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I am a mentor to a 15 yr old girl. Today I was telling her about what happened in Charlottesville and getting her thoughts on it. She said she kind of agreed that white people are better than everyone else. (She also seems to think she's better than everyone else.) of course, I was horrified. Reacting, and telling her that kind of thinking was really messed up. I have no idea how to handle this situation and could really use some advice. Thanks.

She has been very teachable and open to new ideas. I'm wondering if there are some kid-friendly videos I can show her that won't make her feel like she's in school? Or just anything else to teach her about what non-white people have been through. She's knowledgeable about the Nazis and Hitler and thinks he's horrible. Maybe I can expand on that?

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    Telling someone "that's messed up thinking" is the quickest way to get them to double down on it, so you might not want to use that one again. – Erik Aug 15 '17 at 6:24
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    I know. And I apologized to her later. I was being reactive. She's not really your normal 15 yr old. She's still very immature for her age and there's lots that she still doesn't know. She's actually more likely to change her mind if I get mad about something but that's not how I want to handle the situation. – Elorah Aug 15 '17 at 14:00
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    You can also lend her a copy of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird". – Adam Kurkiewicz Aug 16 '17 at 11:25
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Ask her to do some research! Can she back up her claims using logical arguments? Can she find reliable sources? Does she know what a reliable source is and how to tell it apart from pseudo-scientific/ pseudo-journalist junk?

If she shows you some rubbish source, point out the deficiencies/ errors/ omissions.

Get her to read the entry on Egalitarianism in "Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosphy". Does she agree/ disagree with the main points of the philosophy? Why? Why not?

If there's too much text in this entry/ the girl isn't too academic, pick up the most relevant paragraph to your discussion. Keep it professional. In the end of the day she might just change her views out of respect she'll have for your broad understanding of the topic.

If the girl's sensitivites are more towards literature/ poetry rather than science/ political philosophy, why don't you lend her a copy of This Way For The Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen, which is a collection of very engaging short stories describing the horrors of racism/ nazism by a person who directly experienced these horrors. Ask her if that's the world she would like to live in, or for that matter if this is the world anybody should live in.

P.S. I used to think I was better than everybody else. It's curable ;)

  • While it isn't clear to me what exactly does @user1450877 call "White Identity Politics" I think we have to all agree that racism, as manifested by statements of the form "people of given race have no right to ..." or "people of given race should not ..." are simply unacceptable and have no place in any society, including NA/ Western Europe. Similarly, the horrors of Nazism must not be repeated, especially mass exterminations of people of given ethnicity, and it's our collective responsibility that they don't, especially as teachers/ mentors of other people. – Adam Kurkiewicz Aug 15 '17 at 15:07
  • white identity politics IMO is when people identify themselves as part of a group based on their white skin colour/ white history. They will advocate privileges for their group and for treating people based on their perceived membership of the group instead of as individuals. Often this will come at the expense of people in the out-group. – user1450877 Aug 15 '17 at 15:39
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    It's a rare person who changes their mind on an emotional issue because of a rational argument. – Chris Sunami Aug 15 '17 at 17:40
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    As the saying goes; "You cannot reason a person out of a position they did not reason themselves into". But it's still a noble ideal. – Erik Aug 15 '17 at 18:45
  • I don't really think this will work, but in all honesty I don't think there is much one can do to combat racist view in a child this old, she's likely already stuck in a mindset that is hard to break out of. As such I'll upvote this as the most likely way to solve a likely unsolverable problem. Though I will add the concept works much better if you reach out to their emotions as much as their reasoning. Exposing them to other cultures and people, and specifically getting them emotionally invested in individual non-white persons life, will likely work better then pure logic. – dsollen Aug 16 '17 at 19:52
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Tell her you are interested in her opinion and ask her to make the case for what she believes, don't dismiss her concerns but address them in a constructive way. Without understanding what she thinks and why she thinks it you cannot possibly expect to change her mind. It might just be that she wants to shock you or that she is just going along with what her peer group believes.

