October 14, 2019

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Saying ‘Triggered’ Will Not Turn Your Child Into a Nazi.

“Racists Are Recruiting. Watch Your White Sons,” warns a recent New York Times piece by the feminist writer Joanna Schroeder. While it is undoubtedly true that white supremacist trolls try to appeal to vulnerable young men, the incident that prompted Schroeder to write her piece suggests she is succumbing to unnecessary panic.

What happened? Her two sons, ages 11 and 14, liked some memes and used the word “triggered.”

Upon hearing them use this word, “I almost lost control of the car,” writes Schroeder, reacting in the very manner her sons were probably deriding. “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.”

That is true as far as it goes. But calling critics “triggered” is also common in other parts of the right, and by now it has entered apolitical quarters as well.

So mom was triggered — to the point where she “almost lost control of the car” — by her sons joking about the massive overuse of the word “triggered?”

On one hand, Schroeder seems to understand that part of the appeal of the alt-right is that it offers young people the chance to be transgressive. But what could be more transgressive than defiantly continuing to explore internet subcultures that your mother not only opposes but complains about in national news media?

It can’t be much fun (and possibly not safe) to be kids being raised by uber-woke parents.

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