EDITOR’S NOTE: This story about Helena Duke calling out her family on social media for being in the Capitol Riots first appeared on Parentology on January 15, 2021. Parentology is participating in a webinar about Cancel Culture this week — and this article will be discussed, which is why we republished it to the website’s home page. Sign up for the free webinar here.
When teenager Helena Duke from Boston, Massachusetts recognized her mother from a video taken at the Capitol riot incited by President Trump, she promptly took to Twitter and outed her. But the 18-year-old, who calls herself the “liberal lesbian” of her conservative family, didn’t stop there. She also called out her aunt and uncle for allegedly participating in the insurgency as well.
The day after the Capitol was beset by domestic terrorists, Helena retweeted the video, which appears to show her mother, Therese Duke (who is white), attempting to grab a Black cop’s cell phone. The cop, who has been identified as Ashanti Smith, retaliates by punching Duke in the face. It’s a hell of a punch, and Duke can be seen with blood pouring down her nose and mouth.
Fight breaks out between BLM and Trump Supporters, Ends with tonn of pepper spray from police.— @SCOOTERCASTER (FNTV) (@ScooterCasterNY) January 6, 2021
Washington DC, Freedom Plaza
Video by @yyeeaahhhboiii2 (FNTV https://t.co/KCfJ0kwvkq) firstname.lastname@example.org for licensing pic.twitter.com/PmI0Sn1osl
Smith, an unarmed special police officer, attended the protest on her break from her security job. She claims that the protestors insulted her, screamed racial epithets, questioned why she was there, and attempted to remove her mask. She says she was recording the scene on her phone when Duke apparently reached for it.
After the punch, Helena Duke’s aunt, Anne Lorenz, allegedly hit Smith on the back of the head. Both Lorenz and Smith have been charged with assault.
So, why did Helena Duke report her family on social media? Apparently, it’s because she thinks her mom is a raging hypocrite. According to Helena, her mother told her not to go to Black Lives Matter protests because her mom believes BLM is a violent organization. In fact, Helena claims she’s been kicked out of the house multiple times for her liberal views and for going to BLM demonstrations.
When Helena posted the Capitol video on Twitter, she wrote, “Hi mom remember the time you told me I shouldn’t go to BLM protests [because] they could get violent… this you?”
Helena followed up that post with another post showing two images of her mother side by side, in order to prove it was indeed her mom at the Capitol. One image is a screen shot from the protest video, and another is a family photo.
But Helena has taken it even further than that. She has called out her mom for harassing Officer Ashanti Smith, writing on Twitter that, “The harassment is blatantly obvious in this video. If anyone has Ashanti’s contact info I really want to reach out to her.”
Helena even went so far as to promote on Twitter a GoFundMe campaign that is raising funds to cover Ashanti Smith’s legal fees; to date, the campaign has raised nearly $200,000.
Helena says her beliefs have greatly damaged her relationship with her mother and the rest of her family. She claims to have little financial support, so she has started her own GoFundMe in order to raise funds to help her pay for college. So far, she has raised about $61,000.
On her GoFundMe page, Helena writes, “As you may know from recent twitter and news sources I have called out my mother for her actions. At the moment I have no idea how I will be paying for college as I have little financial support. I have a dream of one day becoming a lawyer but I need help to get there. I hope to attend college and then go into the peace corps. Eventually I hope to enter into law school. I want to make the world a better place I just need some help.”