Discussion of the right-wing radicalization of youths in the United States, as well as how to begin to address it.
I wasn't quite sure what the best way to post this was, as it's a request for advice. A few weeks ago, my sister came to me and asked for help with her oldest son, Liam. In order to understand the root of the problem, I need to provide a bit of background.
Liam is 16 years old, and a extremely bright and ambitious young man. Years ago, when he was younger, the community banded together to build him a gaming PC when my sister was going through a rough time, and that fostered a love of programming and a dream to work for Valve one day. Unfortunately, my sister and Liam's father Mike have a fairly hostile relationship, leading to multiple court battles. Six months ago, Liam's father, no longer willing to pay child support, officially signed away his parental rights, but maintained contact with Liam. Mike is a alt-right extremist. In the last few years, he's gotten some fairly offensive tattoos, and become more outspoken about his support of Trump, and his hatred of Muslims, Hispanics, and liberals. Unfortunately, Liam has been listening. While a judge instituted a restraining order, banning Mike from any contact with Liam or his brothers, the damage has been done.
Liam lives on the alt-right pages on Reddit and 4Chan, and has become extremely outspoken. Last month, he and three other kids got suspended from school after posting some hateful speech about a Muslim student on Instagram. My sister has tried talking to him about it, but he dismisses her as "brainwashed by the liberal media" and becomes hostile and angry. She's become desperate, and asked me to start spending some time with him in order to try to get him to see how destructive this kind of behavior can be, but I've seen how hard it is to change people's minds. Liam has always looked up to me (we have a lot in common, both gamers, both nerds, etc.), and I want to help him.
I need suggestions and advice on how best to start talking to him about this. I don't want to put him on the defensive so fast that I can't talk to him, but I do need to do something.