A troubled landscape for surfers everywhere.
First they came for mid-length surfboards, then they came for Vans slip-ons and now far-right extremists have taken floral Hawaiian shirts as symbols of violent white nationalism, or at least according to The Washington Post.
The surfing life, co-opted.
But have you heard of the Boogaloo Bois? Aware of their cause?
Per The Post:
A Tampa television reporter was broadcasting live from protests last weekend when two young men in Hawaiian shirts moved in front of the camera and began chanting the name of an obscure white nationalist group, drowning out protesters shouting “No Justice, No Peace!”
The incident was one of a growing number in which far-right extremists who once organized mainly online have been inserting themselves into the real-world protests roiling much of the nation, sowing confusion about the nature of the protests and seeking attention for their causes.
They’ve appeared, sometimes carrying assault rifles, at protests in Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Atlanta, Philadelphia and dozens of other cities, often wearing Hawaiian shirts — a seemingly goofy uniform that, within the ranks of their movement, signals adherence to a violent, divisive, anti-government ideology.
Not a very pretty picture, though one disputed by Patrick Fairbairn, an administrator of several Boogaloo Facebook groups, who told Politico that most people affiliated with the movement were showing up at at sites of unrest to protect protesters, and he offered praise for Black Lives Matter.
“If they haven’t been heard and they need to be heard, they’ve got to do it their way,” said Fairbairn, who identified himself as a 23-year-old electrician. “The worst thing is to have this artificial separation between the people.”
But back to the Hawaiian shirts. Have you ever dabbled stylistically? Non-ironically? Will you be more likely to wear one now that they are attached to the far-right or will you put yours in a box filled with old surf magazines?
More importantly, will the World Surf League utilize for its commentary crew ever again?
Much to consider.