Dark Brandon: Why White House officials are tweeting images of Joe Biden with laser eyes

One of the first big memes against Biden’s presidency has been given new life, but now it’s being toppled to aggrandize the current commander-in-chief.

Last year, the phrase “Let’s go Brandon” made its way into American political discourse after a reporter, while speaking with a Nascar racer, misquoted a crowd chanting an obscenity about the President Joe Biden. The disguised insult has since been used at Republican campaign rallies, on the floor of Congress and at QAnon Events.

In recent weeks, a new meme has been making the rounds on social media, and it’s even being pushed by members of the Biden administration: “Dark Brandon.” The amalgamation of a phrase intended to insult the president ended up being a celebratory term used by Biden supporters to tout administration successes, such as lower gas prices and the leader’s death. of al-Qaeda Ayman al-Zawahri.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Dark Brandon meme.

What is Darth Brandon?

According to Know Your Meme, the phrase “Dark Brandon” originated in March when someone on Twitter riffed off movie titles adding the name “Brandon,” which stemmed from the phrase “Let’s go Brandon.”

In May 2021, another person shared a post on Twitter with images of alleged Chinese propaganda against Biden. The illustrations show Biden, with glowing yellow eyes, sitting on an AR-15 throne that resembles the Iron Throne of the HBO series Game of Thrones. Some Biden supporters liked the images, saying how “metal” they looked.

The meme began to gain momentum in July and early August, especially after the drop in gasoline prices, the death of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri and the passage of the CHIPS and scientific law and the Inflation Reduction Act.

Some people are also sharing Dark Brandon memes in reference to the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, even though the Biden administration was reportedly unaware of this enforcement action. of the law.

How did Let’s go Brandon start?

Last October, Brandon Brown won his first Xfinity Series Nascar race at Talladega Superspeedway. NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast interviewed Brown after his victory on the racetrack with a crowd behind him chanting “Fuck Joe Biden,” which has been chanted often at American sporting events in recent months.

During the interview, Stavast remarks on the crowd, saying, “You can hear the chants from the crowd. Let’s go Brandon.”

It is unknown if she heard the phrase by mistake or if she decided not to repeat the term due to the profanity in the singing.

Conservatives and others opposed to Biden’s presidency seized on the phrase. It has since been used as a chant at political events and placed on merchandise ranging from shirts to gun parts.

What have social media companies done about the Let’s go Brandon hashtag?

Not a lot. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TIkTok did not remove posts with the Let’s go Brandon hashtag.

“Let’s Go Brandon” has been tweeted several times since the initial interview last October, with Republican politicians such as Senator Ted Cruza Republican from Texas, and Representative Lauren Boebert, a Republican from Colorado, using the hashtag, with the latter even putting the phrase on a dress. Cruz and Boebert were among 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

To counter the phrase, Biden fans started using the hashtag #ThanksBrandonwhich was trending on Twitter last November.

One company that has reportedly taken action to ban the hashtag is 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 beacons 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 emailed statement Monday. “We actively moderate our channels and have removed tags that span the political spectrum, while allowing members to speak out using tags like #WomenForTrump.”

What have been the controversies surrounding the Let’s go Brandon hashtag?

Biden’s obvious insult aside, the Let’s go Brandon hashtag has come with its share of controversy.

A Southwest Airlines pilot is being investigated over use of the phrase during a flight announcement.

Billboard released its list of best-selling songs of the week on November 8, 2021, and two of the top five songs referenced the phrase: Bryson Gray featuring Tyson James and Chandler Crump’s “Let’s go Brandon” and Loza Alexander’s “Let’s go Brandon.” Gray said on his song was removed from YouTube due to false medical information.

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