It all started with a small-town politician blathering how President-elect Joe Biden will destroy all the supposed advances Donald Trump brought to this country. But when Republican Dean Browning, former Lehigh County, Pa., County Commissioner and failed congressional candidate, defended his position, things got really bizarre.
Browning, clearly a white man in his profile picture, claimed to be a "black gay guy" whose life was improved by Trump. Former Advocate editor in chief Zach Stafford screencapped the tweet before it was deleted:
Browning's strange response took off, with many assuming the former Republican official had created a fake Twitter account where he portrayed himself as Dan Purdy, a gay Black man, and accidentally sent the message from the wrong account. The Purdy account included tweets disparaging Black people, especially Black women. Browning, though, offered a different explanation than a fake alt account.
Browning's version of events was bolstered by a video from the alleged Purdy, who claimed he was indeed an ardent Trump supporter who had sent Browning the tweet about being a "black gay guy" and Browning somehow accidentally used it as his own. "Donald Trump has never done anything to hurt anyone in the four years he was in his office," Purdy says. "So what's the big deal? I sent the message to Dean. Dean accidentally posted it somehow, and that's the end of the story. No, he's not a sock puppet. No, I'm not a bot. I hope you understand."
OK, strange series of events but seemingly explained. Well, that was until Twitter users found another profile for the man claiming he's Purdy, saying it's a pseudonym for William Holte. Jezebel reports Holte may actually be related to Patti LaBelle, even possibly her son. Then, by late afternoon, Purdy's Twitter account was suspended.