Saying 'Triggered' Will Not Turn Your Child Into a Nazi

But they might be mad at mom for writing about them in The New York Times.


"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.

Next, Schroeder criticizes her son for liking a meme that he didn't understand was anti-Semitic. "I worried that he was being pulled toward a worldview that would see this painful history as fodder for jokes, or worse, as something to celebrate," she writes.

It's good for parents to be engaged with what their kids are consuming and to talk to them about not being racists. But if they are in danger of succumbing to far-right internet culture, shaming them in the pages of The New York Times does not seem like the best strategy for bringing wayward teens back into the fold.

Schroeder—whose oeuvre also includes two articles for The Huffington Post, "7 Things I'm Not Afraid to Tell My Sons About Love, Sex, and Their Bodies" and "Is It My Responsibility to Make My Son 'Cool'?"—also spoke with NPR about her obsessive monitoring of her son's social media usage. It veers toward self-awareness but does not make it all the way there:

Schroeder has become determined to prevent her young boys from being groomed by radical messaging through these online pathways. But she says it was important to not approach her kids about the topic from a place of shaming. "They're kids and we can't expect them to automatically be able to detect propaganda when it's being presented to them," she said.

And shame, as she noted on Twitter, is the same tactic used to recruit young men to extremist groups. When kids are castigated for sharing these memes with teachers and parents—which often carry themes criticizing oversensitivity and political correctness—they become even more susceptible to their influence, she says.

"The boys [are] consuming media with the 'people are too sensitive' and 'you can't say anything anymore!' themes," Schroeder tweeted. "For these boys, this will ring true—they're getting in trouble for 'nothing.' This narrative allows boys to shed the shame—replacing it w/anger."

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?

Her New York Times piece also makes some questionable claims. As evidence that alt-right indoctrination is causing real harm, Schroeder cites a 17 percent increase in hate crimes from 2016 to 2017. But as I've pointed out repeatedly, the increase in the number of agencies reporting data to the FBI makes year-to-year comparisons difficult: In reality, we can't say with any certainty that hate crimes are more prevalent nationally than they were earlier.

Schroeder also refers to PragerU, the YouTube channel that hosts content from conservative pundit Dennis Prager, as "a propaganda machine that introduces viewers to extremist views." PragerU gets plenty of things wrong—especially when it comes to its alleged "censorship" by Big Tech—and it does sometimes feature interviews with extremist figures. But most of the channel's videos are standard conservative fare. It's not exactly neo-Nazi stuff.

Similarly, Schroeder accuses Jordan Peterson of offering "a path to more extreme content and ideologies." It is of course true that some people who like Peterson eventually go on to an interest in the alt-right. But it's also true that some people who would have become alt-rightists are directed away from it by Peterson, who rejects that ideology.

Recently, some in the media seems to have transitioned from overhyping the threat of radical Islam to overhyping the threat of white nationalism. In a recent piece for Foreign Policy, Wellesley College's Simon Cottee warns that "the collective response to white nationalism has swung wildly from complacency to terrified myth-making." While white nationalism is real and dangerous, he argues, exaggerating its influence is dangerous too.

"One of the lessons of the last few years is that the media frenzy that surrounded every attack inspired or directed by the Islamic State in the West helped create the group's monstrosity, feeding it and provoking it to carry out ever more monstrous acts," writes Cottee. "Another lesson is that focusing on so-called signs of extremism—in the form of what people say, what music they listen to, or how they dress—is a surefire way of antagonizing them. It is also deeply illiberal."

In other words: Keep an eye on your teenage sons, but don't be too worried that their social media habits will lead them toward Nazism. Especially if the "signs" you're watching for are things like saying "triggered."

NEXT: Would You Trust the Trump Administration to Teach Digital Literacy?

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  1. She doesn’t seem to have much regard for her sons’ intelligence.

    1. Consider the gene pool.

      1. Here at NYU, we have found ourselves obliged to implement a regime of trigger warnings–with police intervention when necessary–due to some of the more prurient elements among the student population, as well as equally undesirable elements among the many amateurs and “street artists” lurking around campus. In my classroom we have one basic rule: if you say anything inappropriately offensive or damaging to a reputation, however “truthfully” your comment is intended, you are out of here. We will continue to work with law enforcement to make sure ordered civility is respected, regardless of any out-of-place criticism of the “left” or the “right.” Any “free speech” trouble-makers who feel unhindered by NYU’s policy on such matters may wish to spend some time consulting the documentation of our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

        1. That’s it. Beat your little drum.

    2. might have cause. Consider the father that would put up with this snowflake*.

      [*please tell me snowflake is already on the hate list somewhere.”

      1. Yep. Snowflake is definitely on the hate list.
        Put there by snowflakes who cannot stand their false narrative exposed by facts.
        Because snow is invariably white, is is also racist.
        And, oh by the way, ‘triggered’ is a left wing invention of speech suppression.

        1. No, it’s not. “Trauma trigger” is a thing in social work and psychology and when someone has something that triggers that feeling of trauma, they’re “triggered”. It’s been co-opted by the left though to be used to silence people over some perceived trauma.

          1. So, I read all that you wrote and came away with ‘its something the left created’.

            Ie, all those people in social work.

        2. Snowflake, triggered, libtard and other insults I have seen ONLY used by far right racists and fascists. Claiming they are harmless is claiming that code does not exist. I find these terms boring, but when used by youth, it is like a gateway drug to fascist discourse.
          And if you don’t like my saying so, fuck you!

          1. And the left hasn’t used “racist” till it’s worn so shiny that no one pays any attention anymore?

          2. Causation and correlation. Look them up.

  2. Well, I’m triggered. And it’s Rico’s fault.

    1. I’m triggered because they ran this article on indigenous peoples day! How dare they!

      1. Whoops. Forgot to capitalize IPD. More triggering all around. My bad.

        1. That’s as bad as not putting “The Prophet” in front of “Muhammad”.

  3. Recently, some (re: most) in the media seem to have transitioned from overhyping the threat of radical Islam to overhyping the threat of white nationalism.


  4. It seems Schroeder cannot accept the idea that the left’s pearl clutching over violations of their identity politics shibboleths are only mockable if you hold noxious views, rather than being ridiculous on their own merit. If she wants root out political extremism, she may do well to look in a mirror.

    1. Yeah, the alt-right jokes about “triggered”. And so does everyone else who haven’t bought into their nonsense.

  5. It’s been scientifically proven that the best way to get a young male to stop saying something is to shout “You can’t say that!” at him.

    1. I would like your scientific source for that claim…..ah, you made it up. Hope I didn’t trigger you.

      1. It’s called psychology 101.

  6. “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”

    Indeed, *everyone* knows that.

    *** rolls eyes ***

  7. While white nationalism is real and dangerous, he argues, exaggerating its influence is dangerous too.

    Begging the question. You would have to substantiate the first premise for the second to have any relevance. A few thousand yokels in a nation of 330 million are not a danger.

    1. One white nationalist planning to do violence is dangerous, as is any other person willing to agress against others for a cause. How many such people exist in a given movement and how big the movement is are factors in determining the overall danger. White nationalist groups do not actually seem all that large.

      1. It’s the action and not the ideology that’s the issue then- white supremacists aren’t a danger but violent people who may or may not hold that ideology are. At least that’s my perception living in a (relatively) free country.

      2. How many such people exist in a given movement and how big the movement is are factors in determining the overall danger.

        Who is qualified to make such a determination, the government? Randy Weaver might disagree with you. How many people remember that he was not only exonerated, but vindicated by the courts? I won’t use the word ‘won’ in reference to anything related to Weaver because he lost everything for simply holding a stupid belief that he never acted upon.

