Right-Wing 'Boogaloo Boys' Spend Pandemic On Facebook, Plotting To Kill Us All In A Civil War
People have been picking up all sorts of hobbies during the COVID-19 pandemic. We're making sourdough starters, we're knitting, we're making masks, we're making Tik Tok videos, we're playing Animal Crossing, hoping that at some point it will start to get interesting (I've picked so much fruit! Why did I spend so much money to pick fruit and chop trees?), etc. etc.
Others, however, are planning a Civil War. Or, as they are calling it, Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo. "Boogaloo' for short. Because they have to ruin everything.
While the whole "Let's do another Civil War and call it 'Boogaloo' thing started last year in response to people considering gun control measures to curb the near-constant mass shootings, it's really picked up steam during the last few months — both because people have a lot of time on their hands and because they have "mounting frustrations" over being told to stay home so that other people don't get sick.
A recent study conducted by the Tech Transparency Project found 125 "Boogaloo" Facebook groups, nearly 60 percent of which were created since February. While most of the public pages mostly post memes, members in private groups "discussed tactical strategies, combat medicine, and various types of weapons, including how to develop explosives and the merits of using flame throwers." Many of them, it should come as no surprise, are virulent white supremacists.
The name and the proliferation of memes on the public "Boogaloo" pages make the whole idea seem like a viral internet joke that no one is taking seriously, but that is a calculated move. While there may be participants who do think of it as a joke, many of them take it extremely seriously. Earlier this month, 36-year-old Aaron Swenson was arrested after recording himself on Facebook Live driving around looking for a lone police officer to kill. Naturally, the Blue Lives Matter crowd was positively outraged by this (Kidding! The people in these groups are white and Republican so it's fine.).
The documents they share in their groups are also pretty damned serious.
The most concerning document is one entitled Yeetalonians, a reference to the boogaloo. At over 133 pages, the document provides an in-depth look at preparing for the boogaloo and offers advice on what weapons should be used, what propaganda to distribute, and how to psychologically win over civilians to the cause.
The document mentions "target selection," noting that assassinations of figureheads are "overrated" but "some people have to go." It discusses how to disrupt U.S. government supply lines, noting that "national guard depots, police stations and factories that produce munitions are all very solid targets." On propaganda, meanwhile, the document notes that the most important job is "to make the enemy (government forces) see that they are not fighting terrorists, they are fighting their own countrymen who simply love liberty."
That particular propaganda angle has become part of the Second Amendment debate over the last few years. Whenever a gun control measure is promoted and gun humpers start talking about how the Second Amendment actually gives them the right to overthrow the government if they want, we respond "You know they have like, tanks, right?" Well, they used to not really have a comeback for that, but lately, they've taken to responding with something like "You would want the government to deploy tanks on your fellow citizens?!? You monsters!," and then we stop interacting with them because it is going nowhere and we have other shit to do.
In many of these
The problem, of course, with this Civil War 2 scenario they've cooked up is that in order for it to actually be a Civil War, the rest of us would have to fight to keep them around.
GIF: Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka saying "Stop. Don't. Come back." Giphy
Now, I don't know about you, but I'm certainly not gonna do that. I've never even been in a bar fight, so it is highly unlikely that I will be taking up arms in order to keep a bunch of 4chan losers and wannabe Timothy McVeighs from "seceding." Who the hell is gonna do that? Who would bother? And if they try to Civil War us and we don't Civil War them back, isn't that just murder?
Additionally, in order to secede and have a Civil War, they need to have actual territory of some kind, which they do not. The "Boogaloo" people claim to have "sleeper cells" in every state (yes, they actually say "sleeper cells"), which is horrifying, but also rather unworkable in a Civil War scenario.
Discussions among the group members show mixed feelings about using Facebook as a means of communication. One member post on March 20 chastised others for not being careful enough while talking about civil war preparations on social media, noting that "the boog[aloo] is a class of sleep cell organization and sleeper cells work on the basis that you don't post about it."
This is not to say that they're not dangerous, just that they're not planning a Civil War. Rather, they are planning mass murder. They are planning terrorism. If they were anyone other than a bunch of angry white dudes, they would almost definitely be in some amount of trouble right now, on account of how murdering people, planning to murder people and plotting terrorism is not only a violation of Facebook's ban of "Violence and Criminal Behavior," it is illegal.
Whether or not they actually get sent to prison for this, like they would if they were another class of people, we shall have to wait and see. In the meantime, Facebook might want to start cracking down on this shit.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse