How a white politician tweeting “I’m a black gay guy” led to Patti LaBelle’s nephew finding himself in the middle of the strangest Twitter scandal to take place this year.
By now, you’ve probably seen the tweet from Dean Browning, a white man and former member of the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners from Lehigh, Pennsylvania, where he referred to himself as a “black gay guy” in response to someone who had criticized Donald Trump. Well, the story has only gotten stranger, as it now somehow involves Patti LaBelle’s nephew.
It all began on Tuesday morning, when Browning replied to someone on Twitter who had responded to a tweet he made on November 8 speaking unfavorably about Joe Biden succeeding Trump.
“What Trump built in 4 years, Biden will destroy in 4 months,” Browning tweeted, to which the user replied: “You mean what Obama build in 8 years, Trump trying to take credit for the first 3 years.”
After that, is where their exchange gets weird. Responding to the person, Browning then tweeted: “I’m a black gay guy and I can personally say that Obama did nothing for me, my life only changed a little bit and it was for the worse. Everything is so much better under Trump though. I feel respected – which I never do when democrats are involved.”
After the tweet was discovered, Browning deleted it and apologized for a lack of clarity regarding the tweet, saying: “Regarding the tweet that is going viral from my account — I was quoting a message that I received earlier this week from a follower.”
— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) November 10, 2020
Some users then went searching around for the anonymous account and found @DanPurdy322, a scan of tweets fromt he account before it was suspended voiced similar sentiments to the one Browning shared, leading some to believe it was Browning’s burner account pretending to be a Black Trump supporter.
pretending to be a black man online so you could post more freely about how much you hate black people was a weird plan, dean pic.twitter.com/Qc99VQnqBh
— molly conger (@socialistdogmom) November 10, 2020
Surprisingly, it turns out that the account doesn’t belong to Browning at all, but an actual Black, gay man who is a Trump supporter. The man, claiming to be Dan Purdy, addressed how Browning ended up tweeting his message, saying: “I sent that message to Dean, Dean accidentally posted it somehow, that’s the end of the story. No, he’s not a sock puppet. No, I’m not a bot.”
10/ I SALVAGED THE VIDEO. Here is Byl Holte, Patti LaBelle’s son. aka not at all Dan Purdy pic.twitter.com/QGcPMK3HZT
— Karin Sung (@KarinSung_) November 10, 2020
But the story gets even odder: it has since been discovered that the man isn’t actually named Dan Purdy but William Holte, who also happens to be Patti LaBelle’s nephew (and adopted son).
We still don’t know what to make of this revelation, but at least it has provided some comic relief.