A report that a pilot for Southwest Airlines LUV concluded a recent flight by saying “Let’s Go Brandon” has put a new focus on a coded message designed to denigrate President Joe Biden.
What Happened: On Oct. 30, Associated Press reporter Colleen Long claimed she heard the pilot during her Southwest flight say “Let’s Go Brandon” from Houston to Albuquerque. Long added that she tried to interview the pilot after she allegedly heard the pilot use the phrase, but tweeted an acknowledgment that “in defense of airline I was asking them to open locked cock pit and probably sounded insane!”
Southwest issued a statement through its Twitter TWTR channel that an investigation of the matter was underway, adding that the company “does not condone Employees sharing their personal political opinions while on the job serving our Customers, and one Employee’s individual perspective should not be interpreted as the viewpoint of Southwest and its collective 54,000 Employees.”
The pilot who allegedly made the comment has not been publicly identified.
What Does It Mean: The origins of “Let’s Go Brandon” can be traced to an Oct. 2 NBC Sports interview by reporter Kelli Stavast with NASCAR driver Brandon Brown after he won his first Xfinity Series race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. The crowd behind Brown was audibly chanting “F**k Joe Biden,” but the reporter insisted to the viewing audience that the message was “Let’s Go Brandon.”
Since then, “Let’s go, Brandon” has become a polite euphemism for "F**k Joe Biden" among the president’s detractors. Texas’ Republican Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted the phrase while Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) wore a “Let’s Go Brandon” face mask on Capitol Hill. Former President Donald Trump’s Save America PAC is selling a “Let’s Go Brandon” t-shirt for $45.
Not everyone is amused with this phrase. YouTube and Instagram banned the song “Let’s Go Brandon” by rapper Bryson Gray, claiming it spread false medical information, although fans of the song have nonetheless reposted the song on both sites; The tune reached the No. 1 spot on the iTunes chart.
“Cancel culture doesn’t work anymore,” said Gray in a New York Post interview. “It only works on people who are scared. All it does is help me out.”
As for the real Brandon, Brown has not publicly commented on the use of his name.
Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons.
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