The far right wants to make its shared 'Boogaloo' fantasy of violent civil war a reality - 2020-04-28
Aaron Swenson is a 36-year-old Texarkana man who frequented "Boogaloo"-related Facebook pages with some frequency, sharing their frequently violent memes and indulging the usual violent rhetoric in the comments. Eventually, he reached a point where he decided to act on it.
The world of "Boogaloo" on social media—particularly on Facebook, where over 125 such pages reside—is riddled with references, both direct and obscure, to their eagerness to begin a civil war by shooting law-enforcement who attempt to enforce gun-control measures, or for that matter any other measures that attract the ire of the far right. Recently, these have come to include COVID-19 lockdown and social-distancing measures.
The universe it occupies resides in a bubble of conspiracy theories and "constitutionalist" fantasies, but with a distinctly alt-right edge. Irony abounds everywhere: adherents wear Hawaiian shirts as a reference to "the boog," or the "Big Igloo" (the "Boogaloo" flag features an igloo and a palm tree). Their memes reference "Pepe the frog," white-nationalist OK signals, and the common shared belief that nefarious communists are plotting to confiscate their guns and enslave them in concentration camps. This fantasy is the justification for their announced intention to begin shooting their fellow citizens, especially those who work for the federal government or police.