Jimmy Dore has found himself at the center of an ideological internet feud after the left-wing pundit suggested that progressives share many common causes with the Boogaloo movement, often denounced as a far-right militia.
The popular political commentator and comedian interviewed a self-described “Boogaloo Boi,” Magnus Panvidya, after seeing a video of the gun-toting radical denouncing US wars and corporate power during a speech in front of the Michigan State Capitol.
Noting that he couldn’t find anything in the speech that he disagreed with, Dore explained that he decided to invite Panvidya onto his show to “explore his beliefs further.”
Panvidya described himself as an anarchist who had a long history of environmental activism, rejecting the claim that the Boogaloo Bois were white supremacists or right-wing extremists.
He described the movement as a “libertarian/Green Party militia,” arguing that it has been regularly mischaracterized by inaccurate media reports. Known for their Hawaiian shirts, the Boogaloo Bois have been spotted at demonstrations across the United States following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police in May. The group has called for a revolution in the United States, peaceful or otherwise.
According to Panvidya, armed Boogaloo members have provided security at numerous Black Lives Matter protests sparked by Floyd’s death, stressing that the movement was similarly opposed to police brutality. He added that, despite claims to the contrary, the group is anti-discrimination and supports LGBTQ+ rights.
He insisted that some people who affiliate with the movement do not accurately represent its values, adding that crackdowns on their social media accounts have made it more difficult to coordinate activities and weed out troublemakers.
“Being libertarian and being in this weird middle ground… We’re used to all sorts of people claiming a bunch of things about us that aren’t true,” Panvidya told Dore.
Later tweeting about the interview, Dore said that he was “completely floored” to learn that Panvidya and his comrades shared many political and social views held by progressives and wanted “unity” with the Left.
I interviewed a member of the Boggaloo Boys, I was completely floored when he said he is: -Pro LGBTQ-Pro Black Lives Matter-Anti Police Brutality-Anti Racism-Anti ICE -Anti WarWTF?!?!Radicalized Michigan Anarchist Seeks Unity With The Left. https://t.co/nTXQ3gCEg4
— Jimmy Dore (@jimmy_dore) January 25, 2021
Unsurprisingly, the discussion split social media, with some insisting that the Bois have been unfairly slandered by the media, while others took the polar opposite view and accused Dore of giving favorable news coverage to “white supremacists.”
Right-wing commentator Michael Malice gently chided Dore for expressing surprise about the interview, suggesting that it was no secret that the movement was tolerant and libertarian.
Others said they were pleasantly surprised by Panvidya, even while expressing concerns that he may not be an accurate representation of what the movement stands for.
Enjoyed the interview.I sensed empathy coming from the dude. That goes a long way with me.
— Jim Nicholson (@JLombar15942845) January 25, 2021
I was pleasantly surprised. I found the man mostly reasonable -his speech segment, impressive even. Wiki, however, is saying his sub-group w/in this movement is an exception rather than the rule. But if ppl like him foster communication, I see it as good.https://t.co/75RNNEJzkd
— Bird Watcher (@PtarmiganRidge) January 25, 2021
However, judging by the responses to Dore’s tweet, the interview was generally not well received. The left-wing commentator was bombarded with mocking memes painting him as naive and gullible.
Liberal journalist Eoin Higgins trashed the interview, comparing it to someone interviewing a scorpion and being told by the predatory arachnid that it is “pro not stinging me.”
I interviewed a scorpion, I was completely floored when he said he is:-Pro frog-Pro not stinging me-Pro just getting across the river -Anti drowningWTF?!?!?!I am very stupid
— Eoin Higgins (@EoinHiggins_) January 25, 2021
Some went a step further, accusing Dore of collaborating with “white supremacists” and “Nazis.”
What Jimmy Dore and his ilk are trying was already tried a century ago. It led to the Holocaust and the bloodiest war in history of humanity lol pic.twitter.com/35nmhFpsI3
— Red-Brown Watch (@RedBrown_Watch) January 25, 2021
Jimmy Dore is a white supremacist collaborator.Rips on Progressive POC for right-wing clicks.
— 99Ascend (@99Ascend) January 23, 2021
Dore is no stranger to upsetting the liberal orthodoxy. He was recently attacked by liberal pundits for appearing on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show. The pair discussed the case for Donald Trump pardoning Julian Assange, with Carlson conceding that Dore had convinced him the WikiLeaks co-founder should be released. Some commentators claimed that Dore was lending credibility to the Fox News personality’s “far-right” agenda by coming on his program.