Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Keith Hapip Jr. and His War Against Sinners

Culture | July 20th, 2022

By Melissa Van Der Stad 

m.forfargo@gmail.com

photo credit: Keith Hapip, Jr.

One North Dakota family is in the midst of an ongoing dispute with the Protect North Dakota Kids group and its primary member, Keith Hapip, Jr.

The controversial Facebook page has shared a photo featuring three kids, against the express wishes of the childrens’ guardians. When asked to take it down, the page refused.

Raquel Campbell, the mother of the children in the photo, took her kids to Pride in Bismarck this year. As a volunteer for Dakota OutRight, Campbell knows all the performers who were at the event and her children, ages 9, 6, and 3, enjoyed spending the day with their friends.

The image features all three of Campbell’s children, two of whom are handing a tip to a drag performer. Their faces are crudely crossed out, but the children remain recognizable. Campbell discovered that Protect North Dakota Kids and Hapip Jr. had co-opted an image of her children when her friends at Dakota OutRight reached out to her.

“Everyone knows that they are my children, they reached out to me before I even saw the post and said hey your kids are on this page.” said Campbell.

She quickly contacted the page. She told them that she didn’t know how they had gotten the image but that they couldn’t use it.

“I asked them not to use my children as a way to attack others. I asked them not to use (the image) for my children’s safety.”

A survivor of abuse, Campbell is careful to keep her Facebook page private for both her and her children's safety. She informed Protect North Dakota Kids of this and they declined to remove the post. They also declined to say who sent them the photo.

“I’ve contacted the Mandan police, state troopers… I called everybody I could to see what I could do about my minor children being shared on this page.” said Campbell.

As of this writing, the photo is still up on the Protect North Dakota Kids Facebook page. It is featured in several different posts, each decrying the art of drag as a danger to children.

The childrens’ grandmother, Reverend Karen Van Fossan, was also at the event.

“It was a family day, it was a very special family day. It was a really beautiful experience and the actions of Protect North Dakota Kids not long after came as a harsh surprise.”

“They literally claimed an image that wasn't theirs of children they have no relationship with to create some kind of emblem of wrong or bad or evil when actually what was happening was three children were surrounded by loving community and were absolutely awestruck by these performances of an art form.” said Reverend Van Fossan.

This wasn’t the first run-in this family has had with Hapip Jr. When Campbell shared this story with her sister, she said that her sister remembered Hapip Jr. from a former Minot pride event.

Campbell said, “My cousin lived out in Minot and went to Pride a few years ago. Keith (Hapip Jr.) was actually at that Pride and tried to manueve her child away from her during Pride and told her child in front of her fiancé, ‘come with me, we’ll get you to safety, you don’t need to be around these sinners’.”

Despite this extremely negative interaction with one anti-LGBTQ+ individual, the family hasn’t lost sight of all the positives that have come from their supportive communities.

“Every since I’ve gotten involved in the LGBTQ+ community my kids have grown a lot. The (all ages drag shows) are totally great for kids to be at. They (the performers) are just having a good time and trying to show these children that it’s okay to be who they are. That’s a major good thing for my kids to have in their lives. It's making sure that there are people out there who understand them and they have a safe space to go and be themselves.”

In short, the childrens’ mother reached the heart of the matter by saying, “The Protect North Dakota Kids group is not protecting children at all, and they are using God ad the bible as a way to attack these drag kings and drag queens.”

The page responds to a mother’s plea for her childrens’ safety with out-of-context bible verses and captions every hate-filled doxxing with words from a book that many see as an emblem of peace.

Reverend Van Fossen had this to say: “To see words that some hold as very sacred and liberating, to see those words used to harm anybody, including people in my family, is disheartening.”

As dangerous as the Protect North Dakota Kids page may be, they cannot overshadow the positive progress that North Dakota has made, as our state slowly blossoms into a community that’s more welcoming to everyone.

“The fact that pride is at the capital and that there are drag shows on the capital steps has been so empowering to me personally and I feel proud and humble to have had any part in the queer movement in N.D. that has helped us arrive where we’ve arrived.” said Reverend Van Fossan.

She is aware that people like Hapip Jr. exist, people who are eager to tear down happiness and preach their personal truths from the sidelines.

“I imagined there would be pushback, but I imagined it would be pushback against adults, I certainly experienced plenty in my own adult life. I didn’t imagine that the pushback would be against children in the name of protecting them. That’s a heartbreak.” said Reverend Van Fossan.

Recently in:

By Laura Simmonslaurasimmons2025@u.northwestern.eduHowes Township is frustrated with a court decision and a 2019 bill that lessened local control, giving it back to the state. Howes Township has been fighting the addition of a…

By Michael M. Miller  michael.miller@ndsu.eduPhoto credit: Sabrina HornungIn May 2022, the Rauter family of Wisconsin visited the Germans from Russia Heritage…

Fargo City Hall, thru Sept. 30  Fargo City Hall, 225 4th St. N.  …

By Faith Dixon  Faithshieldsdixon@gmail.com Guest editorial: ‘I am here to create, make and sustain true change’Being an activist is my purpose,…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.com From Mansion or Hovel, We All End Up DeadWe are now living in the Divided States of America, which has been developing for more than 240 years. Economist Frederic Bastiat has come up with the main…

Well shiver me timbers. After weeks of sampling some of the finest drinks in F-M from more bars than we could shake a belaying pin at, the results of High Plains Reader’s 6th Annual Cocktail Showdown are in! For nine weeks,…

By Rick Gion  rickgion@gmail.comIn this land of hotdish and ham, it used to be a real pain to find something satisfyingly spicy in the…

By Chris Larson  cjlarson75@gmail.comDuring a short break in their Wheels of Soul Tour with Los Lobos and the Gabe Dixon Band, I had a chance to…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comThe chatter surrounding director Olivia Wilde’s new movie “Don’t Worry Darling” reached fever pitch in the days leading up to this week’s wide release. Cynics began to wonder whether…

By HPR Staffsabrina@hpr1.comTour the studios of some of F-M’s most popular artistsThe Fargo-Moorhead area’s largest art event, the Studio Crawl, is just around the corner—October 1 and 2. The members of the Fargo Moorhead…

By Jessica M. Hawkesjmhawkes84@gmail.comIt wasn’t long after the founding of the railroad and river town of New Rockford that entertainment venues started to put down their own roots. Its population bolstered by booms of nearby…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comCharlie Berens is a man of many hats. The creator of the “Manitowoc Minute” is a newsman, comedian, writer and musician. We had the opportunity to speak with the Wisconsin native about his new…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comThey sell fentanyl test strips and kits to harm-reduction organizations and…

By Donna O’Shea  submit@hpr1.comWith the back-to-school season in full swing, the start of this academic year may…

By Andrew Alexis Varvelmr.a.alexis.varvel@gmail.comWill our congressperson be Cara Mund or Kelly Armstrong?Back 75 years ago in 1947, American radio stations played the hit song “Feudin' and Fightin'.” Its refrain went,…