    2. I think you need to specify how it is dangerous and to what. White nationalism may be dangerous in some very small, localized way. People who believe that shit sometimes do bad things. And it’s possible that they could commit serious terrorist attacks (as could any group of angry people of any political bent). But it’s in no way a danger in the sense that it’s something that could take over the country or heavily influence politics and it doesn’t deserve the attention it’s getting. Mock and/or ignore them. That’s all they deserve.

      1. “In its annual report on extremist-related killings in the U.S., the ADL’s Center on Extremism reported that at least 50 people were killed by extremists in 2018, including the 11 individuals killed in the fatal anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. The tally represents a 35 percent increase from the 37 extremist-related murders in 2017, making 2018 the fourth-deadliest year on record for domestic extremist-related killings since 1970.

        Last year saw the highest percentage of right-wing extremist-related killings since 2012, the last year when all documented killings were by right-wing extremists.”

        The core of right wing extremism is racism, an inclination to fascism, and anti-immigrant hatred: white nationalism is another term of nazism, or racial hatred and violence.

        White supremacy is a poison that those who spout it deny exists.

        Witness: ”
        News by VICE
        This Candidate for Congress Says Her Love For a KKK Grand Wizard Is Totally Not Racist
        Nichole Williams posted a photo of herself on Facebook with a patch that reads “Ride with Forrest,” a reference to an early leader of the KKK.
        Nichole Williams, who’s running in Tennessee’s first Congressional district, is not racist, she insists.

        You are, for calling her a racist.

        Williams, who previously worked in sales, is defending herself against allegations of racism after she posted a photo of herself in a vest emblazoned with the Confederate flag and a patch that reads “Ride with Forrest,” a reference to Nathan Bedford Forrest, “the first Grand Wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan.

        By Alex Lubben
        Oct 10 2019, /

        That’s how it rolls.

    3. I would say the many mass murders by white nationalists and the fact that in 2018, of 58 terrorists murders, 100% were by alt-right white nationalists, might be evidence that nazi ideology is a real threat. Not to mention the white nationalist regime of Trump and his gang of racists. But just as the KKK denies it is racist, so do the rest of the white nationalists claim they are not a threat, tho they frequently threaten civil war if Trump is defeated. In fact, claiming white nationalism is not a threat is the hallmark of white nationalism.

      1. “many” like how many? Because here’s the list of this year’s mass killings, defined as four or more people dead/wounded, shooter included:
        Quite a few involve urban youth, not white nationalists or supremacists or whatever else.

        Not to mention the white nationalist regime of Trump and his gang of racists.
        The same group that pushed through criminal justice reform that disproportionately benefits non-whites? The same group under whom minority unemployment is at historic lows? Stop saying stupid things.

        1. Next you’ll tell me LBJ was actually a huge racist and that the CRA was just a political ploy to get the black vote.

      2. In fact, claiming white nationalism is not a threat is the hallmark of white nationalism.

        In fact, actual white nationalists without question want their numbers overrepresented in the population and to be seen as a real threat. Anyone who claims differently is a fucking liar with a racial agenda to promote. The proof is there for anyone paying attention. Every time they promise thousands at a demonstration, only dozens show up.

        The worst of them adopt a visual display by shaving their heads and getting big giant swastika tattoos. They are like skunks. They want you to run away despite the lack of any real threat and their stink is so overwhelming it is difficult to estimate their numbers. Occasionally you get a rabid one that attacks, but they are not dangerous, just noxious.

      3. But just as the KKK denies it is racist

        That may very well be the most disingenuous thing I have ever seen in the comments of Reason. That exceeds even Hihn levels of misrepresentation.

      4. “In fact, claiming white nationalism is not a threat is the hallmark of white nationalism”

        And here I thought all along it was that claiming niggers, jews, and spicks were inferior to the white man was the hallmark of white nationalism. You mean to tell me all this time it was a First Rule of Fight Club situation?

