The war between Democrats and Republicans has gone to strange places thanks to a simple phrase: “Let’s go Brandon.”
What seems like a strange sports song is actually a disguised insult by President Joe Biden.
The phrase “Let’s go Brandon” came into American political discourse after a reporter misquoted a crowd that sang an obscenity about Biden while talking to a Nascar racer. Since then, it has been used in Republican campaign rallies, on the floor of Congress and even at 6 p.m. a QAnon event, where conspiracy theorists expected the late John F. Kennedy Jr. to die.
The song also went viral on social media and became one of the first major memes to oppose the Biden presidency. As opponents of the current president buy clothing and even weapon parts with the phrase, there are concerns about whether this little bit might end up going too far.
Here is everything you need to know about this phrase.
How did Let’s go Brandon start?
On October 2, Brandon Brown won his first Xfinity Series Nascar race at the Talladega Superspeedway. NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast interviewed Brown after his victory on the racetrack with an audience behind him shouting “Fuck Joe Biden,” which has often been sung at U.S. sporting events over the past several months.
During the interview, Stavast remarks about the crowd, saying, “You can hear chants from the crowd. Let’s go Brandon.”
It is unclear whether she accidentally heard the phrase or decided not to repeat the phrase due to swear words in the song.
Conservatives and other opponents of Biden’s presidency seized the sentence. It has since been used as a song at political events and placed on items from shirts to weapon parts.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked Friday what Biden thought of the sentence.
“I don’t think he spends much time focusing on it or thinking about it,” she said.
What do social media companies do with the hashtag?
Little. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TIkTok have not removed postings with the Let’s go Brandon hashtag.
“Let’s Go Brandon” has been trending on Twitter several times since the initial interview with Republican politicians such as Late. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, and Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Republican from Colorado, using the hashtag where the latter even put the phrase on a dress. Cruz and Boebert were among the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
To counter this sentence, fans of Biden began using the hashtag #TakBrandon, which was trending on Twitter on November 5th.
One company that allegedly took steps to ban the hashtag is the fitness company Peloton. A report from the right-wing website PJ Media shows that the hashtag is not available to be added to user profiles. Peloton customers can use tags in their profiles to associate with other members with similar interests.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy against divisive, explicit or other content that violates our policies,” the company said in an email statement Monday. “We are actively moderating our channels and have removed tags that span the political spectrum, while still allowing members to express themselves using tags like #WomenForTrump.”
What are some controversies surrounding the hashtag?
Aside from the blatant insult of Biden, the Let’s go Brandon hashtag has come with its share of controversy.
A pilot for Southwest Airlines is investigating the use of the phrase during an aircraft announcement in October.
Billboard released its list of best-selling songs for the week of Nov. 8, and two of the top five songs referenced the phrase: Bryson Gray with Tyson James and Chandler Crump’s “Let’s Go Brandon” and Loza Alexander’s “Let’s Go Brandon.” Gray said on October 21 that his song was removed from YouTube due to medical error information.