15 Questions About Patti LaBelle’s Adopted Son

Well, that escalated quickly

David Dennis, Jr.
LEVEL
Published in
3 min readNov 11, 2020

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“Dan Purdy.” Photo: @danpurdy322/Twitter

Update 6/7/22: Level has a new home. You can read this article and other new articles by visiting LEVELMAN.com.

By now, you’ve probably seen the story: Dean Browning, Pennsylvania Republican (and undeniable loser of the primary for the state’s 7th Congressional representative seat) posted a tweet yesterday declaring himself to be a Black gay man who disapproved of Obama.

Browning, in case you weren’t aware, is a White man. He tried to clarify his tweet by saying that it was a DM that he forgot to attribute. Twitter, naturally, came to the conclusion that Browning got caught posting thoughts reserved for a burner account. Those same Twitter sleuths noticed that an account by the name of “Dan Purdy” had favorited and responded to a lot of Browning’s tweets. Naturally, the assumption was that “Purdy” was Browning’s burner account. We cracked the code!

But then we were reminded that this was 2020.

The Dan Purdy account posted a video, showing a Black man owning up to the account and sending the message to Browning. Twitter did more digging and learned that the man in the video is actually William Holte, who is — wait for it — PATTI LABELLE’S GODDAMNED NEPHEW AND ADOPTED SON. (He’s also known as Byl Holte.)

As a human being with a brain, I have many questions about this.

  1. Why hasn’t Dan Browning posted a screenshot of Dan Purdy’s DM to prove that it was an actual message and not his burner account?
  2. Are we supposed to believe that Dean Browning (if that’s his real last name) is the only White person left in 2020 who isn’t impersonating a Black person?
  3. Seriously, Billy, how much did Dean pay you to pretend you’re Dan Purdy? Did he Cash App you?
  4. Never mind — he used Venmo, didn’t he?
  5. Related: Have we ever discussed why White people Venmo and Black people Cash App? How did Cash App become the…

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David Dennis, Jr.
LEVEL

Level Sr. Writer covering Race, Culture, Politics, TV, Music. Previously: The Undefeated, The Atlantic, Washington Post. Forthcoming book: The Movement Made Us