Tiki brand disavows white supremacists after Charlottesville march

In the wake of this weekend’s deadly white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, Democrats and Republicans alike have publicly denounced the rise of white supremacism in the U.S. Now, another unlikely voice is coming forth to distance itself from neo-Nazism: a brand of tiki torches.

Friday night, as people marched on the University of Virginia campus to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, they weren’t carrying pitchforks or makeshift torches, but rather wielded tiki torches, best known stateside as a backyard barbecue accompaniment. The irony was not lost on Twitter, as users decried the peculiar pairing of white supremacist protesters carrying a traditional Polynesian product appropriated by suburban houses and themed restaurants nationwide.

Almost immediately, tiki torches began appearing on Craigslist, though it is unclear through these screengrabs whether the original owners were trying to help supply the rally or to distance themselves from it.

But even as people made TiKKKi jokes on Twitter, the Tiki brand has been blunt and swift in its statement distancing itself from the actions of the protesters. It posted to Facebook Saturday, saying the brand “is not associated in any way” with the rally and that it is “deeply saddened and disappointed” by it.

TIKI Brand is not associated in any way with the events that took place in Charlottesville and are deeply saddened and...

Posted by TIKI Brand Products on Saturday, August 12, 2017

The comments beneath the post are flooded with gratitude from customers, celebrating the brand for taking a stand against hatred and racism. Dozens of people, on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr alike, commented that the brand had taken a more fervent stance against white supremacism than President Donald Trump, who on Saturday merely condemned the hatred and violence “on many sides.”


Posted by Bridget Farias Gates on Sunday, August 13, 2017

Friday morning, Tiki had kicked off the weekend with a post inviting fans to “bring the party and we’ll provide the ambience.”

Bring the party and we'll provide the ambiance. #TIKIBrand

Posted by TIKI Brand Products on Friday, August 11, 2017

Maybe next time it’ll be more specific.

Monica Riese

Monica Riese

Monica Riese now serves as the Daily Dot’s director of production, having previously been the publication’s entertainment editor and assistant managing editor. She is based in Austin, Texas, and formerly contributed to the Austin Chronicle, where her breaking news work was recognized by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.