WalkAway founder Brandon Straka rocked Politicon in Nashville, Tennessee in epic fashion this weekend. The event is a political convention with panelists from the left and the right. Straka slammed CNN’s April Ryan, who was speaking on a panel called “Being Black Under Trump,” and called her out for misleading people about the president with fake news. Naturally, April Ryan ran away.
Straka is the founder of the WalkAway movement for former Democrats who are walking away from the party that has done nothing for them. Straka has been sponsoring town halls across the country featuring LGBT, Hispanic, and black minorities who feel abandoned by Democrats and embraced by Trump. Former Democrat voters have uploaded their WalkAway videos to Straka’s YouTube page by the thousands.
The session unraveled into chaos on Sunday when two minority Trump supporters criticized media figures who were participating in a panel on being “black in the age of Trump.”
The panel included many people who have been critical of Trump, including CNN analyst April Ryan and Above the Law executive editor Elie Mystal. At one point, Mystal argued that Trump and the “MAGA” hat allowed people to identify openly as bigots in a way that the Ku Klux Klan hood didn’t.
After listening to as much lying, race-baiting, & fear mongering as I could take from a panel of 7 black leftists called “Being black under Trump” at @Politicon today, I called out @AprilDRyan for the liar she is & harm she & @CNN have caused.
— Brandon Straka (@BrandonStraka) October 28, 2019
“They are self-identifying for you who they are and what they are about,” he said. Before that comment, he claimed that President Trump gave people “license” to self-identify with racism, bigotry, and misogyny. All of it is a lie, of course. But the shoveling of hatred and propaganda continued.
From Fox News:
“That flew in the face of what Jimmy James, a black Trump supporter who was wearing a “MAGA” hat, said he believed. After the moderator, former MSNBC host Touré, ended the session, James spoke up and challenged the panelists who remained on the stage — Touré, Ryan, Mystal and author Malcolm Nance.
🤷🏻♂️I told the truth about her. pic.twitter.com/wxZ0gnMTUt
— Brandon Straka (@BrandonStraka) October 28, 2019
“James, who has posted political videos to YouTube, started the exchange by telling the panelists that he left the Democrats after the party pushed policies that put many people he knew “in jail.”
“After he suggested that the media figures portrayed black people who supported Trump as self-loathing, Ryan physically recoiled.
Thanks! Moved on. Not worth anyone’s time https://t.co/A3TaLFXoHD
— AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) October 28, 2019
“After struggling to ask a question, James then accused the panelists of “advocating for Democrats.” Ryan responded by throwing her hands in the air and shaking her head.
“You are sitting here looking at black men with MAGA hats like we are the problem. No sir, it is you that is the problem,” James said, apparently referring to Mystal. After some crosstalk, Mystal responded by saying that Democrats had policies they believed helped “everybody.” He added, “Trump has policies that he believes only help his own voters.”
You are SUCH a national treasure, Mr. Straka. Thank you for standing up.
— Nick Searcy, AUSTERE RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR AND STAR (@yesnicksearcy) October 28, 2019
“Brandon Straka, the WalkAway campaign founder, interjected by saying that was a “lie.”
“Straka’s organization, which has been recognized by President Trump, has called for minorities to leave the Democratic Party. Straka identifies as gay. His organization’s booth at the event just happened to be right next to the area where the panel with Ryan and Mystal took place.
Thank you Brandon for your brave example of standing in the hurricane of hatred. You are a man of courage.
— Rizeekio Doolittle (@wcarls0661) October 28, 2019
“After repeatedly claiming Mystal was lying, Straka added: “Speaking of lies, I want to talk to April Ryan, the biggest liar in this room.”
“Ryan vehemently defended herself, saying: “Speaking of lies, let me tell you something, my middle name is truth.” As Ryan got up to leave, she told Straka, “You don’t want this.” Straka went on to describe his organization and why he left the party.
The panel all walked away while you were talking because they couldn't handle the truth! Thank you for being so vocal!
— Margaritaville (@margaritavilleV) October 28, 2019
“The liberal media is lying to you. April Ryan is lying,” Straka shouted at the crowd. Fox News tried interviewing Ryan after the event but she declined, citing other obligations.
“The exchange touched on simmering discontent among minority Trump supporters who have claimed the media haven’t represented their voices.”
Great Job Brandon. I'm Thrilled you did that. April Ryan and her band of idiots have done Nothing for the Black Community but incite racism.
— David B (@davidb0071965) October 28, 2019
The full exchange at the end went like this: “You’re the one walking away, sweetheart. Come back and answer my question,” Straka challenged as the crowd became rowdier. He went on to introduce himself to the audience as Ryan stormed off the stage, saying repeatedly, “I have to go.” “The reason why I walked away from the Democratic Party is because CNN lied to me,” he said. “The liberal media is lying to you. April Ryan is lying.”
Straka was ticked and I don’t blame him. His standing up to these clowns was nothing less than epic. As Twitchy put it: “HOO-BOY, this was something else.” Indeed it was. You just have to see it and savor it. Way to carpet-bomb April Ryan. Trump is no more a racist than CNN is an actual media outlet.
Interesting to note 99% of the people in attendance for the “Being black under Trump” Forum are white liberals. 🙃
— Melissa A. (@TheRightMelissa) October 28, 2019
Such tolerance on display. Good for you Brandon. 👊🏼👍🏻
— Whatever, Man (@danobrien1972) October 28, 2019
😂 You got @AprilDRyan to walk away
— DC Dude (@DCDude1776) October 28, 2019
When their echo chamber starts cracking they find the quickest exit.
— DL (@officialdcasper) October 28, 2019
I've gotta hand it to you, you have some stones
— Ben Matlock (@BenMatlock215) October 28, 2019