Is ‘Let’s go Brandon!’ a form of hate speech?
It’s at the top of the charts on iTunes.
JUST IN – Two “Let’s Go Brandon” songs occupy the top positions on the iTunes charts in the US now (PopVortex) pic.twitter.com/0g6pOk9YBh
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) October 26, 2021
It’s prevalent at college football games, NFL games, NASCAR and at the World Series — even in states that went for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
— Manchester Chronicle (@WithyGrove) October 31, 2021
— Grabien (@GrabienMedia) November 1, 2021
“Let’s go Brandon!” got its start exactly one month ago at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, courtesy of an NBC Sports reporter who was interviewing driver Brandon Brown after he won his first Xfinity Series race. A crowd behind Brown was chanting “F*** Joe Biden.” The reporter claimed the crowd was actually chanting “Let’s go Brandon.” And, thanks to social media, it went viral in a hurry.
— TV News Now (@TVNewsNow) October 3, 2021
Now it seems that wherever the president goes, “Brandon” follows.
“LET’S GO BRANDON”: This past week, Biden’s motorcade was driving past a “Let’s Go Brandon” banner as the president passed through Plainfield, N.J. https://t.co/wPQSZsn9v8
— WDRB News (@WDRBNews) October 30, 2021
Conservatives have embraced the chant as another example of liberal bias in the mainstream media, while liberal Twitter has gone off the deep end in attempting to decode it. But things really came to a head when a Southwest Airlines pilot may (the jury is still out on this) have said “Let’s go Brandon” while updating passengers during a flight. He actually may have said “Let’s Go Braves” in honor of the National League-champion Atlanta Braves, but it’s too difficult to tell.
plot twist: a distinct possibility that the pilot was just an Atlanta baseball fan saying “let’s go Braves” (audio at link)https://t.co/doeHzPbvvI
— Kat Rosenfield (@katrosenfield) November 1, 2021
No matter. The outrage machine on the left got amped up to 11, including by the AP reporter who first recounted what she thought she heard from the pilot over the PA system. Colleen Long even went so far as to demand comment from said pilot during the flight, who was behind a locked cockpit door for safety reasons at the time.
Also in defense of airline I was asking them to open locked cock pit and probably sounded insane!
— Colleen Long (@ctlong1) October 30, 2021
Two CNN national security analysts also weighed in, including Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent, who absurdly equated a joke like “Let’s Go Brandon” with declaring “Long Live ISIS.”
say what you will but bizarrely encouraging someone to say “long live ISIS” on an airplane is extremely on brand for an FBI agent pic.twitter.com/PLACtTiMM3
— Sam Biddle (@samfbiddle) November 1, 2021
Another analyst, Juliette Kayyem, speculated, without a hint of evidence, that the pilot may have anger issues – for perhaps telling a joke – or is a substance abuser.
If @SouthwestAir doesn’t do anything, every passenger on that flight has standing to file a complaint with the @FAANews and they should do so. Southwest will then be compelled to investigate or defend him. Have fun with that. No messing around in the air. Bright line rule. https://t.co/L7VlZWJ0SU
— Juliette Kayyem (@juliettekayyem) October 30, 2021
Yes pilot conduct. His words reflect possibility of anger management or substance abuse. It is worth asking.
— Juliette Kayyem (@juliettekayyem) October 30, 2021
I like pilots that don’t sympathize with terrorist.
Southwest has some explaining to do.
— Chris Hahn (@ChristopherHahn) October 31, 2021
The ridiculous backlash prompted Southwest to launch an investigation.
“Southwest is conducting an internal investigation into the recently reported event and will address the situation directly with any Employee involved while continuing to remind all Employees that public expression of personal opinions while on duty is unacceptable,” the airline told the AP. “Southwest does not tolerate any behavior that encouraged divisiveness, as it does not reflect the Southwest Hospitality and inclusiveness for which we are known and strive to provide each day on every flight.”
This is how it works: Mock the current president – who is struggling mightily, to the point that 71 percent of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track – and be prepared to lose your job. Just ask comedian Dave Chappelle about what’s considered to be the right jokes and wrong jokes to make. Fortunately for sanity, Chappelle is fighting back against the cancel-culture brigade.
— The Hill (@thehill) October 10, 2021
We’re all old enough to remember when actor Robert DeNiro said something far worse about then-President Trump in using an actual F-bomb on national television during an awards show:
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 11, 2018
… Or Madonna saying she was thinking of blowing up the White House not long after Trump was elected:
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 21, 2017
… Or onetime NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick for making political statements during games and being hailed as a national treasure for doing so:
…again at the center of a turbulent moment with newfound force, and for the N.F.L., renewed debate.
Kneeling, Fiercely Debated in the N.F.L., Resonates in Protests https://t.co/7pfG8p3McK
— Kurt Streeter (@kurtstreeter) June 5, 2020
… Or the Virginia cyclist who “flipped off” a Trump motorcade before running for public office based on her newfound celebrity, and actually won the election.
Cyclist who famously flipped off Trump motorcade wins election in Virginia https://t.co/ZmiG665GbM
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 6, 2019
All in the name of free speech.
But to the left, free speech is a thing only when it’s the right speech — that is, speech they agree with. And that’s a whole bowl of wrong.
“Let’s go Brandon!” is a rallying cry for the right. Sane people aren’t offended by it.
It’s not hate speech. It’s harmless political speech.
And the more the hypocritical woke mob tries to suppress it, the louder and more widespread that chant will get.
Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist for The Hill and a Fox News contributor.