Then it is important that you clearly understand what it is you believe, most people think that racism is bad but a lot of them are not able to really understand why or articulate their reasons. so you will also not convince anyone unless you understand why it is you believe what you believe and you are able to clearly communicate those reasons.

Also when dealing with teenagers I think it is important to be consistent and avoid any hypocrisy because those things tend to earn their contempt and allows them to dismiss what you are saying. So personally (disclaimer, I am a libertarian) i would avoid condemning white identity politics while sympathising with other forms of identity politics/collectivism.

  • Comments aren't supposed to be used for this purpose, but this is a terriffic answer. Open, honest dialogue is the only solution. – anongoodnurse Aug 15 '17 at 13:52
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    Getting her to identify why she feels something has been difficult so far. I have a feeling she gets it from her environment. Earlier in the day she was telling me she wanted to do this program her friend was doing but her mom wouldn't let her because it was in the "black part of town." That was a little shocking for me to hear. I did ask her what her evidence was for her beliefs and it was just "I don't know, that's just what I think." And "I'm entitled to my own opinion." How do I deal with that? It feels like it shuts me down. – Elorah Aug 15 '17 at 13:57
  • @Elorah that "I'm entitled to my own opinion" should be a new question, because I'm sure there's some good answers to it. – Erik Aug 15 '17 at 14:04
  • @Erik What do you mean? – Elorah Aug 15 '17 at 14:09
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    @Elorah the problem you have if this is coming from her family is that you're not just attacking the ideas, you're also attacking the people she loves as well because they hold those ideas. This is a difficult position to be in and I would probably stop picking at the issue as it is likely to push her away. – user1450877 Aug 15 '17 at 14:15
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Racism is a very natural human mindset, and for kids who have grown up without seeing the horrors of racism first hand, it may seem harmless. We older people may be shocked and horrified by this, but if a child doesn't grow up in an environment that explicitly models the value of diversity (and these are rare!), where is she supposed to learn it?

Most people won't let go of racist ideas unless they can learn to truly empathize with someone of a different race. Are you in a position to introduce this teen to people of a different race or ethnicity or culture? Having a positive (emphasis on positive) personal experience with diversity will do more than any number of films or well-meaning lectures. Do you have friends of color who would be willing to meet her? Could you visit a cultural festival? Or attend a service at a black church?

Absent that, you might try to guide her to see a continuum between discrimination she faces in her own life and the discrimination faced by others. Has she ever been told she can't do something because she's female? Can she be guided to identify with the white, female victim of Charlottesville? Does she agree with people who would murder someone of her own race and gender, just because that person stood up for those of a different color?

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    I like the concept of finding discrimination on different levels - for a girl in her situation, she must have experienced something alike, for being a girl, for being from a probably less privileged background (hence the participation in the "Big Brother / Big Sister" program). – Stephie Aug 15 '17 at 18:29
  • I'd edit it myself, but I don't have enough rep to submit short edits: it should be emphatise or emphatize as opposed to emphasize: – Adam Kurkiewicz Aug 15 '17 at 18:44
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First, do not make the mistake of assuming that this topic is simple, or that it is cut-and-dried. Also, I apologize in advance for this answer being SO long; maybe take it as an illustration of the complexity of the topic. AND because you've said she has a hard time explaining WHY she thinks/feels the way she does, I thought I might go a little in-depth with some possibilities for considerations that might be motivating her, so you can listen to her from some perspective other than "she's wrong and I have to change this."

It does sound like the idea of racial superiority that this girl has is coming from her family/other intimate acquaintances, and as someone mentioned already, this means that attacking that belief might be more of an emotional battle than a logical one, and could easily alienate her. It often takes a very long time (into mid 20's or so) for a young person to critically examine the values they were raised with enough that they have the understanding and confidence to replace those values with something else. It often requires a paradigm shift or epiphany moment to actually change the belief on the inside rather than just changing what we preach because we come to understand that that's what's expected, what we are told we should believe.

