66 votes

What Happened After My 13-Year-Old Son Joined the Alt-Right

41 comments

  1. [18]
    moriarty Link
    This story makes me wonder how do you talk to your adolescent kids and explain the world to them? How do you contextualize extremism and inform them on the dangers of some online communities? This...

    This story makes me wonder how do you talk to your adolescent kids and explain the world to them? How do you contextualize extremism and inform them on the dangers of some online communities? This kid, despite being jewish and being familiar with its real culture, was lured in and convinced of the most classic elders of zion blood libels. How do you give kids the proper tools to discern truth from propaganda when it's so hard even for adults to do?
    If 10 years ago we were terrified of radicalized teens joining ISIS, today it is replaced by the ever-growing and legal terrorist organizations of the alt-right.

    31 votes
    1. [9]
      Grzmot Link Parent
      The truth is, I don't know if you can properly explain the world to your child. All you can do is give them the right tools and let them experience it on their own. This is of course dangerous,...

      The truth is, I don't know if you can properly explain the world to your child. All you can do is give them the right tools and let them experience it on their own. This is of course dangerous, but eventually the parents have to let go and hope for the best, acting like a bastion the child can return to (even as an adult) if they ever need help.

      I'm very empathetic to Sam and this article, because his journey mirrors my own in a fantastical way. But unlike Sam, I didn't really have an starting point, I just never really had friends in school, and as such found welcome refugee in places like r/KotakuInAction, r/mensrights etc. I don't think I ever adopted quite as extreme attitudes, but I too was saved by meeting someone in real life and gaining more perspective.

      Like Sam, I wasn't ever really conviced of those views, I was simply looking for a place to belong to. I found that in university, with a circle of friends and a girlfriend, I can say I'm finally properly living life.

      18 votes
      1. [5]
        bbvnvlt Link Parent
        Could you describe how that went? I'd be curious to know how that went, what kinds of things they did or you talked with them about, etc.

        I too was saved by meeting someone in real life and gaining more perspective

        Could you describe how that went? I'd be curious to know how that went, what kinds of things they did or you talked with them about, etc.

        7 votes
        1. [4]
          Grzmot Link Parent
          A girl from my parallel class (I was in class B, she in A, if that makes sense) had been into me secretely for some time. After a few teenage shenanigans we ended up together and still are 3 years...

          A girl from my parallel class (I was in class B, she in A, if that makes sense) had been into me secretely for some time. After a few teenage shenanigans we ended up together and still are 3 years later.

          She literally saved me.

          Because honestly all I wanted to have was a social circle, my views changed fairly quickly. I continued to frequent right-wing subs for quite some time but I stopped eventually because I realized that the entire reactionary bubble on reddit is tiny. You can literally ignore it completely and not miss anything, because it's just people from KiA getting mad about some game bullshit, then the people from ShitRedditSays making fun of them and the in turn SRS getting laughed at in subs like subredditcancer, etc. and then again from the start. It's like a living beings digestive track, news goes in at one end, and then everyone chimes in, often making fun of another group on Reddit or something.

          Ironically enough, we didn't talk about much of what was actually going on on KiA, but because I stopped spending so much time in echochambers I changed my views. So literally going outside solved things for me. Later in uni I had a more robust footing in life so I managed to find some friends and now I am a normal human being! Feel free to ask any more questions :)

          11 votes
          1. nothis Link Parent
            It sounds cliché but I often wonder how close to 100% of social problems can be solved by simply going out more and somehow forcing yourself to have contact with other people. Even if you're just...

            So literally going outside solved things for me.

            It sounds cliché but I often wonder how close to 100% of social problems can be solved by simply going out more and somehow forcing yourself to have contact with other people. Even if you're just "awkwardly" sitting in the corner for a while.

            4 votes
          2. [2]
            bbvnvlt Link Parent
            Thanks for replying! Makes sense. I was expecting that something somebody said would perhaps have been a break-through or someting, showing things in a different light. But it's not that rational,...

            Thanks for replying!

            Makes sense. I was expecting that something somebody said would perhaps have been a break-through or someting, showing things in a different light. But it's not that rational, of course.

            2 votes
            1. Grzmot Link Parent
              I'm afraid very few people could be that rational if they were in such a position. Humans value social position higher than being rational. That's especially important for teenagers. The...

              I'm afraid very few people could be that rational if they were in such a position. Humans value social position higher than being rational.

              That's especially important for teenagers. The rationality comes later in life, at that point it's all about fitting in, or not, and finding yourself.

              3 votes
      2. [2]
        Gaywallet Link Parent
        I'm curious whether you felt similarly to Sam in that you didn't think adults treated you seriously. I fell into deep depression when confronted with a similar situation, where the people in power...

        I'm curious whether you felt similarly to Sam in that you didn't think adults treated you seriously.

        I fell into deep depression when confronted with a similar situation, where the people in power (adults) were entirely unsympathetic to me and my plight. When I became depressed, they "treated" me by giving me medications, and ignoring what I had to say. They even ignored what I had to say when I had side effects to these medications.

        It's one of the reasons from a young age I was drawn to the medical field. I didn't want other children to go through what I had. Yes, children don't often understand everything about the world we would like them to, but that is no reason to dismiss what they have to say and you can't cop-out an explanation to "I know more than you" or "because I say so" or it will breed resentment and send them searching for somewhere they can fit.

        5 votes
        1. Grzmot Link Parent
          For me it was less about being taken seriously by adults and more about having a social circle to fit in at all. In school I was the Omega animal and when talking to my family we talked a lot...

          For me it was less about being taken seriously by adults and more about having a social circle to fit in at all. In school I was the Omega animal and when talking to my family we talked a lot about other stuff. By brother was big into conspiracy theories then so his topics often dominated family evenings. I often got ignored (even though my family is otherwise very loving and my relationship with them are great today) so I think it was definitely more about attention, often saying outragous shit to get attention. After I found my balance in real life (see my other reply thread in this post) that fixed itself.

          However, I absolutely agree with you that telling your children you know best because "I say so" is harmful, especially in the young teenager phase. Generally one should try to explain things to their kids and most importantly, not get angry when they screw up, or they'll end up not trusting you and not coming to you when they should later, when their fuck ups become more serious.

          6 votes
      3. culturedleftfoot Link Parent
        I fully agree with this, and will add that a big part of that is sincerely listening and asking questions, rather than telling them stuff. Kids are usually smarter than we give them credit for at...

        The truth is, I don't know if you can properly explain the world to your child. All you can do is give them the right tools and let them experience it on their own. This is of course dangerous, but eventually the parents have to let go and hope for the best, acting like a bastion the child can return to (even as an adult) if they ever need help.

        I fully agree with this, and will add that a big part of that is sincerely listening and asking questions, rather than telling them stuff. Kids are usually smarter than we give them credit for at that age, and being a sounding board for them to arrive at their own conclusions is the wisest strategy. It's what you want to end up doing when they're fully grown adults anyway. Almost everything about parenting is a lot easier said than done though.

        2 votes
    2. [8]
      lionirdeadman Link Parent
      I'm curious what you mean by this, terrorism in itself isn't legal so that seems quite contradictory...

      legal terrorist organizations of the alt-right.

      I'm curious what you mean by this, terrorism in itself isn't legal so that seems quite contradictory...

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        cfabbro Link Parent
        I would assume OP is referring to Stochastic terrorism.

        I would assume OP is referring to Stochastic terrorism.

        16 votes
        1. [2]
          lionirdeadman Link Parent
          Ah, I see. That makes more sense, I feel like I've heard the term before but forgotten about it.

          Ah, I see. That makes more sense, I feel like I've heard the term before but forgotten about it.

          3 votes
          1. cfabbro Link Parent
            Another related tactic to be aware of that is commonly used to indirectly incite others to take action while maintaining plausible deniability is exemplified in the famous "Will no one rid me of...

            Another related tactic to be aware of that is commonly used to indirectly incite others to take action while maintaining plausible deniability is exemplified in the famous "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?" utterance of Henry II.

