, 20 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Do you have white teenage sons?

Listen up.

I've been watching my boys' online behavior & noticed that social media and vloggers are actively laying groundwork in white teens to turn them into alt-right/white supremacists.

Here's how:
It's a system I believe is purposefully created to disillusion white boys away from progressive/liberal perspectives.

First, the boys are inundated by memes featuring subtly racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-Semitic jokes.

Being kids, they don't see the nuance & repeat/share.
Then they're called out for these jokes/phrases/memes by parents, teachers, kids (mostly girls) at school & online.

The boys then feel shame & embarrassment - and shame is the force that, I believe, leads people to their worst decisions.
The second step is the boys consuming media with the "people are too sensitive" and "you can't say anything anymore!" themes.

For these boys, this will ring true - they're getting in trouble for "nothing".

This narrative allows boys to shed the shame - replacing it w/anger.
And who is their anger with?

Women, feminists, liberals, people of color, gay folks, etc etc. So-called snowflakes.

And nobody is there to dismantle the "snowflake" fallacy.

These boys are being set up - they're placed like baseballs on a tee and hit right out of the park.
And NOBODY seems to notice this happening - except, it seems, moms of teenage girls who see the bizarre harassment their daughters endure.

And, of course, moms like me who stalk our sons' social media.
These are often boys from progressive or moderate families - but their online behavior & viewing habits are often ignored.

Here's an early red flag: if your kid says "triggered" as a joke referring to people being sensitive, he's already being exposed & on his way.

Intervene!
Look through his Instagram Explore screen with him. Explain what's underlying those memes. Explain why "triggered" isn't a joke, what a PTSD trigger is actually like. Evoke empathy without shaming him.

Remind him you know he's a good person, but explain how propaganda works.
Propaganda makes extreme points of view seem normal by small amounts of exposure over time - all for the purpose of converting people to more extremist points of view.

Use my baseball analogy, if you want. Tell your son that he doesn't have to be anybody's fool.
Teenagers have an innate drive toward independence, and once this system is exposed, they're likely to start questioning the memes & vloggers' intentions.

Tell them you are always there, not judging, to look at content & try to spot the lie - no judgment.

Then don't judge!
You can also watch political comedy shows with him, like Trevor Noah, John Oliver, Hasan Minhaj. Talk about what makes their jokes funny - who are the butt of the jokes? Do they "punch up" or down?
Our boys want funny guys to relate to. Give them John Mulaney, Hannibal Burress, Hasan Minhaj, Neal Brennan, Dave Chappelle ... then TALK TO YOUR SONS about that funny shit. Break it down.

(Also give them women comics, obviously, but that's beside the point here).
Show them that progressive comedy isn't about being "politically correct" or safe.

It's often about exposing oppressive systems - which is the furthest thing from "safe" or delicate as you can get.
Disprove this "snowflake" garbage once & for all.

Ask your son:

Who is more of a delicate "snowflake" - the person who gets offended by racism/sexism & actively wants to help end bigotry? Or the person who is offended by people saying happy holidays instead of merry Christmas?
Above all, we need to stay engaged & challenge our kids without shaming them.

I'm lucky, my kids are smart and have a smart, critical, progressive dad who isn't afraid to call bullshit when he sees it.

But I've seen SO MANY white boys falling prey to this system. So beware.
Thanks to the commenter who shared this thread by journos doing the real work on this subject. @Max_Fisher you're a hero for this.

And someone suggested this relevant interview with a former white supremacist on how he became radicalized.

stitcher.com/podcast/clear-…
another great source that I read sometime back and had forgotten about. This is a parent's true story. I don't know who they are, though.

washingtonian.com/2019/05/05/wha…
"'Why would adults want to do that?...How could I fall for it?'

...he’d been a pawn in a much larger game. At age 13, suddenly friendless, he couldn’t be expected to understand how he was being manipulated or how technology made it easier for the online alt-right to find him."
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