Edit 8/19/17: many parts of this conversation have been added to the post as I recall them. It started as just the highlights. As the Fetonte situation gets more and more crazy, I see the red flags from the conversation that should now be written down as well. Unfortunately, I didn’t expect this call and had no way to record it. A full transcript would be best. If I could type out a full transcript, I absolutely would.
I hate that this is happening. I hate that one person’s deception is putting tension on newly forming and well-established relationships in the DSA. I see Austin as wonderful teammates, and I wouldn’t wish their position in all this on anyone. It’s partly out of respect to them and their work that I held off on sharing my phone call for a while. More on why I’m sharing now later.
Early morning Wednesday, August 9th, I had a 74-minute phone “conversation” with Danny Fetonte.
It started with introductions. I answer the phone wth my name “this is Chad Floyd.” “Chad, it’s Danny Fetonte. What can I do for you?”
I had given away my number to anyone possibly connected to him and insisted they pass it along for him to call me. I wasn’t expecting it to work so soon, so I was a bit caught off guard and didn’t small talk him first.
“Danny, I don’t know how to gently tell you, I really think you have to resign.”
He began shouting about how I only believe lies about him, said he heard people are saying he needed to die “on something called a Twitter,” and how he was talking “to anyone who wanted to talk with him” (irrelevant).
“Oh, man. I’m sorry people said they want you to die. I definitely don’t want you to die. I want you to live. I want you to live a lot- i want you to thrive even. Ok? Really. That sucks and it’s gross that folks would say something so dark. I’ve also received death threats (he didn’t say ‘death threats’- I was just trying to relate), and I definitely know that that has a profound effect. Please don’t die, ok? I’m serious. I want you to live.”
In case that’s unclear: That was absolutely sincere.
He moved on. He was also mad folks found out he worked with CLEAT through “a link in, whatever that is.”
Me: “Well, is it true you worked there?”
Fetonte: “YOU DON’T KNOW ME, YOU JUST READ LIES ON (full of contempt) THE INTERNET”
“Danny. Did you work there?”
He didn’t answer that for a while but instead launched into his full resume. Spoiler: he worked there.
For most of the call, he just shouted his experience at me. Experience I already knew. Experience he *did* disclose.
74 minutes. He spent the entire time convinced I was charmed / becoming more charmed. I was extremely clear that I wasn’t.
During the call, it was painfully obvious that Danny expected me to fall in love with him despite a complete void of an attempt to win me over. Unless, that is, you count all the times he told me how well loved he is. For the record: I don’t count that as a way to win hearts. During one especially great rant, he confidently and sincerely told me “the (DSA) national staff will campaign for me after all this is over. They LOVE me.” Followed by, “I’ll get even more votes next time.”
Again, that’s a common theme- he thinks we will all be swooned. As a way to prove how great and innocent he is, Fetonte revealed to me that he had been offered the free services of a crisis manager / public relations consultant AND HE REFUSED.
Later in the call, he twice asked me to promise not to defend him on the internet. Because, to Danny, anyone who talks to him will automatically be in the Fetonte Army.
Every time he said the word “internet” it was pronounced with full disgust. You can easily see the same contempt in his own statement.
Let me break here briefly to address how chunky this post is: I wish I could string the whole conversation together in a coherent flow for you, but honestly our call didn’t have any semblance of coherence. When I say he shouted stories over me and wouldn’t let me speak, I sincerely mean every last word.
He would bark part of his history at me, only three times I was able to say “yes I actually knew that about you- it’s great work that you did.” To which he three times responded “YOU DON’T KNOW ME YOU ONLY KNOW LIES YOU READ ON THE INTERNET”
Again, I was agreeing with him. And I was sincerely praising good things he had done.
The man cannot TEAM, you guys. He just can’t.
Several times I pleaded with him to just CONSIDER if his comrades might be right. That for his sake & our sake he should step down. I pulled out all my conflict management and pastoral counseling skills.
At the time of this posting, it’s been a full week since he was exposed. It’s been a full week since he should have resigned. I’ve asked for my membership to be removed. I will joyfully (JOYFULLY!) return to DSA when he is removed.
I want to be clear here that I actually do have a lot of faith in *most* of the NPC. I know they’re working hard. But, again, they’re having to work with Fetonte, a man who hates both the internet and teamwork, so it’s taking a little bit longer than it should.
If a few NPC block this removal from happening, those members of the NPC hate the organization.
If it goes through, DSA deserves all the growth it has coming.
Lastly, if you’re DSA and want to talk with me about my phone call (no way to cover it all here) shoot me a DM- I’m pretty easy to find online.
Why share now? I was originally asked to hold off on sharing for a bit by various DSA leadership. We hadn’t heard from Fetonte yet. And as such, sharing too early could have made this a smear campaign rather than what it is; a sharing of information. I completely agreed.
But now folks have had a few days to read Danny Fetonte’s own statement, released as a Facebook status update on a friend of Fetonte’s profile. We’ve also had a few days to read the statement from Barbara Fetonte, Danny’s wife. The ego, delusion, & privilege are well-evidenced apart from my call.
Whenever and however Danny Fetonte is removed, I’d like DSA to pay for counseling for him and maybe even a few of his closest comrades. I know how jarring this can be on a mind. I want everyone to be able to emerge from this mentally healthy. I’ll gladly give what I can to this end.
Finally, I’ll add this: Anyone in chapter leadership who hasn’t said anything regarding Fetonte yet is either too privileged to know why they should have or too out of the loop to be in leadership anyway. They’ve got to go.
It’s been a full week. News is fast now. There are plenty of members with great leadership skills, passion for socialism and organizing, and are adept at keeping up with internet-age news cycles. Make room for them.