You should remember that you aren't looking to change what she says about this topic, you're looking to teach her to think and feel differently about it. Which means identifying the underlying conversation, assessing its validity, and replacing it with something better that she finds understandable and agreeable - if validity is found wanting in the current underlying conversation. That would be my second bit of advice: just because the surface conclusion (racial superiority) is erroneous, doesn't mean that the underlying conversation doesn't have some merit. It might. Be prepared for that.

I was thoroughly indoctrinated during my upbringing in the belief that all people are equal, and that nobody is superior to anyone else. That was what I was told to believe, by parents and school and peers etc. I was taught that if people behaved badly, it was because they had hard lives and didn't know how else to react. I was taught that if some people were successful and others weren't, it was because the successful ones had had lucky breaks which the unsuccessful had not been privy to. This conversation is separate from, but parallel to the conversation about race, and gets wrapped up with the idea of race in some people's minds (and is therefore relevant to understanding feelings about race). I'll switch over to race here, and then come back to the flaws in the beliefs outlined in this paragraph in a second.

Before we studied Martin Luther King Jr in school, I was race-blind. There wasn't a reason to see children of other colors as different from myself. However, studying the Civil Rights movement gave me the idea that people can be distinguished on the basis of race. This assumes that people of different races are different. Else there would be no reason for that distinction. There is no superiority complex built into the ability to distinguish between things: just because I can say this apple is a gala and this is a Granny Smith doesn't indicate any elevation of one over the other. However, the superiority complex is built-in to our society in another, more insidious way. This is where the idea of "lucky breaks" mentioned in the above paragraph comes in:

We have affirmative action laws. I'm not going to make any statement about whether these laws are necessary or effective (that's a completely separate discussion). However, I will make the claim that inherent in the statement that women and minorities need a leg-up in life is the assumption that being born a woman or minority is a disadvantage that must be overcome. If you're playing a game and given a handicap, the assumption is that you need that handicap to make the game fair, because the other player is measurably superior. And right there, built-in to our legal system, we have the conversation that being born white and/or male is a lucky break, and therefore a measure of superiority based purely on inborn biological characteristics.

Going into my early 20's, even though I thoroughly believed in my own mind that I believed all people of all races/backgrounds to be equal, I still felt on a gut level that I was better by virtue of being white, and I felt some small measure of pity for those who were not. And here's the kicker - i didn't even realize it. I was cured, though, by one of my college professors, with a simple lecture on the history of colonization and slavery, and while I don't remember all the sordid details, it went something like this:

When the countries of Western Europe started colonizing the rest of the world, they procreated with all of the indigenous peoples they came across, and this continued for generations with racial mixing occurring an uncountable number of times. In cultures that kept slaves (such as here in the US), it was almost common practice for slave owners to procreate with their slaves, so large-scale black and white racial mixing has been happening ever since Western Europe started trading African slaves in the 1400's. Therefore today a white person and a black person in the US are virtually indistinguishable on the basis of their DNA - meaning that if we are going back to the gala vs Granny Smith apple metaphor, there really is no meaningful difference, and no basis for distinction.

What was stunning to me about this lecture was not so much the idea that there is little to no discernible difference genetically between white people and black people in the US, but rather the fact that I could feel that that mattered to me. I could feel the way I regarded non-white people living in the US changing with this proclamation that we are basically the same. This is what made me aware that I was carrying a racial prejudice. After all, why should it matter to me? I am not that genetically similar, for example, to people of African decent who are still living in Africa. I am not that genetically similar to people living in East Asia. Does that mean I see those people as inferior?

No. But it does mean I see them as different. And they are, but not by virtue of race. Rather, by virtue of what, culturally, they have been raised to think and believe, and the kinds of things they have been taught to value - and also sometimes the kinds of skills they have acquired. The problem, then, is when people mistakenly associate a race with a negative behavioral pattern, or with certain harmful values or beliefs.