            12 votes
      2. [4]
        moriarty Link Parent
        I primarily meant that while while ISIS or Hezbollah are illegal organizations in the US and joining them is forbidden, the KKK, Council of Conservative Citizens, Northwest Front, Proud Boys and...

        I primarily meant that while while ISIS or Hezbollah are illegal organizations in the US and joining them is forbidden, the KKK, Council of Conservative Citizens, Northwest Front, Proud Boys and other alt-right organizations that breed more domestic terrorism than ISIS are perfectly legal.
        Just as what @cfabbro posted (and thanks for pointing it out, I didn't know it actually had a name) - those "lone wolves" like Dylan Roof and Jeremy Christian aren't lone. They have been indoctrinated and radicalized by the alt right, exactly like European Islamist sympathizers were radicalized by ISIS.

        8 votes
        1. [3]
          lionirdeadman Link Parent
          I can't speak for the other organizations but the KKK is not alt-right, it was around way before the term ever came to exist. But yes, organizations which incite violence are certainly not good.

          I can't speak for the other organizations but the KKK is not alt-right, it was around way before the term ever came to exist. But yes, organizations which incite violence are certainly not good.

          3 votes
          1. [2]
            Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
            The world is full of things that existed way before we ever came up with terms for them. That doesn't stop them being those things we finally call them.

            the KKK is not alt-right, it was around way before the term ever came to exist.

            The world is full of things that existed way before we ever came up with terms for them. That doesn't stop them being those things we finally call them.

            5 votes
            1. lionirdeadman Link Parent
              I believe that's a misuse of the term so let's agree to disagree. I don't wanna start a debate for this.

              I believe that's a misuse of the term so let's agree to disagree. I don't wanna start a debate for this.

              3 votes
  2. [4]
    gpl Link
    Whenever I read articles like this, I think of all the kids in the my high school who would share rage comics and other aspects of what was then meme culture, often in computer club after school....

    Whenever I read articles like this, I think of all the kids in the my high school who would share rage comics and other aspects of what was then meme culture, often in computer club after school. It was an easy way to have something in common with other people and a pretty harmless way to interact while having a LAN party. I can’t imagine how those kids would have been influenced if the content of mainstream memes was as overtly political (and often racist, sexist, etc) as it is today.

    20 votes
    1. [2]
      MarkusG Link Parent
      What makes you say that the content of mainstream memes today is overtly political? Sure, a lot of political memes exist, but I'd say in general most new memes are apolitical.

      What makes you say that the content of mainstream memes today is overtly political? Sure, a lot of political memes exist, but I'd say in general most new memes are apolitical.

      3 votes
      1. gpl Link Parent
        I suppose I should be more clear, because I do agree that most memes are apolitical. I do think it has become easier to find political/problematic memes today, but more importantly it is harder to...

        I suppose I should be more clear, because I do agree that most memes are apolitical. I do think it has become easier to find political/problematic memes today, but more importantly it is harder to tell the difference. When you have these memes mixed in with largely harmless other memes, I think for a lot of kids it blurs the line between what is acceptable and unacceptable. At what point does a "Chad/Stacey" meme go from just an outlet for frustrations with the dating scene to actually fostering an unhealthy view of women and other men? This is sort of what I mean. Of course, this type of content has always been around, but I truly believe (perhaps unfounded) that it was harder to find in the past. If you wanted really controversial memes even 5 years ago, you had to go to 4chan, 8chan, or some unsavory subreddits. Eight years ago and you were pretty much limited to the chans.

        I know the memes I was looking at in high school were mostly rage comics, advice animals, with the most controversial ones being things like Polandball. Now you have things like Pepe which really blur the line. 9/10 Pepe memes might be harmless, but then you get one with Nazi imagery and promoting unhealthy views mixed in there. The other 9 were okay to laugh at and engage with, so why wouldn't this 1 be?

        So overall I would agree that most memes today are apolitical, but it is easier to find the more problematic ones and importantly harder to draw the line.

