Politics

The Let's Go Brandon! Movement Now Has Its Own Tour ... or Something ... Moving Across DFW

A tour trailer that's on the Let's Go Brandon! Tour was spotted by Frisco City Council candidate Hava Johnston last weekend on Eldorado Parkway.
A tour trailer that's on the Let's Go Brandon! Tour was spotted by Frisco City Council candidate Hava Johnston last weekend on Eldorado Parkway. Hava Johnston
The world of politics is full of sayings and idioms that get repeated to the point of meaninglessness. Remember "Where's the beef?" That Wendy's slogan was co-opted by presidential-candidate failure Walter Mondale. How about James Carville's "It's the economy, stupid" during former President Bill Clinton's first run? Do we even need to point out the irony that ex-President Donald Trump is still wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat, according to his latest Axios interview?

A bewildering new slogan recently developed is "Let's Go Brandon" and if you're on the right, it's code for "Fuck Joe Biden."

Here's the gist. Back in October, NBC sportscaster Kelly Stavast interviewed driver Brandon Brown just after he took the checkered flag at the Talladega Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The crowd started chanting, "Fuck Joe Biden!" during Brown's interview. Stavast tried to cover the out-of-context chant by saying the crowd was shouting "Let's go, Brandon!" The clip went viral and conservatives got a new catchphrase that requires a two-day hike in order to get to its point.

"This is hilarious," Dallas musician and community activist Keite Young says with a laugh after hearing the phrase's etymology for the first time. "I mean, this is theater. This is comedy."

The phrase has gotten so popular that it's now got its own tour of some kind with a traveling truck that's been spotted in Fort Worth and Frisco. A sign on its side says it's The Let's Go Brandon! Tour, proclaiming "I Didn't Vote for Him and I Am Still Black."

Hava Johnston, a community organizer, says she spotted the "Willie Nelson-sized tour bus" last weekend near Eldorado Parkway. The person manning the bus appeared to just be selling merchandise in conjunction with (or as a result of) the ReAwaken America conservative conference in Frisco last weekend.

"Elevate Life Church just had an event last weekend," Johnston says. "[U.S. Rep.] Marjorie Taylor Greene was here. Kyle Rittenhouse was here. It was a big, alt-right QAnon get together. Ever since, this big, semi bus traveling thing has been parking around intersections all around Frisco. I don't know if it's one of them or if they have a whole fleet."

"This is hilarious ... I mean, this is theater. This is comedy." – Dallas musician and community activist Keite Young

tweet this
According to the tour's website and social media, there appears to be only one trailer on the tour selling T-shirts and hats with the "Let's Go, Brandon" phrase. The owner will not identify themselves and only responded to requests for an interview on Facebook with "OK" and "Yes."

Johnston says she's bewildered by the trailer and its message.

"'I didn't vote for him and I'm still Black,' what the hell does that even mean and who paid for it and where did it come from and why is it here?" Johnston says. "It's blocking traffic. There are massive amounts of people pulling over to take a picture and have a laugh or buy some of this crap."

The tour's website says its mission to bring about the end of "political slavery."

"The New Patriots will destroy the generational curses that have been placed on blacks by voting for the primary party," the website says. "The lack of representation in urban communities have led to high levels of crime, poverty and most of all senseless violence. Blacks must stop voting for candidates because of their skin color and party affiliation." [sic pretty much all of that]

Young says the tour's message seems offensive on the surface, but he also recognizes the conversations communities and leaders need to have when it comes to race and equality.

"It's insane," he says. "We've always voted for other candidates who are non-Black. What fucking choices do we have? It's insulting on its face, but I do believe there are very real conversations to be had around what equity is as far as representation and what does that really look like because I don't think the Democratic Party has done all it said it would do to rectify equity in our society."

The problems surrounding equity have little to do with how certain communities vote and more to do with what's actually being done to achieve it, Young says.

"The numbers tell you where the inequity is whether it's medium income or how long a Black dollar circulates in the community," Young says. "If you want to fix inequity in this country, start in the Black communities, goddammit. We have to fix what's broken. Then we can build something equitable for everyone." 
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.