The Soviet Union under Stalin created a cult around Pavlik Morozov, a 13-year-old-child Communist who was endlessly admired for ratting out his own father to the secret police.
Here’s a new NYT opinion essay:
Racists Are Recruiting. Watch Your White Sons.
Parents need to understand how white supremacists prey on teen boys, so they can intervene.
By Joanna Schroeder
Ms. Schroeder is a writer.
Oct. 12, 2019
Raising teenagers can be terrifying. Our squishy little babies become awkward hormonal creatures who question our authority at every turn.
I expected that. What I didn’t predict was that my sons’ adolescence would include being drawn to the kind of online content that right-wing extremists use to recruit so many young men.
The first sign was a seemingly innocuous word, used lightheartedly: “triggered.”
As my 11- and 14-year-old sons and their friends talked and bantered — phones in hand, as always — in the back seat of the car, one of them shouted it in response to a meme, and they all laughed uproariously.
I almost lost control of the car. That’s because I know that word — often used to mock people who are hurt or offended by racism as overly sensitive — is a calling card of the alt-right, which the Anti-Defamation League defines as “a segment of the white supremacist movement consisting of a loose network of racists and anti-Semites who reject mainstream conservatism in favor of politics that embrace implicit or explicit racism, anti-Semitism and white supremacy.” People associated with this group are known for trolling those who disagree with them, and calling critics “triggered” is a favorite tactic.
In the future, the US might have a mirror image to the Stalinists’ Pavel Mozlik cult. The difference will be that we’ll honor parents, like Ms. Schroeder, who rat out their own white sons.