        13 votes
    2. feigneddork Link Parent
      Man, I remember when all there were of memes were LOLcat memes (I was only 15 and those were considerably a lot more wholesome than the stuff shared today). Those were the good days.

      Man, I remember when all there were of memes were LOLcat memes (I was only 15 and those were considerably a lot more wholesome than the stuff shared today). Those were the good days.

      2 votes
  3. [4]
    somewaffles Link
    It's really interesting to see this from a kids perspective. Alt-righters take real world problems and simplify them to be easily digestible while giving them a nice, content feeling of justice....

    It's really interesting to see this from a kids perspective. Alt-righters take real world problems and simplify them to be easily digestible while giving them a nice, content feeling of justice. Child custody is disproportionately against men? Must be the feminists. There is a problem getting people through the border safely and legally? Must be a mass invasion.

    I’d never in my life backed the “masculinist” cause or imagined that men needed protecting—yet I couldn’t help but agree with Sam’s analysis.

    It's because these are real problems that exist in the world and the alt-right is a propaganda machine. They are good at combining peoples insecurities and projecting them onto real world issues. Once they have someone there, they can start really laying down the crazy with the Jew and QAnon conspiracies. They paint the world as a scary place and it works because the world is a scary place. It's a serious rabbit hole and can be easy for an impressionable child (and adults unfortunately) to see the world the way it is and see this stuff as an answer. The fact that grown men appointed a child as a moderator and saw him as an intellectual equal is telling of how these people think.

    “All I wanted was for people to take me seriously,” he repeated matter-of-factly. “They treated me like a rational human being, and they never laughed at me. I saw the way you and Dad looked at each other and tried not to smile when I said something. I could hear you both in your room at night, laughing at me.”

    I wish every parent raising a child today could read this. If they aren't talking to you, they are talking to someone on the internet about their political beliefs. These ideas may seem crazy to you or me, but to a child, this shit makes sense to them.

    14 votes
    1. [3]
      nothis Link Parent
      I think this is the best article on the alt-right I've read so far, mostly because it accepts that there is a genuine problem at the start (we don't know the full story, but I can't imagine a...

      I think this is the best article on the alt-right I've read so far, mostly because it accepts that there is a genuine problem at the start (we don't know the full story, but I can't imagine a scenario in which the principal's reaction wasn't dangerously overblown). This is an article about a 13 year old boy, the usual "a grown ass man should have known" argument no longer works and honestly, grown ass men aren't that much smarter, either, which is another problem that should rather be accepted than scoffed at.

      The rise of the alt-right is fueled by a lack of alternatives. If you believe there's some parts, any parts where modern feminism goes too far, even if it's just in 1% of cases, there is just no one else who would even listen. If you believe a 13 year old boy shouldn't be psychologically tortured for blurting out something sexist, there's no other organization who would even admit that this might be a problem. I really don't think the op's story is an isolated case. I've been hearing stories like that from friends who went to more progressive schools for years. How should that not do damage to a 13 year old kid's worldview? And the kids around him, thinking "might I be next?".

      Maybe we need a more realistic branch of liberal/left politics that makes it a policy to at least consider that there might be flaws in their approach.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        kfwyre (edited ) Link Parent
        I'll go out on this limb with you, as I think you touch upon an important and nuanced point here. One of the successes of modern feminism has been that women have taken charge of the idea of...

        I'll go out on this limb with you, as I think you touch upon an important and nuanced point here.

        One of the successes of modern feminism has been that women have taken charge of the idea of womanhood and defined it on their own terms. This is undoubtedly a good thing and comes as a direct response to a lengthy history of having to live underneath standards that weren't their own.

        Part of this redefinition comes with lots of positive, gender-specific messaging. We see this all the time in schools, as they are often direct targets of these campaigns. My students will hear about and join specifically female organizations (e.g. Girls Who Code, Girl Up, Girls on the Run). They'll wear shirts with slogans like "The Future Is Female" and "Throw Like a Girl." They're explicitly told that they can do whatever they put their minds to, they can work in any field that they want, and that nothing should hold them back.

