Connecting the Dots: Protecting Students from White Nationalist Influence

shelly tochluk
2 min readJul 21, 2020


“To fully understand how hate groups influence today’s kids and teens, it is important that parents, teachers, coaches, counselors, and others understand the scope of the threat, recognize the warning signs, and interrupt the indoctrination. This series builds on the existing reporting about hate groups and their online recruitment tactics and makes important connections to empower adults to support the young people in their care.”

This paragraph introduces a series of videos I posted recently to YouTube that connects the dots between white nationalism, white supremacy, the alt-right and the alt-light.

The videos are not fancy. The production value is low. They are also slow (in comparison to what surrounds them). I know all of this. I posted them anyway, because the information is important.

Following the nation’s wrestling with the impact of a pandemic and a moment of racial reckoning, it is incredibly important to pay attention to how white nationalists work to take advantage of the time youth spend online.

Of course, there is reason to worry, reason to fear, plenty of reason to take action…on a whole range of issues other than this. Yet we cannot and should not ignore this. The issues are related.

The videos are segments of a one-hour presentation I delivered via Zoom in Spring 2020 to a group of parents and educators. It is my best effort to warn anyone I can about what we are facing, my attempt to help people recognize what we need to do to combat the threat.

I hope you will start from the beginning and feel motivated to watch all the way through. Then, please share widely, and please include your own message. With so much vying for our attention, it will likely take personal prompting to get friends, family, and colleagues to focus some attention on this.

Once you finish watching the videos, you’ll also be in a better position to make use of this new resource from the Southern Poverty Law Center: Building Resilience and Confronting Risk in the COVID-19 Era: A Parent and Caregivers Guide to Online Radicalization.