What Do You Do When Extremism Comes for the Hawaiian Shirt

published 29.06.2020 11:00

by Nathan Taylor from nytimes.com
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He views the use of the Hawaiian shirt as yet another attempt by far-right groups to create an “undefinable space” with “in-your-face absurdity.”

If you see an image of a man wearing tactical gear with a gun and a Hawaiian shirt, the most salient thing there is that the guy has a gun and tactical gear.”

ULTIMATELY, A SYMBOL like the Hawaiian shirt shifts focus from the obvious — armed men asserting dominance in public spaces — to expert-led discussions of the boogaloo’s movement’s coded symbols and language games, which are absurd to the point of meaninglessness, Mr. Blanchfield thinks.

Joshua Citarella, a researcher of extremist behaviors on the internet, has followed the boogaloo movement, sometimes referred to as “Hawaiian shirt nationalism” by those in far-right corners of the internet, from its earliest manifestation as a meme on social media.

They were usually a combination of tactical gear, assault weapons, bottles of liquor and street wear like Supreme hoodies, all tied together in some way by the floral print of the Hawaiian shirt.