        This is not a bad thing in and of itself, and I largely support all of these initiatives because I do think it's important that my students learn that their opportunity isn't limited to a specific set of predetermined outcomes based on who they are. I also see the value in healing the damage of the past, where women were systematically underrepresented, undervalued, or underappreciated.

        I do think, however, that the gender-specific messaging in support of women has created a bit of a vacuum for my male students. They don't get told the world is theirs. They don't get told they can do anything.

        As an adult, I can appreciate the zoomed out, high-level view that says that they don't have a need for that kind of messaging and that those opportunities have always been available to them, but my students don't have that same perspective. They're still seeing the world one week at a time with the natural blinders of youth. They are just starting to become aware of big concepts like fairness and justice. And, to them, the world can legitimately feel unfair from their perspective.

        Because it's assumed all the doors are already opened to them, we don't give male students the positive, pump up, be proud of yourself and your identity messaging that our female students get. Girls are told to break down boundaries, whereas boys, in the absence of those boundaries, have a pre-existing free rein that can feel hollow. Furthermore, when they do encounter a boundary, it's one that they cannot or should not cross because they have reached the edges of social decorum. For them, the "don'ts" they face are not historical baggage worth overcoming--they're unconditional and absolute. With the pasture wide open to them, their boundaries aren't hurdles but fences.

        Less abstractly, girls are told they CAN code and are affirmed just for doing so. Guys however, are assumed to already be coders, so they do it in the absence of a movement or larger framework. Girls break down barriers by nature of who they are (e.g. "you're redefining what a coder looks like"), but, much like you pointed out, guys hit barriers that they aren't allowed to cross (e.g. "you can't make something exploitative, offensive, or harmful").

        This imbalance plays out in a thousand small ways, not a single one of which is egregious, but which altogether can yield the sense that girls live in a limitless world while boys live in a world of limits. Add to this the idea that "girl" as an identity is given an entire supporting framework whereas "guy" seems like an aimless default, and you get the issue that male students often don't know who they are, what they can be, or how they fit into the world. That is a tough place to be.

        With all that said, I will qualify that even though I agree that this dynamic is potentially feeding the alt-right's membership, I don't want to make it look like I am casting that as an inevitability or an excuse for their ideology. In fact, I think it's important to note that there is a lot of distance between the idea that modern boys can struggle with identity development and the acceptance of full alt-right beliefs.

        I do think the alt-right can provide a distinct sense of identity that is appealing to many boys, and their use of transgression in particular unlocks a sense of "freedom" that can feel liberating to many in light of the societal barriers they've run up against. However, insecurity is merely a vector in this case, rather than a cause. The alt-right leverages insecurity to explicitly teach and reinforce their beliefs. If we were to better address this insecurity in boys (and I think we should), the alt-right would find a different method by which to disseminate their values and recruit people to their side. I don't believe it is insecurity that fundamentally creates the alt-right--I think the alt-right uses it because it's expedient for them.

        8 votes
        1. nothis Link Parent
          That's very well put!

          As an adult, I can appreciate the zoomed out, high-level view that says that they don't have a need for that kind of messaging and that those opportunities have always been available to them, but my students don't have that same perspective. They're still seeing the world one week at a time with the natural blinders of youth. They are just starting to become aware of big concepts like fairness and justice. And, to them, the world can legitimately feel unfair from their perspective.

          That's very well put!

          2 votes
  4. jgb Link
    This reads like fanfiction, just like the 'hateful incel' confession on reddit. I do think it has value though. I'm glad that by the time I began probing the more hateful and vitriolic parts of...

    This reads like fanfiction, just like the 'hateful incel' confession on reddit. I do think it has value though. I'm glad that by the time I began probing the more hateful and vitriolic parts of the internet I was old enough and had the emotional maturity to recognize the flaws in their ideology from an intellectual standpoint.

    [1] https://old.reddit.com/r/self/comments/9vs05k/my_son_is_a_hateful_incel_and_i_just_cannot_save/

    7 votes
  5. [14]
    nic Link
    Interesting story, but something doesn't add up about a kid laughing at an unnamed meme joke, then being accused of sexual harassment, then threatened with charges, then being told to simply write...

