Men showing up to protests wearing Hawaiian shirts and carrying military-style rifles. Facebook groups full of intense discussions about imminent civil war.
Over the past year, online conversations about the “boogaloo”, an ironic term for a second civil war, have begun to coalesce into the beginnings of an actual movement, according to experts who monitor American extremists. Facebook has designated a network of “boogaloo” groups as a dangerous organization similar to the Islamic State, and banned them from both Facebook and Instagram. At least 15 arrests and five deaths have been publicly linked to “boogaloo” rhetoric, including the murders of two law enforcement officers in California.
But there’s still plenty of confusion over how to accurately label this still-developing ideology. Here’s a guide to what we know, and what we don’t, about the politics of the “boogaloo.”