What Is 'Boogaloo'? How Experts Say Anti-Government Extremists Are Co-Opting Civil Unrest to Foment Violence
Heavily armed members of the movement have been appearing at recent Black Lives Matter protests and anti-lockdown rallies across the country.
Earlier this month, Air Force Sergeant Steven Carillo was charged with murder in the drive-by shooting of a federal security officer and a sheriff's deputy as a protest against police brutality was being held nearby. It was later determined that Carillo allegedly wore symbols associated with the Boogaloo Movement, a loosely knit, anti-government extremist group emerging amid civil unrest to foment their own ideology of deadly violence.
Their name is from a 1984 movie called "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo," and experts say their mission is to trigger a second American Civil War. Heavily armed members of the movement have been appearing at recent Black Lives Matter protests and anti-lockdown rallies across the country.
The group has been able to organize using online platforms such as Facebook, Reddit and 4chan, NBC News reported, citing a report released earlier this week by the Network Contagion Research Institute, an independent nonprofit that tracks misinformation and hate speech across social media.
By analyzing more than 100 million social media posts, the researchers found that boogaloo proponents use memes and inside jokes to push anti-government messages online, with some also assembling in person at real-world events.
"Like a virus hiding from the immune system, the use of comical-meme language permits the network to organize violence secretly behind a mirage of inside jokes and plausible deniability," the report says.
And while many of the group's members are radical gun rights activists who typically promote the boogaloo as a war against the government, the Anti-Defamation League warns that some are white supremacists who use the term with racist overtones.
"Some promote boogaloo-related phrases alongside hashtags such as #dotr or #DayOfTheRope, both of which are references to neo-Nazi William Pierce’s The Turner Diaries, a novelized blueprint for a white revolution," the ADL said in a 2019 blog post. "Accelerationist white supremacists are particularly apt to use 'boogaloo' – they seek the violent collapse of modern society in order to bring about a new, white-dominated world."
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