A feminist writer said she nearly lost control of her vehicle after her young sons used the word, “triggered.”
Joanna Schroeder described the incident in an op-ed published Saturday in The New York Times.
Her 11- and 14-year-old sons were laughing in the backseat of her car when one of them uttered the “seemingly innocuous word.”
According to Schroeder, the term “triggered” is ” a calling card of the alt-right.”
“People associated with this group are known for trolling those who disagree with them, and calling critics ‘triggered’ is a favorite tactic,” she wrote.
Schroeder was similarly appalled when her son accidentally “liked” an anti-semitic Instagram meme.
The mom-of-two said she responded by snatching the phone out of his hand. Her son defended his actions, in essence telling her to lighten up.
“‘I’m not stupid enough to like a Hitler meme on purpose, Mom,’ he said. ‘And anyway, I’m sure my friend shared it to be ironic,'” Schroeder wrote.
New York Times readers learn PragerU is not actually a university
Citing FBI data on an increase in hate crime incidents, as well as recent mass shootings committed by young white men, Schroeder argued that it was the job of white parents like her to prevent their sons “from becoming indoctrinated by a growing racist movement that thrives online and causes real-life devastation.”
“[W]e want to keep them from becoming supporters of the racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and gender- or sexuality-based hatred that is on the rise,” she added.
As examples of the kinds of harmful influences that can lead kids down the path toward white supremacy, Schroeder highlighted Jordan Peterson, PragerU and targeted ads on YouTube.
Schroeder made sure to explain to Times readers that PragerU is not, in fact, an accredited university, but rather a “propaganda machine that introduces viewers to extremist views via video.”
Times-reading parents concerned they might be raising the next Richard Spencer were, however, provided with a light at the end of the tunnel.
One expert Schroeder spoke to for her piece said communication is essential to steering children away from the alt-right.
“One family Dr. Duffy sees in his clinical practice found that the key to opening up conversation with their son, who was showing signs of indoctrination into alt-right communities, was to start by saying they were proud of his efforts to develop opinions that weren’t spoon-fed to him and to promise to listen to their son’s perspective if he would listen to theirs.”
Schroeder also touted her successful efforts to get her kids to stop using the word “snowflake” as an epithet.
“When one of my kids used it, I smiled and, in a conspiratorial tone, asked him to think about this: Who is more of a delicate snowflake? The person who wants people to stop racial slurs or mocking of gay people or the person who is upset and offended by the use of the phrase ‘Happy Holidays’ — a common talking point during Fox News’s infamous War on Christmas segments?” she wrote.
Above all, Schroeder encouraged undying vigilance – especially of children’s social media activity.
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.
— joanna schroeder (@iproposethis) August 13, 2019
“I’m working hard to instill these values in my kids. But keeping them away from the radical right is a continuing project for me and should be for any parent,” she wrote. “I have confidence that they’re more equipped than they were a year ago to detect and reject hateful messages, but in the meantime, every time they laugh at a so-called edgy meme, I’m going to make it my mission to find out what’s so funny.”