  8. It is safe to say that anyone who hears Peterson or Prager and concludes that a white supremacist ideology is the way to go has not been absorbing the meaning of their ideas. To attempt to smear them with the alt-right is to suggest that any thought outside the progressive left is unacceptable.

    The promotion by the left of identity politics for all other groups but whites is bound to produce a reaction and to hold that white identity politics is bad, while others are laudable, can only be defended by racist presumptions. Identity politics is always bad, or it is merely another point of view. It cannot be good for most groups and inherently evil for one particular group.

    1. Especially Peterson, whose whole message is against identity politics and pro-individual responsibility. I know less about Prager, but he’s definitely not an alt-right identitarian either.

      1. Prager is Jewish, kind of hard to believe he’s an alt-righter, he’s conservative and in interview i saw between him and Dave Rubin, he was very reasonable.

        1. He is far from any kind of racist. Neither is Peterson. There are things I do not agree with either of them about but racism is not one of them.

    2. In their eyes, to question the most radical position of the progressive left is to be on the path to the alt-right.

  9. “So even though the word ‘triggered’ is a white supremacist dog whistle and not a retarded invention of the radical cultural Marxist campus left, we’re still not quite comfortable calling for death squads to eradicate its use in general conversation.”

    Might white of you there Robby.

  10. Jesus, I might have to change my bird cages lining from the Wapo to the Times.

    1. Why do you hate your bird?

      1. Birds are all lefties. Just ask LC1789.

  11. 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.


    1. You might say she was triggered, right?

      1. But if you did, you’d be equally bad as Hitler.

  12. When you, like Ms. Schroeder, consider that Conservative=Nazi. it’s real easy to get triggered.

    1. Yup. Calling Prager an alt-right supremacist is just nuts. He’s a whiny dick, but his actual ideology and policy stances are mainstream conservative. Sloppy but still mainstream.

      1. Yeah – Prager’s main crime is being uninteresting. Extremist doesn’t apply in any sense.

    2. Most who call themselves conservatives today are radical right wing reactionaries; the only real conservatives (if that means committed to defending our most cherished traditions, which are liberal: abolishing slavery, enfranchising women, civil rights for minorities, Social Security (now a beloved 85 year old tradition),, etc. As a result, most conservatives are actually radicals who want to dismantle our traditions and the real conservatives are the progressives, who go back to the 19th Century Republican Party, before it was hijacked by the reactionaries.

      1. Social Security isn’t a “beloved tradition” any more than any other Ponzi scheme is. A majority of people will love “free” money the same way that a 5 year old loves “free” candy.

        The progressives today are the same progressives that imposed Eugenics and ushered in the mass murderers of Mao, Stalin, and Hitler (in descending order of death totals). And they’re the same progressives that hate every civil liberty enshrined in the Constitution, but have particular hatred of free speech, free assembly, freedom of religion, and the right of self-defense. In reality they are nothing more than neo-feudalists and guildmasters and cult leaders who resent losing power three centuries ago and have been scheming to get it back ever since.

  13. Next we will hear about other methods of the Schroeder family, including the 10 minutes of penis shaming every morning.

    1. I would suspect the penis shaming is something woven into every conversation and activity throughout the day, rather than limited to a brief ritual.

  14. “Triggered” was invented by the left, and it’s use directly reflects the usage the leftist inventors intended. It does not refer to race, it refers to any imagined identity-based offense.

    I can use the OK sign without being a white supremacist, and I can jokingly call someone triggered if they’re political sensitivity is too wound up.

    If you’re triggered that people are calling you triggered, the problem might not be them, but rather the thinness of your integument.

    1. They co-opted it from psychology. Like a solider with PTSD could be triggered from a car back firing. But then the grievance studies heard about it and ran with it without any sort of academic studies and a whole host of regulations to stop anything that could trigger someone instead of you know treating them so they aren’t triggered by everyday life (don’t blame the victim). At least that is my understanding.

