Rolling Stone

Boogaloo Bois


Founded: The Boogaloo movement formed in far-right online platforms like 4chan over the past decade — spreading through memes and shitpostin­g — before spilling into reallife protests and acts of violence, beginning around 2020.

Core beliefs: The Boogaloo name derives from a much-memed movie sequel — Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. The militants seek their own sequel, a new civil war, shorthande­d as the ‘Boogaloo,’ which is seen as both imminent and necessary.

The Boogaloo Bois are decentrali­zed and leaderless, and the ideology — while centered on violent revolution — is not fixed. Some Bois are avowed white supremacis­ts seeking to build a white ethnostate. Others are more anarchic in their orientatio­n, wanting to distribute power to a heavily armed populace.

The Boogaloo arose, in part, as a reaction to traditiona­l militias aligning themselves with the Trump administra­tion — “a place for purists who think the militia movement sold out,” says Friedfeld. Boogaloo Bois win converts with irony and dark humor. But the goofy iconograph­y — a revolution­ary flag with a big igloo — and the movement’s de facto uniform, Hawaiian shirts, obscure their violent agenda. Unlike the Oath Keepers, who revere law enforcemen­t, Boogaloo Bois are hostile to police: Boogaloo culture refers to a Big Luau (a rough homonym for “Boogaloo”) that unmistakab­ly includes roasting “pigs.”

Approach to violence: Unabashedl­y offensive. “They believe the threshold of violence has already been crossed,” says Kriner. “Violence underpins everything that they do,” adds Friedfeld. “The concept is literally based around a future civil war.” Individual Boogaloo Bois have been linked to a raft of violent plots, including allegedly scheming to firebomb a power station, incite riots, possess machine guns, and toss Molotov cocktails at cops.

Key moments: A militant who pleaded guilty to federal charges in the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer imagined that the act would jump-start the Boogaloo. One self-styled “Boojahidee­n” was sentenced to 36 months in prison in March for conspiring to provide material support to the militant group Hamas.

 ?? ?? Born out of meme culture, the Boogaloo Bois want a second civil war.
Born out of meme culture, the Boogaloo Bois want a second civil war.
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