is the author of the novel Nigh and journalist who covers art and culture
In the excitable minds of respected journalists, this very moment white supremacists and gun owners are arming for a new war with the feds, an epic confrontation they’ll call the Boogaloo. Seriously, who believes this stuff?
A normal person might hear the word “boogaloo” and think of the 1984 goofy cult classic ‘Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo’. Or one might recall the sounds of the Latin music genre.
Media elites, however, want you to think of something very different. Boogaloo is now a dangerous, frightening term to stand in for “civil war” used by those all-powerful white nationalists we keep being told are taking over the country.
Leading up to the pro-Second Amendment rally in Richmond, Virginia, talking heads warned that violence could ensue and the “extremist” event could be the first step in the far-right kicking off a supposedly much-desired “civil war.”
One of the points of concern was the use of the word “boogaloo” by YouTubers teaching self defense and warning about government overreach and in online groups like the infamously trolling 4chan.
The Anti-Defamation League warned back in November that the word had been hijacked by white nationalists and should now not be used.
“Many boogaloo references are directed against the ‘alphabet boys’ or ‘alphabet gang’ – federal agencies like the FBI and ATF – which people assume would assist in any gun confiscations,” wrote ADL in their report.
Yes, the Anti-Defamation League is now spending its time informing people about words like boogaloo.
Leading up to the Virginia rally, more outlets began warning people about the word’s supposed dangers, claiming it was a word used by people hoping for a “race war.”
“But it’s especially popular among right-wing militias and self-described patriot groups,” NPR reported. “In dozens of YouTube videos, they promise armed rebellion if the government tries to take their guns – a civil war, or Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo.”
Yes, NPR is now reporting on “Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo.” Welcome to 2020. Somewhere there are hundreds of trolls laughing at this nonsense.
Bellingcat ran a piece actually warning about extremist groups looking to set off a boogaloo having accomplices within the police force present at the event.
Some rally-goers in Richmond, Virginia, even wore boogaloo merchandise. Spoilers though: the rally was uneventful and did not kick of Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo.
The merch comes across with the same seeping sarcasm that was inherent to the Pepe the Frog meme we were warned was racist during the 2016 US presidential election.
One only needs to take a quick look at the usage of the term boogaloo online to see how seriously it should actually be taken.
The fear-mongering that exists around the word is about as ridiculous as other troll movements the media has not been able to wrap its head around and clearly learned nothing from.
There’s the OK hand gesture, which is supposed to mean “all good,” but the media tried telling everyone it was a symbol for white power.
The New York Times and other outlets even tried convincing us at one point that alt-right hate groups were chugging milk and that milk was becoming a symbol for alt-right movements. Seriously.
Advocacy groups and media outlets that continually fall for this nonsense devalue themselves. By trying to convince the general public that the OK hand gesture or Pepe the Frog or now the word boogaloo are serious codes in legitimately dangerous fringe movements, these organizations give rise to more troll movements and prove how utterly inept they are at keeping up with modern culture. The more they play into these concepts, the more people will smirk and play right back into their hands.