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joanna schroeder
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:
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joanna schroeder Aug 12
Replying to @iproposethis
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.
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joanna schroeder Aug 12
Replying to @iproposethis
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.
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joanna schroeder Aug 12
Replying to @iproposethis
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.
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joanna schroeder Aug 12
Replying to @iproposethis
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.
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joanna schroeder Aug 12
Replying to @iproposethis
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.
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joanna schroeder Aug 12
Replying to @iproposethis
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!
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joanna schroeder Aug 12
Replying to @iproposethis
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.
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joanna schroeder Aug 12
Replying to @iproposethis
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.
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joanna schroeder Aug 12
Replying to @iproposethis
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!
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joanna schroeder Aug 12
Replying to @iproposethis
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?
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joanna schroeder Aug 12
Replying to @iproposethis
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).
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joanna schroeder Aug 12
Replying to @iproposethis
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.
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joanna schroeder Aug 12
Replying to @iproposethis
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?
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joanna schroeder Aug 12
Replying to @iproposethis
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.
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joanna schroeder Aug 13
Replying to @Max_Fisher
Thanks to the commenter who shared this thread by journos doing the real work on this subject. you're a hero for this.
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joanna schroeder Aug 13
Replying to @iproposethis
And someone suggested this relevant interview with a former white supremacist on how he became radicalized.
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joanna schroeder Aug 14
Replying to @iproposethis
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.
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joanna schroeder Aug 14
Replying to @iproposethis
"'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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joanna schroeder Aug 15
Replying to @iproposethis
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James Holland Aug 13
Replying to @iproposethis
A broader context exists whereby 'white men' are portrayed by divisive voices as the root of evil in the world today. When an innocent, young, white, man is confronted with this accusation, it's not surprising he turns his back on currents of ideas that embrace that narrative.
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joanna schroeder Aug 28
Replying to @James7Holland
I think the question we have to ask ourselves, then, is wher the problem starts. In my opinion, the kids are not being taught and accurate history of the United States so they don't understand why oppressive whiteness is being criticized. And then...
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joanna schroeder Aug 28
Replying to @James7Holland
... what seems to happen is they misunderstand what it means to indict oppressive whiteness. they think it's about them, because they don't know what it's really about to. Nobody is telling them. When they understand the system, they will know that it's not personal.
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joanna schroeder Aug 28
Replying to @James7Holland
The solution is not to stop indicting oppressive whiteness. That just further reinforces the oppressive systems. the solution is to finally start talking about systems of oppression when kids are young. Talking about what whiteness even means! The issue...
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joanna schroeder Aug 28
Replying to @James7Holland
...with white supremacists & alt-righters exploiting white boys misunderstanding oppressive systems should be even more of a motivator to teach all kids about oppressive whiteness in the United States. If we stop talking about it, white supremacists win. It's all in messaging.
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joanna schroeder Aug 28
Replying to @James7Holland
I apologize for any typos, I am using voice text because I forgot my glasses!
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