As white supremacists marched through the University of Virginia’s campus this past Friday, Twitter users were quick to point out how the protestors’ use of tiki torches wasn’t exactly in line with the demonstrators’ racist brand.
Social media users mocked the protestors at the campus, which included hundreds along with alt-right activist Richard Spencer, for using the Polynesian-inspired torches throughout the procession. The activists lit the way through campus while chanting the Nazi phrase “blood and soil” and “one people, one nation, end immigration” just ahead of Saturday’s “Unite The Right” rally.
While white supremacists have used tiki torches in the past, namely to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue back in May, the torches’ roots are far from white. NPR points out that “tiki” is a Maori word for a type of stone or wooden carving found throughout Polynesia and that tiki decor is derived from various Pacific cultures. So of course, people didn’t miss the chance to point out the irony that white supremacist activists were using elements from a culture of color to protest.
And no, they did not hold back.
*Collective mic drop*