You can freely name your kids JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell and Adolf Hitler Campbell, but try to change your name as a trans adult and you have to jump through all sorts of legal hoops — and there are people who will actually bother to go to court an oppose you.

For pure WTF factor, these unfortunately-named children are being written about because a ShopRite refused to make a birthday cake inscribed to Adolph Hitler. So the Campbells will be getting young Adolph a birthday cake from Wal-Mart instead.

And the family is upset, saying “It’s sad” that ShopRite can’t inscribe a birthday cake for a three-year-old. It is sad — but probably not as sad as naming your kid Hitler.

27 comments for “Stupidity:

  1. zak
    December 16, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    I agree that the names are horrible in general society.

    You tend to get your earliest value lessons from your parents. If they’re being named Adolf Hitler and the like, their parents are probably look fondly upon the Aryan Nation and Hitler’s attempts to erradicate what he dictated were undesirable elements, an affection they will likely share with their children.

    We’re horrified, but will those kids necessarily ever fully appreciate why?

  2. December 16, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    what the frig is wrong with people? i really need to start breeding just to balance out people like that.

  3. FashionablyEvil
    December 16, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    You should read the comments on the local paper’s website–people are all “But FREE SPEECH!!!!!!1!!!!11!1” Yes, the bakery department of your local grocery store is the government…

    (ShopRite did offer to make them a blank cake so they could fill in the kid’s name themselves, which strikes me as an acceptable solution.)

    I’m proud of my hometown grocery chain for standing up to these people. (My middle school used to compete against Holland Township for sports).

    Also, what is “Honszlynn Hinler”? A severe misspelling of Heinrich Himmler?

  4. Ashley
    December 16, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Second that, PF!

  5. Vail
    December 16, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    I really think that social services should do a drop by… For god’s sake I know you can’t name your kid after an STD so why should you be able to name him Adolf Hitler? Adolf I could see, but adding Hitler? Gah!!!

  6. Bitter Scribe
    December 16, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    I hope Adolf grows up and marries a Jewish or African-American woman, thereby causing his parents to die of apoplexy.

  7. Devonian
    December 16, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    “JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell”
    Oh, come on, that middle part isn’t even a fucking name!

    “(ShopRite did offer to make them a blank cake so they could fill in the kid’s name themselves, which strikes me as an acceptable solution.)”
    And iirc they refused it, for some reason.

  8. Maria
    December 16, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    I would just like to note that other retailers have a policy of not printing curse words and instead leaving a blank space. For example, a friend of mine wanted to get a cake that said “Sorry about the cat piss” and they wouldn’t print “piss” but left a space to write it themselves. Similarly at a friend’s going away party they were asked to print “Fuck you, M* W*” (name left out for obvious reasons) and left a space to write in the “fuck”. So, in the context of cake discrimination, retailers have decided not to print things that could be considered offensive.

  9. Angela
    December 16, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Ya’ll are very mean… ;-)

    I mean, folks have named their kids….Attila, Caligula, Julius Caesar, Judas, and Napoleon, just to name a few…why can’t we all get along? :-)

  10. Ali
    December 16, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Bitter Scribe, I understand the sentiment but….

    I hope Adolph grows up and marries (or not marries) anyone he chooses, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, or religion.

  11. Bitter Scribe
    December 16, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Oh, of course, Ali. That was just a joke.

    This touches slightly on my personal experience, because I have this douchebag uncle (by marriage) who absolutely loathes black people. He’s still furious because his granddaughter married a black guy. Sometimes life is fair.

  12. Ali
    December 16, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Yeah I know, that’s just one of those lines that always rubs me the wrong way, because even though I know you don’t really think that way, that sort of thing treats real mixed relationships as something someone does only out of spite.

  13. AndersH
    December 16, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    You can freely name your children that… sadly. In my mind, that’s bordering on child abuse and is just a bad idea in general. Sweden is, I suppose, at the other end of the spectrum, as the IRS approves the chosen names, but does so also for adults who want to change their names.

  14. rachel
    December 16, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    poor children. in the end it is their parents they will end up hating.

  15. December 16, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    What about the case in New Zealand where the court took custody of a girl named Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii?

    “The court is profoundly concerned about the very poor judgment which this child’s parents have shown in choosing this name,” he wrote. “It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap, unnecessarily.”

    Do you think the same thing could be applied here?

  16. Ashley
    December 16, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Well Angel, I certainly think so. I’d apply the same argument to names like “Pilot Inspektor” or “Jermajesty” also, to name a couple of celebrity baby names. Simply, why are people such dumbfucks when it comes to naming their children?

