#fuckPeteRicketts actual science COVID-19 Draft Immigration racism

Peter’s Plague: A Story on Racist Scapegoating

We, here at Seeing Red are committed to continuing to watch Ricketts’ daily racially coded press conference so that you don’t have to. You’re welcome. It is absolutely detrimental to every viewer’s mental health, but we will gladly shoulder that burden so you don’t have to.

Today he made it 32 full minutes before turning his attention to piling on the blame of COVID-19 hotspots on essential workers who are primarily latinx. When asked about the food processing industry, which has confirmed outbreaks all around the state of Nebraska (and in the states of SD, IA, TX, OK, etc.), he assured everyone that this is not a meatpacking industry problem, no, instead is a “community problem.” What is unique about Hastings and Lexington and Crete and Sioux City isn’t that JBS and Tyson are the major employers there. No. It isn’t these secretive companies prioritizing profit over health, who are just NOW, 5 weeks into the quarantine, changing up some workplace practices to stop the spread of COVID19, they aren’t to blame. Oh no, not the wealthy industry. According to Ricketts it is a “community problem.”

When you have people who “live on top of each other” and in “multigenerational housing,” spread of disease is a problem. Never mind the fact that hundreds of people work shoulder-to-shoulder all day long. Never mind the fact that food processors are essential workers, working for poverty level wages, and being rewarded for not taking sick days. But don’t worry, he reminded us again that he has translated all the social distancing guidelines into their native language.

When we called out his racist nonsense earlier this week, we thought perhaps he might tone it down. But no, he doubled down. Today’s “community” (read: immigrant community) tirade comes after he emphasized yesterday that the government must help “them” at HOME because they are only working 8 out of 24 hours in close quarters. Two-thirds of the time it’s on “them” and because many do not have English as their first language, this is the problem.

Pete, you can’t have it both ways. Essential workers are being asked to risk their lives to put food on all our tables AND then also BLAMED for the spread of the disease.

Nebraska, it’s clearly not for everyone.