Editorial Roundup: Turning an ugly slogan into something good

Published 8:50 pm Friday, June 17, 2022

Let’s call it a turn of phrase that got turned back the right way.

The Minnesota mother of an autistic boy cleverly changed what was a pretty uncomfortable situation into a triumph.

When the woman was with her family on a vacation in a trailer park in the South, they saw signs all over the park that said, “Go Brandon.” In case you are unfamiliar with the phrase, it is an anti-President Biden sentiment that uses an expletive to tell off the commander in chief in its translated form.

Brandon Brundidge, who is a 9-year-old boy diagnosed with autism, thought the signs he saw plastered all over with his name on it were in support of him, according to the Pioneer Press.

His mother, Sheletta Brundidge, ran with that sentiment and wrote a book called “Brandon Spots His Sign.” The book recounts how Brandon thinks he is being cheered on, giving him a big boost of confidence.

Not only did Brundidge take what could have been a negative experience and turn it into a positive one, but the outcome got some extra notice. She’d sent the book to her congressman in case he could get it to the actual guy who is mocked by the “Go Brandon” slogan.

Sure enough, the president received the book and had this to say in a letter to the real Brandon:

“Your mom sent me a copy of the book she wrote about you, and I loved it. You are an inspiration to me and certainly to so many other people who have read ‘Brandon Spots His Sign.’

“I also know what it feels like to be a little different — I stuttered as a child, and some kids could be really mean. But remember, you are stronger because you persevere. Never forget that you are defined by your character and courage. I am proud of you, Brandon. Stay kind, curious, and fearless.”

That seems to be sound advice for everyone, but especially for all the Brandons in the world whose name is now associated with a roughly worded attack that illustrates that civility needs restoring.

In a perfect world more people would be cheering for kids like Brandon instead of camouflaging expletives for use in public political slogans.

Mankato Free Press, June 12

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Editorials from newspapers around the state of Minnesota.

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