Because the inescapable truth is that people are different, and different, by definition, is not equal. No one is going to choose me over my brother for a task involving chemistry, and no one is going to choose my brother over me to give a cello performance. These are differences in capability based on choices we've made. Men cannot bear children, and the fastest women cannot run as fast as the fastest men. These are differences in capability based on physiology. I choose some people to be my friends and others not to be, and this choice is based on my judgments of those people's characters - their morals, personalities, and values. In other words, it is necessary to be discriminating in how we allocate our time, energy and resources, and this requires judging the value and merits of the people we encounter. And it would be silly in the extreme to say that "all people are equal and therefore must be judged to have equal merit." What, then, do we say about serial rapists and murderers? Or for that matter about college applicants? Or about reputation on stack exchange? If two patients simultaneously go into cardiac arrest and there is only adequate staff to treat one of them, the doctor will choose one of them to treat. How could that be possible if the two patients were truly equal?

Because "equal" needs a qualification: all people should be equal under the law. I say "should be" rather than "are," precisely because of laws which distinguish between different classes of people based on race, gender, etc.

This is a very long illustration of a very simple point: it is not necessarily wrong to regard some people as superior to others.

However, this judgement should be made not on the basis of race or gender or native language, or any other such factor. It should be made (mostly situationally) based on choices, and behaviors, and capabilities. And it should be noted that the second and third of these largely follow from the first. Someone who chooses to work hard, who treats people kindly, and who is an expert in their field, can reasonably be thought superior to someone who is always looking for a handout, is cruel to others, and has not cared to learn to be of value to his fellow man through the acquisition of any particularly useful skills. That may sound callous, but it is a fact.

I'm mentioning this because it could be that your 15-year-old charge had started to observe that some people are better than others and therefore the idea that all people are equal is a fallacy (possibly because some people are mistreating her? That was one of the early signals for me). Maybe race is the explanation she has been conveniently given to explain this clash, and she needs a better explanation. Namely, that there are good and bad eggs in every bunch. It's an individual thing, not (usually) a group thing. (Unless people choose to group themselves by a negative characteristic - aka KKK and Nazism - which then is a choice, and not an in-born characteristic).

I will also point out that there is serious backlash going on right now against the idea of racial guilt. The idea that people who have white ancestry owe reparations to people of other races because of the exploitive behaviors of their ancestors. White people are tired of being told they are guilty of some kind of racial crime just because they were born white. So if someone is saying they are proud to be white, it may be as simple as saying, "I refuse to feel guilty for a crime that I have never committed, or thought to commit, and that I have nothing to do with by virtue of being several generations removed from it." I would say the opposite of what I saw claimed in another answer (or possibly a comment): white racial identity is more about asking to be treated as people, rather than as white. Which I think is what it's all about for other racial groups as well - or at least I think it's safe to say it should be about that, though sometimes it seems like it's more about being treated as a group for the purpose of gaining access to entitlements.

One last thought: it seems that people who have more exposure to racial minorities have less fear of them and therefore less discrimination against them, possibly because they are then able to see how similar we are for themselves. In terms of human psychology, we are more able to trust those with whom we share (or at least think we share) values, so getting the chance to see firsthand that people by and large care about being good and valuable people can go a long way towards overcoming this. Maybe try getting her on a volley ball team in a more mixed neighborhood or something like that, maybe as a follow-up to talking about it.

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Museums and exhibitions are good means to show how prejudice destroys nations. Is there any WWII museum in your neighborhood? Given her age, Anne Frank's diary might also impact her judgment about the outcome of such beliefs. Last but not least does she know about Human Rights? There are good books for teens about it. I know of a few Dutch ones.

