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January 15, 2009

Emotional Abuse: Naming your child as Adolf Hitler Campbell!

When does a parent cross the line and become an abuser? With physical abuse it can be easier to see; bruises, cuts, marks on the child’s skin; what about emotional abuse? What actually constitutes emotional abuse? Since it’s not something that can be seen physically, photographed or documented, it is a gray area that is constantly open for debate.

Some may remember a few weeks ago, hearing about parents from Pa., who were outraged that a bakery would not customize a birthday cake for their 3-year-old son. It turned out that the parents had named their son Adolf Hitler Campbell, and the store decided not to serve them. The Campbells, of course, began screaming discrimination and demanding an apology from the store for being treated so badly.

Where is the apology for little Adolf Hitler Campbell? Where is the apology for his sister, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell? Where is the apology for his other sister, Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell? The treatment they have received from their parents is far worse than the treatment the parents received from the store. (Stores, by the way, have a right to refuse service to people, the same way that parents seem to have the right to name their children after mass-murderers.)

It was revealed today that the Campbell children have been removed from the home and placed in State custody. While the reason for said removal was not released, I don’t think it’s too difficult to figure out. I can only imagine what kind of parenting goes on in a home run by parents seemingly infatuated with the Aryan Pride culture.

In conversation with friends, the following issue was raised: do parents have the right to name their children as they wish? I feel it is necessary to differentiate between the concept of a right and an absolute right. An absolute right is an individual right that can never be taken away: for example, the right to eat, the right to breathe, the right to be protected from abuses. A right, on the other hand, is something permissible precluding a negative outcome. In the case of the Campbells, a parent has the right to name their child however the choose, until that name (and its connotation, in this case) borders on emotional trauma and abuse.

What parents need to remember, when selecting a name for the child, is that a name carries a great deal of weight in the social world. Shakespeare might have argued that a rose would still smell sweet regardless of the name, but a child would not still be carefree and happy while burdened with name Adolf Hitler. There are few names in the world that carry such a negative emotional stigma, and a parent who would willingly do that to a child does not, in my opinion, have the child’s best interests at heart. They are setting up their child to be a social outcast, for no matter how strongly you argue that Adolf Hitler Campbell is an entirely different individual than the original, people will never be able to separate the two. Little Adolf Hitler Campbell and his poorly-named siblings have been made targets for life.

There is no proof that the Campbells physically harm their children, but saddling them with such names, to me, is emotional abuse, and their parenting skills should definitely be brought into question. What’s next? Paul Bernardo Smith? Charles Manson Brown? Let’s be reasonable, people.

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