Holy crap. Have you guys seen this Twitter thread from Joanna Schroeder that starts out like this?
Do you have white teenage sons?
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.
— joanna schroeder (@iproposethis) August 13, 2019
It’s a series of like a bazillion tweets which have been unrolled by threadreader right here.
First of all, yes. I have a white teenaged son. He’s awesome. And he has an Instagram account which I closely monitor. And the notion that “social media and vloggers are actively laying groundwork” in order to “turn white teens into alt-right/white supremacists” is every bit as true as the notion that social media and vloggers are actively laying groundwork in order to turn white teens into social justice warrior/antifa lunatics.
In other words, Joanna, you’ve got yourself a serious case of tunnel vision, because it’s patently clear where you stand ideologically. I can recognize that there are activists on both sides of the political aisle attempting to recruit kids into their way of thinking. I’d argue that progressives are more successful at it (see: universities all across the country). Y’all kind of have a leg up on that, seeing as how the vast majority of professors are progressive. And it starts way before college.
Joanna continues (this is all from her Twitter post via the Threadreader app):
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.
Who has created this “system” Joanna is convinced exists? And what exactly explains the “system” that constantly indoctrinates kids AWAY from traditional/conservative perspectives? Why do I now have to worry about my elementary school kid being taught how anal sex is performed? Why is Teen Vogue actively telling girls on Snapchat that they should defy their parents and get abortions without consent?
But OK. Yes. Boys (like mine) share memes and jokes. And if they have good parents, they DO see the nuance. But let’s assume Joanna’s right, and a white teenaged boy gets called out by someone for an inappropriate joke. Joanna continues:
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”.
There is not NEARLY enough shame in our culture anymore. Shame often PREVENTS people from making terrible decisions.
But let’s assume Joanna’s right, and that shame-filled boys are mysteriously and with great conspiracy presented with media that tells them that the world is filled with progressive snowflakes and everyone is just too damned sensitive now.
Isn’t it? LOOK AROUND YOU, Joanna. Even freaking JERRY SEINFELD won’t perform on college campuses anymore because of how ridiculously offended people are by comedy. Conservative speakers need thousands of dollars in security resources just to give a talk on a college campus, if they’re allowed at all.
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.
OK. So now white teenaged boys are overwhelmingly becoming women-hating, racist, bigoted jerks according to Joanna, because of the giant conspiracy to indoctrinate them all that way by this big “system” to get them to be disillusioned by progressivism even though it’s progressive ideas that are constantly being shoved down their throats. Got it.
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.
???? What bizarre harassment? Has Joanna not experienced how positively toxic white teenaged GIRLS are? They can be the LITERAL WORST.
But you guys, Joanna has proof:
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.
My kid knows the word “triggered” because of the GIRLS he’s in school with, who are constantly using the term to complain about everything and anything they find remotely displeasing. Joanna needs to understand that if you are bombarded by people who are so weak-minded that they describe every negative situation as “triggering” to them, then yes, you’re going to equate someone being “triggered” with total snowflakery. God knows I do. And it’s a damn shame, considering that yes, it USED to be a word used to describe ACTUAL PTSD reactions/symptoms. Progressives love diluting the meaning of words until they are meaningless. (Racism, anyone?)
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.
Indeed. Good parents make sure that their kids ask questions, use critical thinking skills, and push back against the FAR MORE INVASIVE progressive ideology that seeps into nearly every facet of school life these days.
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.
NO NO NO NO NO. That’s not how you parent. I am ABSOLUTELY THERE to judge my kid – that’s my LITERAL JOB while he’s being raised in my house. If he’s acting like a d*ck, he’s gonna know about it. And sure, there are some funny progressive comedians, but they are typically the least funny when they’re being activists.
It’s pretty difficult to “disprove the snowflake garbage” when progressives are constantly threatening to shut down conservative voices at every opportunity (see: Google bias, comedians refusing campus performances, ANTIFA violence against conservatives, exclusion of pro-life women at Women’s Marches, conservative speakers being run off of campuses, etc. etc. etc.)
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?
Find me a person who is offended by someone saying “Happy Holidays.” FIND ME ONE SINGLE PERSON offended by that. The point is, Joanna, you feminist idiot, that people were offended by being told to have a Merry Christmas in the FIRST PLACE. THAT is what started the whole “Happy Holidays” bullcrap to begin with. I tell my son no matter what holiday greeting someone gives him, it’s awesome. Because it’s SOMEONE TRYING TO BE NICE.
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.
Fact check: False. Your kids’ dad clearly hasn’t called out your bullshit, so he’s either afraid or he’s as willfully tunnel-visioned as you are.
But I’ve seen SO MANY white boys falling prey to this system. So beware.
Joanna included an article written by a mom who watched her 13 year old son become an alt-right member. It’s a fascinating read that Joanna believes supports her entire theory, and I can see why she’d think that because much of it does. The problem is that she completely misses the initial trigger (sorry to use that word here but it works.) That trigger, that literally sets into motion how her son transforms, is described early on in the piece:
One morning during first period, a male friend of Sam’s mentioned a meme whose suggestive name was an inside joke between the two of them. Sam laughed. A girl at the table overheard their private conversation, misconstrued it as a sexual reference, and reported it as sexual harassment. Sam’s guidance counselor pulled him out of his next class and accused him of “breaking the law.” Before long, he was in the office of a male administrator who informed him that the exchange was “illegal,” hinted that the police were coming, and delivered him into the custody of the school’s resource officer. At the administrator’s instruction, that man ushered Sam into an empty room, handed him a blank sheet of paper, and instructed him to write a “statement of guilt.”
And that’s when the boy’s troubles began, y’all. Not because of anything inherently wrong or racist or sexist or bigoted that was shared between him and his friends. But because of something “suggestive” that a triggered GIRL at school decided to mischaracterize as sexual harassment, sending this kid into a world of trouble.
And yet somehow, Joanna uses this case to PROVE HER DUMBASS THEORY that today’s memes create alt-right white supremacists out of white teenaged boys.
This happened in the same twitter thread about the article that Joanna posted:
Those tweets were literally just posted right now, so I’m just going to publish this and send it to her, because holy crap this chick thinks waaaaaay too much of herself.
I hadn’t claimed any moral or intellectual high ground when you made that claim, Joanna. But I sure as sh*t do now. GFY.