    Interesting story, but something doesn't add up about a kid laughing at an unnamed meme joke, then being accused of sexual harassment, then threatened with charges, then being told to simply write an apology letter and yet being ostracized by friends.

    4 votes
    1. [7]
      kfwyre Link Parent
      Teacher here. I don't know this for certain given the pieces missing from the narrative, but the incident the author describes sounds similar to a type of situation that we get to deal with every...

      Teacher here. I don't know this for certain given the pieces missing from the narrative, but the incident the author describes sounds similar to a type of situation that we get to deal with every so often.

      A lot of students will quote/reference memes or things they've overheard not necessarily because they understand them but because, well, they like memes and quoting things. As such, you'll hear younger students saying things like "she wants the D" or "just the tip", and it's clear they're parroting something they've heard without an appreciation for its specific meaning. They might know that it's in the realm of "not allowed" things, but they don't often know why yet.

      Sometimes, this gets heard by someone who does know what it means. If they know that it's a meme or a joke, it's usually not an issue, but if they're unaware of this, they're usually deeply uncomfortable (and rightfully so).

      If I had to guess, based on what was shared in the article, the boys were probably just joking and maybe didn't even realize exactly what they were saying, but the girl did, and it crossed enough of a line for her to report it.

      I will say that I felt like the handling of the situation by the school sounds poor based on the article, but we also don't know enough to adequately judge. In fact, if you connect the dots, it's likely the school's disproportionate response was a result of a previous event: the author noted that there was a recent student suicide, and the staff had just finished mandatory sexual harassment training. These could have been isolated events, but pairing them hints that tensions and vigilance might have been acutely high for behaviors of that type.

      Even outside of that, the parents of the student who reported could have been pushing heavily for punishment or threatening litigation, which wouldn't necessarily have been made known to the author. That said, given the principal's thinly veiled homophobia and his use of the girl's complaint letter as a prop (which is very far from standard practice), I'm not willing to give too much credit to his judgment either.

      41 votes
      1. moriarty Link Parent
        Thank you. It was a nagging thought in my head and I appreciate you providing the needed context and perspective.

        Thank you. It was a nagging thought in my head and I appreciate you providing the needed context and perspective.

        6 votes
      2. [4]
        nic Link Parent
        Interesting. Would a student typically face such repercussions for simply laughing at a joke?

        Interesting.

        Would a student typically face such repercussions for simply laughing at a joke?

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          kfwyre Link Parent
          Just laughing? No. However, given that the student was taken in and faced administrative action, I'd wager he might have been a bit more involved than he let on to his parent, or that his parent...

          Just laughing? No.

          However, given that the student was taken in and faced administrative action, I'd wager he might have been a bit more involved than he let on to his parent, or that his parent let on in the article. Note that even though the author identified their student as the responder rather than the initiator, we hear nothing about the other student facing any disciplinary action or having similar issues, despite him presumably being an equal part of the event. This could simply be because his involvement was handled separately, but it could also mean that the role the student played was not as minor as it was made out to be.

          Furthermore, the author downplays the event as just a meme, despite not naming it outright. The actual content of what was said is conspicuously absent. If it was relatively harmless, it would make sense to include it and further exonerate the student, but withholding this particular detail leads me to believe that it was probably bad enough to act on because even the author didn't want to put it in print. Again, there are other potential reasons why they wouldn't directly address it (e.g. privacy concerns), so this is mere supposition on my end.

          If I carry my supposition further, my hunch is that the student had more of a role than just laughing, and their commentary was related to sexual assault or rape. Most other things wouldn't have risen to the level that this did, and I think it's telling that the principal brought up the need to protect the girls at the school and his own daughters. That's an unlikely talking point for anything less.

          15 votes
          1. nic Link Parent
            I think that is the part that rings false with me. If my child faced serious repercussions for laughing at something inappropriate, I would rain holy hell down on the administration. The lack of...

            or that his parent let on in the article

            I think that is the part that rings false with me. If my child faced serious repercussions for laughing at something inappropriate, I would rain holy hell down on the administration.