  17. December 16, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    You know, just when I think I’m pretty zen about free speech, something like this happens to make me want to spork my face in sheer frustration…Both that they’d do that and that I can’t help but judge them as complete scum for it and salute ShopRite.

    The thing is, this is less of a moral imperative (a la pharmacists and BC) and more the company’s refusal to engage in participation in hate speech, an actual legal issue, regarding the direct welfare of their employees (should they be employing anyone in their bakery that is not a WASP).

  18. Olivia
    December 17, 2008 at 9:22 am

    And the parents are pulling the ol’ “but we have mixed race friends so we aren’t racist” and “we will race our kids to be tolerant”. Meanwhile their house is filled with swastikas and similar memorabilia. *eyeroll*

  19. marilove
    December 17, 2008 at 9:59 am

    FashionablyEvil, don’t read the feministing post on this. they are screaming the same thing. as someone said there: public education FAIL.

  20. Kristin
    December 17, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    I mean, meh… I share the disdain for the parents. I don’t agree that it’s tantamount to “child abuse,” ffs. I do think naming regulations constitute a first amendment constraint that I would not be comfortable with endorsing. I don’t have a very strong opinion on ShopRite’s decision. Corporations make the decisions in order to maximize profit, not generally out of real moral outrage. I’m sure everyone will be all up in arms about the parents, and this will be good for ShopRite’s publicity as well as their bottom line.

    In any case, though, I think the point of the post was actually about the structural constraints that trans people face when trying to change their names. I can’t really understand why the comments thread has turned into a referendum on ShopRite’s decision. The ShopRite example is simply posited as an example of the stupidity of these regulations, given that “the institution of naming” is kind of…well, a bullshit basis on which to deny rights to trans folk. Unless everyone is better able to summon moral outrage for stupid, ignorant naming decisions that parents make than for the legal constraints on many trans people? Which, um, y’know… I’d like to see some honesty about that if that’s what’s going on.

  21. December 17, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Does anybody have a matricide/patricide pool going for this kid? Can I buy 14 years from now?

  22. December 17, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Yeah… what Kristin said.

  23. AndersH
    December 17, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Maybe not tantamount to child abuse, but under the purview of the state? I definitely think so. A parent is not God on Earth for a child, and the state has the responsibility to protect its citizens, that includes children from the foolishness of parents, to a certain extent. Since I don’t think any person has the right to name another, I don’t think prohibiting some names given by parents to be problematic.

  24. Kristin
    December 17, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    AndersH: Well, in any case, you still seem to miss the point.

  25. AndersH
    December 18, 2008 at 5:59 am

    I totally agree, the hurdles trans people have to jump to get a name change are outrageous.

  26. Soma
    December 20, 2008 at 4:27 am

    From the AP article:

    “They need to accept a name. A name’s a name. The kid isn’t going to grow up and do what [Hitler] did.” [Mr. Campbell said]

    See, now I’m confused. When I first saw this story I thought it was just an exceptional incident of common racist bullshittery, but wtf?

    From this remark, it seems the parents would have us believe that the name’s invocation is entirely involuntary, as if by some weird coincidence they just happened to name their son Adolph Hitler, not out of any desire to pay homage to the original model, but just one of those crazy one-in-a-million accidents that’s nobody’s fault and shouldn’t hurt anyone.

    But these people clearly hold great reverence for Hitler and the crimes he committed. (If nothing else then the “Aryan Nation” one is pretty hard to write off.) They certainly don’t seem to be holocaust deniers, and they’re clearly committed enough to upholding Hitler’s legacy to name their firstborn child after a guy who murdered millions, drove his country into the shitpits, raped his cousin, beat up his dog, and shot himself.

    I mean, they’ve gone that far, so why are they balking now? What gives? Surely they can’t have thought that naming their kids in this fashion wouldn’t prove to be rather inflammatory at some point. But they did it anyway, only to start back-pedaling and seeming to make attempts at appeasement when they get called on it?

    Where are the Heil Hitler!s and dirty Jew accusations toward the petulant bakers? One would almost think they didn’t really believe this shit.

    But then why name their kids after famous genocidal sociopaths?

  27. January 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm


    Parents Lose Custody of Nazi-Named Kids

    Holland Township Police Sgt. John Harris said workers from the state Division of Youth and Family Services removed 3-year-old Adolf Hitler Campbell and his younger sisters, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, from their home Tuesday.

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