      1. I have deep sympathy for anyone with trauma that causes them to be “triggered” by ordinary events. But the solution to that is not to coddle and protect the trauma, but to move on. The SJWs insist on coddling the trauma and letting it fester.

        1. There’s actual traumatic experience, which at least deserves consideration and sympathy – though I still wouldn’t demonize anyone who accidentally lets their car backfire near a combat veteran with PTSD…and as an objective solution, getting through the memories is better than wallowing in them and weaponizing them against other people, no matter how legitimately you’ve been traumatized by awful and harrowing stuff…

          and then there’s what we can call the “cultural appropriation” of the concept by people who really have no trauma worth mentioning in comparison to combat veterans, etc., but who have discovered that invoking trauma is a useful method of wielding power.

          1. “There’s actual traumatic experience, which at least deserves consideration and sympathy – though I still wouldn’t demonize anyone who accidentally lets their car backfire near a combat veteran with PTSD … getting through the memories is better than wallowing in them and weaponizing them against other people”

            Now we’re getting down to the trucks of the argument. The Brass Tax, if you will. The concept of triggering is not about protecting the sensibilities of the triggered, so that they may be protected from the psychological echo of whatever trauma it is they experienced. It’s really about getting revenge for that trauma on some hapless dude who metaphorically lets his car backfire around their PTSD.

            Like most of the windmills tilted at by the left, Reparations, Feminism, LGBTQ issues… it has never been about achieving equality, but really it’s about achieving superiority, and then executing your demons with extreme prejudice.

    2. I can jokingly call someone triggered if they’re political sensitivity is too wound up.

      It would be extremely unlikely since you are a radical left wing social justice fuckstain who adores speech restrictions and finds yourself melting down over imagined racism every fucking day on here, but you could, sure.

  15. Triggered x triggered ^N ∞ and beyond. there now I’m apparently a racist forever

    1. triggered ^N

      LOL! I don’t know if that was intentional, but Mark Twain is laughing his skeletal ass off.

      1. I’m not familiar with many of his sayings so not intentional

        1. Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn, which is anti-slavery and anti-racist, but keeps getting banned for racist language.

          triggered^N… N-word…. sigh… it becomes less amusing the more I it…

          So, unintentional, then. NIce!

          1. the Triggered^N the ^ is a math symbol actually stands for triggered to the Nth number plus the ∞ infinity symbol multiplier. but thats okay and i was familiar with Huck fin at least from school and one of our local hotels likes to brag about Twain staying there once

  16. spoke with NPR about her obsessive monitoring of her son’s social media usage”

    does she also watch them pee to make sure they don’t jiggle more than twice lest they be jerking off. this woman is a freak who will cause more harm to her sons

  17. thought “triggered” was invented by idiot students @Mizzou lol

  18. Definitely triggered.

  19. “I almost lost control of the car,”

    So close

  20. Note how alt-right is defined as people who are racists, anti-Semites and white supremacists who support mainstream conservative policies. Gotta love the Left’s wordgames. Using this definition, one can smear any policy as “alt-right”, can lump any conservative idea in with bigots (not a surprising tactic, granted).

    PS – Nothing on Prager U, or in the words of Jordan Peterson, supports, endorses or even flirts with white supremacy, neo-nazi ideology, or the like.

    1. Peterson’s is considered by the Progs to be a gateway viewpoint.

      1. Which shows the extent of their stupidity and/or mendacity. You may disagree with Peterson on a number of things, but he thinks identity politics is a danger in all its manifestations, and white nationalists do disgust him.

    2. I’m going to start calling the SJW and Identitarian crowd the “Alt-Left”. Then slowly expand it to mean anyone to the left of the center right.

  21. Also, something to keep in mind is that many people consider Libertarianism itself a pipeline to National Socialism. After all, once you start focusing on individuality and personal responsibility, you’ll realize that certain groups of people perform better than others…and then you might ask why.