            The lack of moral outrage by the parent does not jibe well with the facts described.

            The rest of the article is great.

            4 votes
        2. apoctr Link Parent
          Typically (in the UK at least) it would be the person telling an offensive/derogatory joke getting punished and not anyone who laughed. And the severity of punishment would probably only be a...

          Typically (in the UK at least) it would be the person telling an offensive/derogatory joke getting punished and not anyone who laughed. And the severity of punishment would probably only be a small detention.

          But contextual factors (the training just undergone by teachers) alongside the context and actual content/severity of the joke/meme probably significantly impacted the resulting punishment.

          5 votes
      3. jgb Link Parent
        It's just not sensible to apply adult standards of conduct to middle schoolers. It's a natural part of the development of children that a lot of the stuff that kids are going to say around that...

        It's just not sensible to apply adult standards of conduct to middle schoolers. It's a natural part of the development of children that a lot of the stuff that kids are going to say around that age is going to be at best cringeworthy and at worst uncomfortably lewd. Thankfully, emotional maturity rectifies that problem in a few short years, and I don't really think any lasting damage is done.

        1 vote
    2. [5]
      FZeroRacer Link Parent
      This was the nagging thought I had while I was reading this story. There were some bits that sounded unrealistic and the entire exchange felt extremely embellished knowing a bit of the D.C area....

      This was the nagging thought I had while I was reading this story. There were some bits that sounded unrealistic and the entire exchange felt extremely embellished knowing a bit of the D.C area. It also seemed strange that he was allowed to do all of this reddit moderating and 4chan browsing seemingly in the open given how often he tried to sway his parents.

      That said, the recruitment does line up with how the alt-right behaves. They'll tend to draw people in through games, steam groups, discord etc and gradually drag them deeper and deeper into the cesspits.

      7 votes
      1. [4]
        Keegan Link Parent
        The teachers would not overreact like they did in the story, even if they recently got training. The principal supposedly said that he thought they may be overreacting, so why didn't he do...

        The teachers would not overreact like they did in the story, even if they recently got training. The principal supposedly said that he thought they may be overreacting, so why didn't he do something about it? You don't just expel kids for making a sexual joke. Schools have guidelines for what calls for expulsion, and they are very strict with them.

        I call bs on this story.

        4 votes
        1. [3]
          apoctr Link Parent
          Rather than being entirely fabricated, I suspect the underlying story may be partially true (having a far/alt-right child) with some heavy exaggeration and made up events. The very last paragraph...

          Rather than being entirely fabricated, I suspect the underlying story may be partially true (having a far/alt-right child) with some heavy exaggeration and made up events. The very last paragraph in particular sounded very engineered to be a light-hearted twist and callback to the start of the article.

          That’s why my fears came roaring back when Sam and I heard on the radio one day that another Mother of All Rallies was taking place on the Mall that very weekend—and Sam asked if we could go. Together.

          My breath caught. He must have seen my face change.

          “As counterprotesters?” he asked, eyes gleaming.

          6 votes
          1. moocow1452 Link Parent
            Yeah, it kinda strikes me as a little bit editorialized, which I get because it's such a personal story, and maybe I'm cynical in that Sam seeing the contrast between the cool rebellion of the...

            Yeah, it kinda strikes me as a little bit editorialized, which I get because it's such a personal story, and maybe I'm cynical in that Sam seeing the contrast between the cool rebellion of the alt-right being a bunch of uncharismatic tools versus a single genuine protester completely changing his mind on the alt-right, but I guess this is the parent's story to tell.

            4 votes
          2. Keegan Link Parent
            Yep. This is fAkE nEwS at it's finest. Seriously though, articles like this do nothing but increase tensions between parties, which helps nobody out.

            Yep. This is fAkE nEwS at it's finest.


            Seriously though, articles like this do nothing but increase tensions between parties, which helps nobody out.

            1 vote
    3. moriarty Link Parent
      Yeah, this part of the story was a bit vague, not sure what went on there.

      Yeah, this part of the story was a bit vague, not sure what went on there.

      1 vote