Post # 16
If it’s your OWN child, I would worry that cutting him off financially might further cement these views. College can be such an eye-opening environment, whereas working a dead-end job and continuing to associate with a bunch of neo-Nazis would probalby not be. I could see paying tuition, requiring he works a part-time job to help with room and board, and not allowing ANY racist commentary around you.
Also, WTF to the PP comment about this board “leaning a particular way”. The way that doesn’t like shitty racists? Like all people should be?
Post # 17
He needs professional counseling. Sounds like his behaviour can be coming from a place of frustration and anger. I don’t know what you expect taking partial or full support away from him will accomplish other than making things worse for him and being the easy way out for you.
Post # 18
I read a really long article a few years ago (can’t find it now), but it was on how Derek Black (a youth heavily involved in Stormfront) renounced his White Nationalist views after attending college.
Post # 19
If he is your child, some of this is your fault. There is also a concern that not providing financial help would put him in a worse position than if you simply were not able to, and inhibit his ability to receive financial aid. You might want to consider making support contingent on volunteering for the underprivileged or incentivizing him to enroll in a more diverse college.
If he is not your child you have no obligation.
Post # 20
He has been in professional counseling for years, still is. There has also been family counseling to help with these issues.
I dont think taking support will necessarily help, but I do have concerns about empowering a hateful person who can then do more damage from his place of power in the future.
Post # 21
Im not convinced that a diverse college will matter for him. He’s been raised in a diverse family, has blood relatives who are mixed race. He goes to a fairly diverse school and lives in a diverse community.
The stereotypes he has are self re-inforcing. It gives him a lens to see the world through – tinted glasses. If a group of black kids are laughing and joking in the hall, he sees them as wild and out of control. Meanwhile a group of white students doing the same is no issue. If a black girl is dressed in a form fitting outfit, she is trashy and ghetto – if a white girl is dressed this way, she is hot.
We thought going to work in a minimum wage job may help. He’d be the low kid on the totem pole and work with diverse people – instead he talked down to people much older than him and refused to cooperate with them. His white male manager unknowingly enable this. When he asked the manager if he had to listen to his co-worker, the manager said no. Missing the context and emboldening him to not work together with his co-workers in the spirit of teamwork, and enabling him to dismiss and belittle his much older and more experienced co-workers because they were black and female.
I have long believed exposure is powerful. Spending time with diverse people shows you that they are just people – like everyone else. Good, bad, and a mix of inbetween because that is human and not exclusive to any race or color. However, despite a lot of exposure, he clings to these racist ideas.
Post # 22
I’m afraid I don’t have advice, but this situation sounds a great deal like Stephen Miller’s history.
it is a growing source of concern – young white men in this country being radicalized by racist, misogynistic, and otherwise hateful groups when rhey are in the highly imprintable early teens.
I’m sorry you are dealing with this.
Post # 23
have you read this article? https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/on-parenting/do-you-have-white-teenage-sons-listen-up-how-white-supremacists-are-recruiting-boys-online/2019/09/17/f081e806-d3d5-11e9-9343-40db57cf6abd_story.html
I’m not white, so I’m giving my response based on if I found out my son was behaving this way toward women or gay people.
I’ve already let my son know (he’s 10) that I love him no matter what, but there are definitely things he could do that would cause me to remove him from my home and, if necessary, my life. This is a challenging thing to discuss, but I think it’s something we need to be clear about. I have told my son that, in the case of a severe drug addiction, he could not continue to live in our home (we’ve had family whose lives have been destroyed by the addictions of loved ones). I believe that if I was seeing signs that my son was addicted to hate (which is what you are describing) – there would definitely come a time where I had to cut him loose- especially if his behavior was harmful to others in our family. There comes a time when I think those who refuse to sever ties with harmful people become complicit in the harm they do to others.
I would definitely not financially support my son (or his success) if I knew he was being a bigot and behaving harmfully out and about in the world toward targeted groups. In fact, I would be horrified to have people think he learned that ignorance in my home or that I, in any way, condoned or supported it.
When my parents caught my teenage brother being an asshole on the internet, he lost privilege of access. I’m curious how this young man is able to have continued access to see these things that support his thinking.
That said- I also don’t believe 17 is an age where it’s impossible to come back from emerging baby asshole bigot behaviors. I had some ridiculous notions at 17. Sometimes, having life hand you your ass helps clarify things.
Post # 24
Agree with pp that people aren’t racist for no reason. It’s odd to think a personal could be surrounded by such open minded, loving, and accepting people and yet turn out to be closed minded and hateful about the color of others skin. I personally wouldn’t want to help someone like that. Even if they were my own child. But that’s because one of the biggest values I have and have tried to teach is that we shouldn’t judge others based on their race/ethnicity.