  • We live in a small town in Texas so no museums and very little diversity. She also has ADD so I'm looking for something short and interesting. I'm wondering if there are some good TED talks on race? – Elorah Aug 15 '17 at 21:08
  • In that case you should certainly check these short TED-ED talks. They are 2-5 minutes long, well designed and very informative. Check this: youtu.be/IUysKkSP1v0 about slavary and this: youtu.be/jFICRFKtAc4 about the raise of Hitler out. – Bahar Aug 16 '17 at 6:41
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It sounds like she honestly told you what she thinks on the matter. Perhaps that gives you an opportunity to present your own perspective.

I would simply put forth the point "What color a person is has nothing to do with how good they are" and would aim to do this without dogma, but rather in a way that invites her to further apply her own perspective and ask why -- especially if she is teachable as you suggest.

The reason a person's color is independent of their moral standing boils down to the more basic question: "What is it that makes a person good?". I might even ask her that directly to set up further explanation.

She can probably come up with a good answer to that on her own, and if she cannot then maybe qualify it by asking what kind of friends are good to have.

The answer of course, is that what makes a person good are qualities such as Honesty, Integrity, Intelligence, Conscientiousness, Knowledge, Wisdom -- qualities of the mind.

These qualities are paramount and of course have nothing to do with a person's color.

You could further elaborate by explaining how this knowledge can benefit her in her life. Perhaps with something like, "This has a downside and and upside. The downside is that it takes time to determine what character a person has; you can't tell just by looking. But the upside is that it lets you know what qualities to look for in people -- and which people to avoid -- so that saves you time in the long run." You are a really great teacher if you can make the point leaving her excited to apply the new knowlede to her own life.

The point -- that moral standing is a purely individual trait and has nothing to do with color -- is one she is probably able to recognize for herself, especially if she has a teacher to help her think through it and not just hit her with the too-common guilt and dogma approach.

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  • Like it or not, people have a 1st amendment right to be prejudiced. Most people are in some way whether or not they realize it. Whether you think Trump is a Nazi or Muslims are evil or hobos are drunks or liberals are communists. The righteous and the self righteous alike all have prejudices.
  • If you do have a legitimate interest in this person's upbringing then consider teaching her the result of her actions rather than trying to change her thoughts. Do not try to teach her that she is not superior, teach her to show respect and kindness to all people.
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Rory Alsop Aug 15 '17 at 18:28
  • I have also edited out the parts of your post that don't answer the question, and are in fact tangentially connected at best. – Rory Alsop Aug 15 '17 at 18:30
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    @RoryAlsop - I honestly feel like you're just being provocative. The last part of that answer was perfectly relevant and valid. The fact that some people want to deny facts is not a good reason to go editing my question. – I wrestled a bear once. Aug 15 '17 at 18:35
  • Denial of facts is irrelevant to the question as asked. Please don't bring it in. – Rory Alsop Aug 15 '17 at 18:36
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    no, it's not relevant to the question, it's relevant to the answer. – I wrestled a bear once. Aug 15 '17 at 18:43
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As already said do not just chastise her or tell her she is wrong. She is wrong, but teenage girls never respond well to being told they are wrong in general, and especially not in an area like this where the values are based off of emotions instead of logic; because counter-logical arguments don't usually work. Furthermore as a mentor you don't want to alienate her or you can't be a mentor you want to be for her. Many times I've had to tolerate teenagers idiotic beliefs to get them to talk to me, and fight hard not to flat out condem them for being foolish; becaues if I did they would simply lump me in with all the other adults that 'just don't understand' and stop listening.

There is also the complicated question of where she got her attitudes from. Did her family teach her this? If so contridicting the view means contridicting what her family says is right. This essentially puts her in the position of deciding rather she respects her mentors teaching, or her parents. This can make her loyalty feel divided, she may even feel she has to cling onto the views so some sort of proof of her love/loyalty for her family member. You don't want her to feel she must be on gaurd for this.

