Why’d you have to go and ruin it?

Brandon Levston had an encounter with a road-raging Trump supporter. It’s kind of awful: the road rager uses racial slurs, dismisses his wife’s protest with “be a woman”, and declares that black lives don’t matter, repeatedly. The video is definitely not safe for work.

And then, as the Trump-lovin’ asshole walks away, Levston throws his own insult at about the 3:05 mark and calls him…

…transgender faggot…

And with that, they both get thrown into the basket of deplorables. I guess some bigotries just stick around forever.

OK, a lot of people are saying Levston did not say the slur — it was the Trumpkin. It’s not clear: Levston is laughing just after the comment, and it blurs together with the voice.

I’d love to hear from Levston himself to clear up the ambiguity. It may well be that only one of them needs to go in the basket, but it’s going to need to be a bigger basket.


  1. says

    Damn. I swear the other guy’s mouth was still moving, and, like you said, it was so jarring, with the content, and voice work… Levston just had to add himself to that basket.


  2. says

    I guess some bigotries just stick around forever.

    Yeah…I’ve seen pro-LGBT people (presumably liberals) make fun of Southerners for being inbred or marrying cousins, etc.

  3. Saad says

    It’s the Trump supporter who says the the slur at 3:05.

    1) His mouth is still moving.

    2) The volume of the second word in the slur decreases as he’s moving away from Levston’s camera and Levston laughs almost immediately after the word and the laugh is loud

    3) The voice matches the Trump asshole ore than Levston

  4. happenstance says

    It pretty clearly looks and sounds like that was coming from the trump supporter, and not Levston. PZ, I implore you to watch the video again. (Of course, it’s possible that me eyes/ears are deceiving me.)

  5. says

    How dare you malign Brandon Levston’s name like this when its transparently obvious the voice that says “transgendered faggot” belongs to the man being recorded. What lazy, sloppy work on your part.

  6. Mark Jacobson says

    It was definitely the Trump supporter that said that, I’m virtually certain of it.

  7. Saad says

    And more importantly:

    4) The Trump supporter starts with “you fucking” and then the slur comes in. Why would the Trump supporter only say “you fucking”?

    5) Levston’s laugh begins as the words “f****t” is still being heard.

  8. says

    I’m not entirely convinced that this video wasn’t staged. There’s something about the way the Trump supporter tells his female companion to “be a woman” that feels… rehearsed?

    Something about the whole video felt fake to me. Maybe just wishful thinking on my part?

  9. cvoinescu says

    It’s all made more difficult by the fact that the sound is a fraction of a second behind the image, but yes, I am pretty sure it’s the Trump supporter who says the slur — his lips move in a way that’s consistently with those words. It would be a shame if low-res video and less than perfect sound sync did for this what lack of reference and inartful white balance did for black and blue vs. white and gold.

  10. Siobhan says


    Wait, he wants it proven with evidence that black lives matter?

    It’s almost as if reactionaries realize evidence is supposed to substantiate their claims but then they never bothered to learn was evidence actually was and now it’s just a word bandied about to sound smert.

    Sounds like the kind of “logic” The Amazing Atheist would endorse.

  11. Saad says

    Siobhan, #15

    I wonder if he would throw as much of a tantrum when encountered with “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” :D

  12. Mobius says

    To me it sounds like the offending comment came from the Trump supporter. It sounds more like his voice than Levston’s, and the Trump supporter’s lips are moving when the comment is made. Also, the comment fits right in with the other vocal diarrhea coming out his mouth.

  13. Zmidponk says

    It does look to me like it was the Trumpkin who says ‘you fucking transgender faggot’ as he’s turning away. The motion causes his voice to be a bit distorted, which might be why you thought it was Levston talking.

    What really gets me is the utter inanity of what the guy’s saying. Even if you accept the Trumpkin’s version of events, his argument is that Levston is a shitty driver, and Levston is black, therefore that is proof that black lives don’t matter, so Levston must prove that black lives do matter.

  14. Vivec says

    Even if it isn’t the case in this specific circumstance, the fact that it’s not remotely surprising for people that are ostensibly “liberal” to still be transphobic is incredibly depressing.

