Respond with care
If you believe that a young person has become engaged in white nationalism, your first impulse may be to confront them and use strong arguments or emotion to intervene. These reactions can have the opposite effect of what you intend; they may actually reinforce the young person’s views and strengthen their resistance to reexamining them. For many young people who become engaged with white nationalism, its ideology is a secondary consideration. Instead they may be motivated by a desire to shape a clear identity, gain respect among a new group of friends, and feel a clear sense of purpose. Arguments against white nationalist ideas are unlikely to have impact if commitment to a white nationalist group or online community is fulfilling these more basic underlying needs. On the other hand, if you find that a deeper commitment has not yet formed and a young person is experimenting with white nationalist ideas, there may be a place for pointing out ways in which those ideas are false or dangerous.
Every young person is unique, as are their interactions with those who care about them. There is no one right way to respond. But there are some reliable simple guidelines. Look for a relaxed and private setting, without distractions, to discuss the issue and to communicate your love and caring rather than anger and blame. White nationalists hope that parents will be confrontational and create a rift with kids they are recruiting. No matter how your child may react, your tone can ensure that the discussion is never a confrontation, and that the line of communication stays open. Don’t help white nationalists drive a wedge between you and your child.