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Rep. Matt Gaetz Revealing a Secret “Son” for Political Points Instantly Became a Meme

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) listens during a committee hearing

Matt Gaetz is a tool. We all know that, and when he got in a fight about the reality of raising Black children in America, he decided to flip out because he has a “son,” Nestor, that literally no one had heard of before in this context. Nestor is from Cuba and apparently came to the United States when he was twelve. He’s now nineteen, and Gaetz says he raised him as his son.

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I first want to point out that Gaetz did not adopt Nestor, as People magazine reports, despite how that word has been thrown around a lot on this subject, including by members of the mainstream media. Gaetz told People, “Our relationship as a family is defined by our love for each other, not by any paperwork” and said Nestor “is my son in every conceivable way, and I can’t imagine loving him any more if he was my own flesh and blood.”

Gaetz was reportedly dating the boy’s sister years ago, took him in, and thinks of him as his son, but that doesn’t mean he gets to use him to attack a Black Congressional representative for pointing out the reality of racism in this country—but I guess you might think it does if you’re a white frat boy with Johnny Bravo’s hair.

It’s a complicated situation, to be sure, and I don’t want to demean anyone’s personal relationships. I’ll give Gaetz that little bit of understanding, because as someone who has a “pseudo-niece” (meaning she’s not my blood, but views me as her aunt and she’s my mini-me), it is hard to explain that they’re your family to outsiders … but also technically not. That doesn’t mean I run around and yell that I have a niece and how dare you discount my experience and yada yada yada whatever, nor does it mean that Gaetz had any valid point in his attempt to derail and distract from issues raised by Rep. Cedric Richmond, which was what led Gaetz to publicly discuss his “son.”

Gaetz flew into a self-righteous tirade on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, as our Vivian Kane explained, “at the implication that he doesn’t have a Black child, which he doesn’t.” He used this meltdown in an attempt to derail conversation and policy debate over racist police brutality, and directly to contradict Rep. Richmond’s assertion that “It is not about the color of your kids. It is about Black males, Black people in the streets that are getting killed. And if one of them happens to be your kid, I’m concerned about him too. And clearly I’m more concerned about him than you are. So let’s be clear about that.” Gaetz couldn’t stand for that. To explain his anger, he revealed his relationship with Nestor on Twitter in a confusing way that many saw as an awkward political stunt to back up his irrelevant argument.

Gaetz’s newly revealed apparent affection for Nestor over the years is just about the only decent thing we’ve ever seen from him. But of course in typical Gaetz fashion, Nestor was wielded as a political cudgel. And it was so bizarrely done that Twitter did what it does best and tore into Gaetz by making him into a meme.

The entire situation was also just weird and confusing, as people looked into the truth behind Gaetz’s sudden announcement and dug up past references his relationship to Nestor. Just a few years ago, he referred to Nestor as his “helper” in a video, although it does sound like he may have almost referred to himself as his son and then thought better of it.

Then there was … this.

Then, to further the unease, Gaetz brought Nestor on Fox News to help explain why it makes Richmond a “hypocrite” to … point out that white people don’t have the same perspective on racism in America that Black people do.

I’m so sorry for making you watch Tucker Carlson. Just fast-forward to the 3:40 mark. That’s when Nestor comes in. As a bonus, you get to watch Gaetz intro him like he’s auditioning for his own Fox News gig in case he gets voted out of office in November.

As you can see above, Gaetz then went on to make the whole thing about something other than racist police brutality, again, continuing to just make Richmond’s point for him. Nailed it!

(image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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