  15. bettyside says

    I’m pretty confident it’s the Trump supporter. His voice trails off as he says it. And the man in the car begins laughing even while Trump supporter is finishing.

  16. secondtofirstworld says

    I’ve watched the same video, and I also get, why he laughed. If someone grows up being labeled anything imaginable under the Sun, and much of it without any context, it warrants being laughed at. After that, the racist guy actually calls him a woman too, so by your own admitted evidence you have proof who said transgender faggot, although it’s all the more surprising, that guy took time away from his precious racism to watch The Boondocks and still not get the point.

    Having said that… there’s a difference between a liberal and a progressive. The author of the play of The normal heart was accused of being sexist for presenting the plight of the gay community with HIV exclusively as if others, like lesbians did not suffer from it, hence why the movie (which I did see) is more diverse. Only because someone is a social liberal doesn’t mean they can’t be bigots, especially with a socially conservative background. I had a few reasons for migrating, but let’s just say, if you had a dictatorship for decades were civil liberties did not exist, don’t be surprised even liberals jump on the bandwagon, when it comes to LGBT, fat shaming, ageism, etc. The brand of liberalism I represented became too liberal for them.

    As such, I can get the reporter, because once I changed to social liberalism, and I spoke up for ethnic minorities, different religions or LGBT-people, I was constantly accused of being a closeted (insert minority here) or being paid by them to say it. There’s no basis for a conversation, but to act and vote. Even if it’s by your conscience. If Levston would go to a basket for it, than so shall I, because I would have laughed as well at his ignorance.

  17. Holms says

    It was definitely the Trumpet that said it. Levston was saying “I appreciate you so much…” when the Trumpet resumed with that comment.

  18. LewisX says

    It really sounds like the Trumper to me but it is tricky. He’s already launched into the slur “yeah you…” just as Levston is finishing his “I appreciate you so much” sentence. Also Trumplite’s lips look like they are articulating the words for a few seconds before he turns away from the car. Levston’s cool is something to marvel at, if I’m right.

  19. says

    As an American of Irish/Norwegian ancestry, whose forbears arrived destitute and starving at Ellis Island during the potato famines*, and whose great-great-great grandfather was told “you go to Minnesota or Wisconsin, that’s where all you square-heads are going” I find the idea of anti-immigrant sentiment among Minnesotans to evidence a great ignorance of history.

    The Vietnamese/Cambodians probably have a slightly better claim to immigration, in fact, since most of them were displaced as a result of America’s fucking around in Indochina where it didn’t belong, over some Kissingerian theory of dominoes – they didn’t come because of the potato blight. They came because, thanks to the US, their lives were in danger. The same can be said for a lot of the Somalis.

    (* they fucked up Norway, too!)

  20. says

    In addition to the comments about the volume change and the “fucking” before the slur, there’s the fact that the guy turned around saying “that’s right” and grabbing his crotch. That makes it pretty straightforward for me. It was the Trump asshole.

  21. Matrim says

    Finally being able to listen to it, yeah, it’s pretty clear it wasn’t Levston. It might’ve been confusing a bit going into it cold, but it’s obvious on a second listen.

  22. dimhue says

    Gotta agree with everyone else here PZ. It’s clearly the racist saying it, not Levston. I recommend changing the title and putting your edit ahead of the rest of the post. I’ve never been a fan of saving the edit comment for the very end, unless it’s for minor corrections.

  23. garnetstar says

    I’m quite sure it’s the Trumpite who said the slur. You can see his lips form the words, and the voice is definitely his voice: his voice is much higher in pitch, a tenor, while Levston’s is a baritone. Listen to the pitch of their voices, it couldn’t be more clear.

    And you can hear that Levston wasn’t speaking, he draws in a breath to start laughing *after* the slur, showing that he wasn’t speaking before, when the slur was made.

  24. says

    It was pretty clear to me that the trumplestiltskin was the one who said the slur in question. It’s kind of hard for me to hear it otherwise actually.

  25. unclefrogy says

    I will take the conclusion of those who watched until the end I could not stand the ignorance.
    reality is a contest between egos with the one with the most force of will determines what reality is
    saw a bumper sticker one time that said “hurry on brother hell ain’t but half full”
    I do not believe in hell but applied to these types of fellows I will say don’t let me stand in your way!
    uncle frogy