    Naturally, this logic is complete bs because you can have controversial views about subgroups without being a racist. Most of the supposed claims of superiority, such as average IQ, crime rates, single motherhood, abortions, wealth, etc. are not meaningful from a Libertarian perspective. But Leftists have become so unhinged that even thinking about such subjects is punishable by death.

  22. Good thing they didn’t say “Aw Ma, just learn to code.” She’d have driven into a tree.

    1. And hailed by the far left as a heroine for taking her 2 white supremacist sons out with her.

  23. Jeebus, how far can someone climb into their own navel?

  24. Odds are her sons understand politics and culture better than she does.

  25. White people are terrible.

  26. 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.

    Are we going to leave out why ‘the right’ (I’m not right and I use the term) uses the term ‘triggered’?

    Ok, obligatory bitching out of the way – not a bad article.

    Could it be because that is the term the left use to describe themselves?

    Or, Soave, is this another Carlos Maza thing where you can’t use the words these people use to describe themselves?

  27. Leftists have been militantly claiming to be “triggered” by things for years. Now it’s a Hitler thing? These fucking people are insane.

  28. Far left students wanted compulsory trigger warnings to be placed on classic literature roughly 8-10 years ago.

    Today, the calls for nonstop coddling by the children of wealthy white people have been turned around on them by the general public. Chiefly, the word “triggered” now describes unreasonable emotional reactions to otherwise mundane occurrences.

    The fact that this triggers people that want to be coddled is unsurprising and absolutely hilarious.

  29. Her affiliation of the word “triggered” as the “calling card of the alt-right” just made me so triggered I can hardly see straight. I’m literally shaking right now, about to lose control of my car.

  30. I’m triggered by the fact that Rico here is mansplaining the alt-right, pop culture, teen-age boys and the English language to a woman who’s writing in the NYT. How dare you? That’s gonna cost you some cocktail party invites.

  31. Almost lost control of the car? Why is a potential dangerous (or deadly) freakout on your part an argument in favor of your position? Is it a way to indicate that “this is a Serious Issue that I Feel Strongly about, so there!”

  32. No love for Remy? It’s even seasonally appropriate (and appropriating).

  33. I’m so triggered right now

    Please visit my site:

  34. “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. ”

    Not to mention being part of a group that doesn’t want to send them to camps for “toxic masculinity”.

  35. You know what may turn these kids into Nazis? Being raised by an illiberal, racist, anti-free market imbecile like Joanna Schroeder.

  36. If following Jordan Peterson opens a door to the alt-right, then I assert that reading columns by Joanna Schroeder can lead to Marxism or even Alinskyism. The word “triggered,” with which she takes such exception, only became possible for the Right to spoof because the Progressive Left used it without irony for so long. The term “political correctness” followed a similar vector. Although much mocked today , I well remember being cautioned in the early 90s with the serious admonition, “That’s not politically correct!”

  37. Those poor boys. I bet they get bullied at school, too.

  38. “Triggered” is a generic term for “bothered.” I hear kids say it all the time, referring to themselves. Teachers have “trigger warnings” before teaching sensitive subjects. This woman is off her rocker.

  39. “But most of the channel’s videos are standard conservative fare. It’s not exactly neo-Nazi stuff.”

    For her and other leftists of her ilk, its tomato tomato.

  40. Women and politicians are stupid and get along for different reasons.

    Women, consumed by irrational emotion, don’t get logic. Like colour blind but with logic. Rather than admit and try to correct their stupidity, they bundle up all the issues they can’t emotionally understand and discard them. Like what it means to be a man.

    Politicians want to make voters feel emotionally good too so they bundle up and discard inconvenient truths.

    Without addressing the root cause, their ideas and solutions are incomplete and ineffective.

    This is what feminism has brought us. Under the guise of equality, stupidity.

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