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.
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.
The boys then feel shame & embarrassment - and shame is the force that, I believe, leads people to their worst decisions.
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.
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, of course, moms like me who stalk our sons' social media.
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.
Remind him you know he's a good person, but explain how propaganda works.
Use my baseball analogy, if you want. Tell your son that he doesn't have to be anybody's fool.
Tell them you are always there, not judging, to look at content & try to spot the lie - no judgment.
Then don't judge!
(Also give them women comics, obviously, but that's beside the point here).
It's often about exposing oppressive systems - which is the furthest thing from "safe" or delicate as you can get.
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?
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.
...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."