Mom-of-three Joanna Schroeder shared a warning to parents of white boys about disturbing predatory behavior by white supremacists online.
Her teenage son was scrolling through social media when she noticed a meme of Hitler.
Mom Explains How White Supremacists Are Secretly Recruiting Our Sons
“I know my kids understand Hitler, but as I scrolled through his [social media] I saw more memes that joked about the Holocaust and joked about slavery,” she told CNN.
Schroeder, who is a writer who has written pieces about men’s issues, has faced online trolls in the past. She was particularly disturbed when her sons began using similar language, like “being triggered.”
“I know that the people who bothered me and harassed me and made my life miserable for all these years are influencing my kids,” she said. “These are my sweet gentle boys saying this stuff.”
She warns parents to be aware of verbiage like snowflake; kek, which can refer to an “ironic white nationalist ‘religion’; cuck; chad; femenoid; beta; “Blood and Soil,” and the numbers 14 and 88 which are associated with Hitler and Nazism.
Schroeder shared her warning through a series of Tweets that have since gone viral.
“I wanted parents to know,” she said. “To pay attention, because this particular group of boys is being targeted and these parents have no idea.”
Schroeder warns that white supremacy memes and social posts “begin to normalize ideals that are repugnant.”
“First boys are inundated by memes with subtly racist, sexist, and homophobic, anti-Semitic jokes and being kids, they don’t see the nuance and they repeat and share,” she said. “Then they are shunned in school or socially.”
Schroeder admitted that she reacted so strongly because it hit so close to home. She sat with her two sons to review some of the disturbing social content she had seen, and they now know to show her if they’re concerned or have questions. As a result, she recommends parents get their own social accounts so they can better track online engagement.
“All parents are trying to bend their kids’ minds. Whether it’s getting them to wash their hands when they normally wouldn’t or getting them to think about social issues in a way that’s going to help society get better,” she said.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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