “Make Me Asian” and “Make Me Indian” and a score of oth­ers built on this con­cept play on per­ni­cious stereo­types that mar­gin­al­ize indi­vid­u­als and groups. Though the global com­mu­nity is racially and eth­ni­cally diverse, these kinds of apps pro­mote the kind of think­ing that being white is the norm and every­thing else is defined as “other.”

As a soci­ety, we spend much of our time inter­act­ing through our mobile devices, but when we choose so-called enter­tain­ment that rein­forces these kinds of stereo­types, we have to con­sider whether we might be con­tribut­ing to the per­pet­u­a­tion of the inci­vil­ity that lim­its everyone’s opportunities.

The Anti-Defamation League strives to remain vig­i­lant of emerg­ing issues in our dig­i­tal world and com­mu­ni­cates reg­u­larly with many of the major com­pa­nies on issues that are raised by the community.

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December 17, 2012 1

How Do We Talk to the Children?

The recent news of the shoot­ings of 20 young chil­dren and six adults at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School in New­town, Con­necti­cut has had a dev­as­tat­ing impact on both youth and adults across the coun­try. In the face of this sense­less vio­lence, many are at a loss to find the words to express the depth of their feel­ings. Despite our best efforts to pro­tect chil­dren from the details of such inci­dents, they are often more aware than we imag­ine of what is hap­pen­ing in the world around them. When fright­en­ing and vio­lent inci­dents occur, chil­dren and teens are likely to expe­ri­ence a range of emo­tions, includ­ing fear, con­fu­sion, sad­ness and anger that can man­i­fest in many dif­fer­ent ways.

To coun­ter­act fear and help chil­dren feel safe, par­ents, teach­ers and care­givers can pro­vide oppor­tu­ni­ties for chil­dren to express how they feel and chan­nel their feel­ings into pos­i­tive actions. In order to pro­vide the reas­sur­ance and guid­ance they may need, it’s impor­tant for adults to real­ize the impact of these kinds of events on them per­son­ally and to come to terms with their own feel­ings.  Before talk­ing to your chil­dren, take time to process your own feel­ings and per­cep­tions with other adults.

Be alert to signs of upset in your chil­dren, which can include with­drawal and a lack of inter­est in engag­ing in activ­i­ties, exces­sive act­ing out, fear of going to school and other behav­iors that seem out of the ordi­nary, and pro­vide a quiet time for them to ask any ques­tions they may have.  Above all, reas­sure chil­dren in age-appropriate ways that they are safe. When talk­ing to preschool­ers, for exam­ple, your response can be sim­ple and direct: “I love you and I will always do every­thing I can to make you safe.”

Dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions like this can be an oppor­tu­nity to dis­cuss fam­ily and com­mu­nity val­ues, beliefs and tra­di­tions. You can find some help­ful guide­lines for talk­ing to chil­dren in the after­math of hate and vio­lence at:

http://www.adl.org/issue_education/Hate_and_violence.asp

http://www.adl.org/education/discussing_hate_spanish.pdf (Span­ish version)

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