That doesn't mean you say nothing, it means you say a little at a time. You can tell her now, as it sounds you already did, that you disagree with her. However, rather then beating that in you should be subtle in any further resistance to the view. Bring up minor details one at a time, don't make them confritations, and let her adjust to each concept at a time. Your job is not to make her feel confronted with a battle, which she will dig her heels in and resist, and instead simply make available evidence that refutes her belief as subtle as possible so you can slowly guide her towards adjusting her beliefs. In this you have one major advantage, as a mentor, assuming you mean something like BBBS, she likely looks up to you or even adores you. You are one of the few adults she may listen to, one she wants to have a conversation with and as such one she may actually be willing to consider her views for.

As to how to refute her views, there are a few avenues. The logical avenue was already mentioned, and can be used...to a degree. The big thing to stress on the logical side is that there is no appreciable difference between people of different skin color within the US. Getting across this key point, that race is an artifact of human creation and doesn't really 'exist' in an appreciable level, is great if you can convey it...but your find you can't. Logical arguments rarely work on emotional issues like this, and if she was the type to be swayed by logic she likely already would have been. As such I don't suggest trying to force logical arguments on her. if you find an opening to subtly bring up a logical argument about the equality of races without beating her over the head with it great, but do not try to force this informaiotn on her, it will be of minimal effectiveness and it's best to focus your attempts on areas that are more likely to sway her, becaues too many attempts to sway her and she will start to see the pattern and become more resistant to listening to your aguments in the future.

To give an example of a 'logical' argument done subtly, you can point out how random skin color can be. I know a few mixed-race families where two siblings have very differnt skin tone despite having the same parents. I also know some kids that look 'white' in winter and 'black' in summer, as they are right on the border where a good tan can change things. if you happen to be in a position to point out how drastic skin color can vary like this, where it clearly doesn't play a role in the quality of the person or any genetic difference, feel free to mention it; but again only if it comes naturally.

Instead the best way to address this is more emotional. This sort of racial supriority claim is an emotional one, either she wants to belive she is supperior or she has been taught by someone she trusts or otherwise internalized the fact without considering it such that now that fact 'feels' right, either way this is ultimately about emotions. As such the best way to combat the view is to also appeal to those emotions.

The single best approach, which you may or may not be in a position to address, is to simply to put her into contact with people of other races. Let her meet, and get to know, people of other races and see they are just the same as 'white' people. This is especially true if you can arrange for her to have contact with particularly good examples of minority races, people who are smart, or caring, or otherwise represent their race well (because to her they will be a representation of the entire race at first). It's hard not to respect a kind person who demonstrates their worthy of respect, and when that person is also part of a group you have been told is inferior it can lead to asking yourself why they are inferior.

In an ideal case you wouldn't tell this teen that you trying to have her meet people of other ethnicities, just happen to arrange for meetings with friends, coworkers, family members, or anyone else you know of other race as part of your usual activities. Tell her you were invited to do some fun thing with a friend who happens to be black and you want her to come have fun with you. Take her to some event designed for teenagers she seems intereted in that happens to be in a part of the city with more minority individuals. Take her to a cinco de myo or lunar festival or some other celebration or festival which is generally associated with another culture or ethnicity but which also has enough interesting things going on to be enjoyable to a 15 year old to attend.

On a simpler level you can try to work into casual conversation situations where you have had friends, or better yet people you looked up to or who helped you in the past, who happened to be of another race. The general message being that you know people who are great of all races and that you personally show your respect for all races. The catch here is to do this in a way where you can let her know the person you respect is not white but without doing it by constantly mentioning their actual race, which implies that race must matter if you felt it important enough to keep brining up the race of the individual. For instance my god-daughter, who I adore, is mix-race with a black mother, I could happily show photos of a cute kid being held by her mother while talking about how much I like the kid or respect the mother. When I was in BBBS my litle brother was also black, and I could tell an amusing anecdote of how we use to confuse the kids in his clas by telling everyone I was his big brother and watching them try to figure out how to respond to such a claim when it was clear we couldn't share any genetics.