Post # 25
First off I want to say I am sorry you are going through this, I can’t imagine how difficult it is as a parent to see your child grow up to a hateful person
There are many people who are ignorant racist whether its because they grew up around it or someone they look up to has a certain view and it taints their own, and some people grow up into bad adults due to life circumstances and childhood trauma and pick on a certain race or gender as a means of taking out their anger but some people are truly hateful and in their mind they are 100% sure that the world would be a better place without one race or another in it.. and I don’t know how you can possibly fix this
It seems like you have spent years and tons of money on counsellng and effort trying to change his views however its gotten worse with age to the point that hes gained so much confidence in his views that he is now putting people down and belitting them at his place of work.. which means he doesn’t even care about potentials of losing his job because that’s how sure he is of his opinions.. and that is what is scary, he literally thinks that a mans life or a white persons life is worth more than of a woman or coloured person
College sure is diverse and mind opening but it also doesnt have to be.. he can find and befriend like minded people just as easily as he can be open minded and realistically what he will do.
Perhaps by cutting him off he will be scared into at least containing his views to himself and learning to not treat people worse? But the fact that he already has enough balls to disrespect people at work (doesnt matter if their older or more experienced all employees need to be treated with respect in a place of business) when hes a teenager and hasnt even achieved anything on this planet yet is terrifying what he will be capable off when hes older and manages people and is in charge of peoples careers and bonus decisions and things that litterally impacts peoples day to day lives…
Post # 26
“Racism is bad. There’s no denying it. But that doesn’t mean someone should just throw their son into the street for it. It doesn’t mean he can’t function in society.
I mean, this is arguably a big problem. Not only can racists function in society, they are thriving. But I do agree that the answer probably isn’t to throw him out.
OP, this is a really tricky issue, and I don’t know what I’d do in your shoes. But I do wonder where his anger and hatefulness is coming from, and whether cutting him off would only further radicalize him? Where would he go if you weren’t supporting him? Would he turn toward more hate and violence? Would you become the enemy, or would your cutting him off lead him to feel victimized and lash out at others?
I know you say he’s been in “counseling”, but does he have a diagnosed mental health issue? Has he seen a psychotherapist with a relevant specialty, a psychiatrist (MD), or tried meds? I raise this concern because counseling is a vague term and counselors are not typically the same as therapists or psychiatrists. This issue doesn’t seem like something that can be worked through without a therapist/psychiatrist, possibly a combo.
I’m struggling to understand if this person is truly unhinged mentally, if he had some childhood trauma you haven’t mentioned (and maybe aren’t aware of), or what other motives he may have. He may have been radicalized online, but in order to be susceptible to that he was already an angry, deeply hurt person. Hateful people often have a lot of self loathing, and they push others away, as he seems to be doing with you – creating a self-fulfilling prophecy and a further sense of anger and abandonment. Tread carefully and ideally consult with his therapist or before you make any decisions. I think you’ll need to understand the root of the problem before you know how to address it. But I would urge you to make sure that he does not have access to weapons, and to please alert the authorities if you believe he could be a danger to others.
ETA: All that said, you are never obligated to pay for your kid’s college or support them once they are an adult if you don’t want to. I think there are two questions here — how you navigate a relationship with a child who is hateful, and whether or not you want to support him financially. And as PPs have raised, there is plenty of middle ground on that too, like allowing him to live at home to save costs on room & board but not paying his tuition, or paying on the condition that he stay in therapy and work part time to pay for books/fees, etc. You could also always choose to revoke support at a later date.
Post # 27
Thank you. Yes, hes had a few diganoses over the years. The one that has stuck is oppositional defiance disorder. Meds arent indicated for it, but therapy is. Some kids outgrow it, others grow into anti-social personality or other issues. The family takes this very seriously and is carefully monitoring. The ODD makes confronting these issue difficult. You have better luck engaging him in a conversation than calling him wrong (which only further amps him up), but some things require a hard line to be drawn. Its sometimes difficult to know what to draw a hard line on and what to discuss and hope he sees the light on his own.
He does not have access to guns or weapons. Hes not seething with rage on a daily basis, but these feelings linger. He does not have a relationship with his father which is a trauma for him. However its not a new trauma, its been that way his whole life.
I have not seen that article, thanks for sharing. Internet access has been taken repeatedly. Sometimes for extended periods – weeks, months – when it gets out of hand. He actually just got his phone back after losing it for several months. And within a week there is already racist memes and text messages and discussions of almost “going off” (yelling) at a black girl at school.
Post # 28
That Bee has been vocal about this board being left leaning and not be able to live in an area with many liberal-minded people, so she’s clearly talking about that.
Post # 29
No. He is about to be an adult and there’s no good reason for you to bankroll a racist. If you didn’t raise him this way and you don’t support his actions, why fund his life? He can pay his way through community college and pay his rent with a dang job. Then he can have a true shot at learning the error of his ways.
Post # 30
I apologize if you already answered this. Is he a misogynist as well? Deep seated hate of others – particularly those perceived to be “weaker”- is often just a projection of self hate. Very sad. Sorry you are going through this.