After the Four Seasons Total Landscaping parking lot press conference debacle, we thought the 2020 election hijinks had piqued. And then…
Dean Browning, a white, former GOP commissioner in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, apparently created a Twitter account posing as a gay, Black man in order to, wait for it, validate his own tweets.
Browning describes himself on Twitter as a “proud pro-life & pro-2A Christian conservative.”
On November 8, Browning — as himself — tweeted: “What Trump built in 4 years, Biden will destroy in 4 months”.
Understandably, some commenters had differing opinions. One suggested that whatever Trump “built” was actually the gains of the Obama administration, which Trump loves to take credit for.
That prompted a counter argument from a “gay, Black man”, who shared: “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.”
But… who actually wrote that message? All signs point to Browning himself, as he apparently forgot to log into his fake account.
So the tweet came straight from the source:
Dean Browning, former Lehigh County comissioner who seems to have forgotten to log into his burner account, was about 2,500 votes away from being the GOP's nominee in Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional district this year. pic.twitter.com/ftiY68wae6
— Jacob Rubashkin (@JacobRubashkin) November 10, 2020
Browning left the tweet up for a few hours, and it did not go unnoticed.
Then he claimed it was all a big misunderstanding: “Regarding the tweet that is going viral from my account — I was quoting a message that I received earlier this week from a follower,” he said, grasping for straws. “Sorry if context was not clear. Trump received record minority votes & record LGBTQ votes. Many people won’t say it vocally, but do in private.”
Vox reports that the Washington Post’s Phillip Bump announced he’d found the likely burner account of one “Dan Purdy”, the “gay, Black Trump supporter” whose avatar is a cartoon of a Black man with a Trump 2020 logo in the header.
“You know who replies to Dean Browning a lot? ‘Dan Purdy,’ a gay black Trump supporter who joined Twitter in October,” Bump noted.
Further digging into @DanPurdy322 revealed multiple sexist and racist tweets over the last month.
Is this your totally real black gay conservative follower? pic.twitter.com/XSxgGjjxlc
— Don "Big Chooch" Moynihan (@donmoyn) November 10, 2020
And if you think the comedy of errors ends here, you are so wrong.
After being called out, a mysterious video of the “real” Dan Purdy popped up, seeming to validate Browning’s version of the story:
“I sent that message to Dean, Dean accidentally posted it somehow, that’s the end of the story,” “Purdy” said. “No, he’s not a sock puppet. No, I’m not a bot.”
so the video was taken down, but here it is in case you want your brain to melt: pic.twitter.com/umGPjt5sN4
— alex (@alex_abads) November 10, 2020
But few are buying it, with comments like “How much are they paying you?” popping up left and right.
Digging down even deeper into the rabbit hole of absurdity, Twitter sleuths found that the name “Dan Purdy” is just one name listed on the now-suspended account. Others include “Pat Riachy” and “White Goodman.”
so from googling it would appear @deanbrowningpa's black guy identity "Dan Purdy" was also once used on the suspended account @soulcookie322. but before that account became Dan Purdy, it was a white guy named "Pat Riarchy" and "White Goodman". dean is really something else pic.twitter.com/gFkUPkNDPV
— food truck drove away with my debit card (@fart) November 10, 2020
And if you’re still invested, it gets sillier, as yet more observers noticed that “Dan Purdy’s” avatar and the mystery man in the video bear an uncanny resemblance to William Holte, aka Byl Holte, aka the adopted son and nephew of diva Patti LaBelle.
The same Byl Holte who has written awful commentaries on Medium against feminism and complaining about “anti-racism.”
New York Magazine’s Yasher Ali summed it all up pretty well, observing “I really needed this…LMAO”.
So. Did. We.