Exposing her to cultures associated with other races can also help, showing respect and interest in the culture. Though the difficulty is finding a good excuse to bring up or expose her to these cultures.

There is also the already mentioned possibility of helping her relate to the unfairness of judging one by race by relating it to negative experiences she may have due to people judging her based off of her sex. Relating the two can help, particularly if you express a general "it's wrong whenever someone is pre-judged without getting to know them first" message. How well this would work though depends heavily on the 15 year old. For instance it presumes she has identified and resented the differences in treatment due to sex (some lucky girls don't run into much mysoginysm, and others may internalize gender roles to the point they feel it's 'right' to say girls can ony do things that are appropriately 'girly'). This also depends on her level of self reflection and ability to relate her experiences to others. In short you need to judge rather this tactic is likely enough to work to be worth trying; since it's very hard to do this one subtly.

Finally, there is the direct emotional appeal of someone who is hurt. Ask her what she feels about the attacks and people hurt in Charlottesville, seperate from rather she agrees with the marches over the statue. Don't ask her what she thinks about non-whites being hurt, but what she things about anyone being hurt first. After all I disagree with white nationalists and alt-right folks, but I still think it's sad if they are hurt in a riot, all people should be given basic respect. So start the conversation about the riots and the hatred, without placing blame on a side, and see if she can connect to it, if she can see the harm of extreme race politics, regardless of which race one 'favors'?

If she seems to be moved by the harm of the riots you can use this as a position to talk about how hatred in general is bad, and about how people tend to create factions, us-vs-them sort of views of the world, and then dismisss doing horrible things to the group that is different. For this discussion you should be more then willing to admit that this is not limited to white people, that there have been black extremists that did horrible things due to their view that white people were already wrong, and that there have been extremists that segregated based off of sex, or sexuality, or political affiliation. Maybe even come armed with examples of 'silly' extremest views of the past, such as how we use to post "no irish need apply' on job advertisements in the past, or how red haired people were once burned at the stake. The point here is only that people can find foolish ways to descriminate, and that leads to horrible things, not that believing whites are supperior are bad. As much as possible try to keep the conversation away from her personal beliefe in white supriority, even if you have to fight not to comment on something wrong/offensive she said, so that she can focus on the concept in general and not see this as an attack on her beliefs.

You can also bring up specific harm of charlottsville. For instance the poor women who was killed, or how the KKK said they were happy about it. However, I again stress the focus should be only on how sad it was that this happened, not on trying to prove the KKK or white nationalists are wrong. Show her the harm the views are taking and let her decide rather this applies to her.

Seperate from all of this teaching her generally that she should be open to making her own decisions, and changing her mind when necessary, is always good. teach her the power of skepticism, the importance of trying to play devils advocate even if you agree with what your aguing against, and of double checking facts she hears with sites like snoopes or even stack exchanges' own skeptics site. For instance when your discussing any story or rumor find things that seems questionable and try discussing how plausible they seem, and then show her how to google the fact online or check skeptics sites. Show her how many things which people believe are false! Also stress that it's not wrong to have originally believed misinformation, but that being willing to double check information and get hard facts is something that everyone should strive to do. In todays society teaching a teen how to verify they are seeing acurate information and not trust everything they see on the internet, or even biased tv shows, is a good lesson in general! However, if you can teach her this step she will be better armed with the skills she needs to recognize how baseless her belief of white supperiority is on her own.

Again, you don't need to do all of this at once. Take your time, slowly arm her with the skills, understanding, and life decisions to recognize her mistake. You are not forcing her to believe what you want, you are encouraging her to gain the ability to judge for herself, even if that means changing her mind. Once you give her that she should be able to recognize her own mistakes, because it's pretty scientifically proven that race is pretty meaningless and an unbiased observer should come to that conclusion.

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