#fuckPeteRicketts Nebraska Politics SRN Boos the News

LOL Ricketts’s minions edit some audio and pretend to be “Anonymous”

The total disregard for what black leaders said happened in that meeting, based on laughable “evidence,” is part and parcel of why we have riots in this country right now. The worst white man is taken more seriously than the best black people, and local media is here for it.

Great news, Nebraska! It turns out that the billionaire deatheater in the governor’s office is totally totally totally not a racist douchebag! Phew!

On June 1, Omaha Mayor Jean Stohert, Omaha Chief of Police Todd Schmaderer, local faith leaders, and several black community leaders met to discuss the shooting of a young black man, James Scurlock, by a white bar owner, Jake Gardner. Governor Pete Ricketts arrived after the conversation was underway. Part of the way through the meeting, Ricketts made a comment that was offensive enough to the people in the room that several of them walked out. Pastor Jarrod Parker of St Mark Baptist Church explained that the comment that pushed him over the edge was when Ricketts used the phrase “you people” to refer to black residents of Nebraska. “You people” is an old racist phrase, which in two short words makes clear that the speaker views all black people as 1) the same and 2) different from himself.

Pastor Jarrod Parker describes the meeting with Governor Ricketts.

Other attendees corroborated Parker’s account. Dominque Morgan, who attended the meeting, said, “Governor Pete Ricketts did not like being challenged.” Morgan described the offensive tone and body language the governor used and said that almost all the black men in the room got up to leave. Ricketts apologized for this, saying, “I chose my words poorly, and apologized when it became apparent that I had caused offense.” He also claimed that he said “you guys,” not “you people.” Others in attendance agreed with Parker that Ricketts did at some point say “you people.” Of course it’s possible for someone to say both “you guys” and “you people” in the same conversation, and Morgan makes clear that it was the accusatory and defensive manner of the governor that made what he said offensive enough to drive many people out of the room.

The only thing that would surprise anyone with a pulse about any of this is that Ricketts apologized for his comments.

But wait! Not so fast! Sure, this comment was 100% in keeping with the billionaire who had an actual Nazi working on his re-election campaign, but it turns out you have been so, so wrong in your quick condemnation of the innocent governor! How do we know this? Why, “Anonymous” has stepped in to save the day!

Yes, someone claiming to be Anonymous has put up a YouTube video that purports to exonerate Pete Ricketts by showing that he did not say “you people”–he said “you guys.”

Okay, so. There’s a room full of community leaders with legitimate grievances, some officials including Pete Ricketts, and whatever bootlicking minions Ricketts wanted for backup in the room. The community leaders want to talk about the very real problems with systemic racism in Nebraska, including the murder of a young black man and failure to charge his killer. Midway through the meeting, Ricketts said something that pissed off many black community leaders in the room so much that they walked out.

The Ricketts camp would have us believe that someone was recording this meeting, and that this person was so disturbed afterward–not by any of the things that brought those visitors there to begin with, but by an unjust description of Pete Ricketts–that they leaked the tape to Anonymous. “Anonymous,” known for their hacktivist vengeance on corporations and neoliberal politicians then responded yeah, we know that Nebraska is severely segregated and the police in its largest city have a history of racism and excessive force, but we agree that the person we need to step in to protect at this moment is the billionaire asswipe governor. “Anonymous” then does not use any of its many existing channels to reveal this information, but instead creates a new YouTube account to post this single video to at last vindicate the poor billionaire.

That is what you are supposed to believe happened here: that the black pastor and other attendees are lying or hysterical and that Anonymous swept in to save Governor Needles.

And now let’s take a look at the video.

“Anonymous” saves a billionaire.

After stock Anonymous footage that looks designed to scare your octogenarian grandpa into thinking the Purge is coming, along with some very unradical comments about toning down tensions, we hear the revelatory audio itself, which is a couple of minutes long, not even close to the entire meeting, and includes a glaring amateurish editing flub in the middle of it that would make us laugh if it were not so pathetic.

Spectrogram showing dead space in the “Anonymous” recording.

The spectrogram of the recording shows what your ear already heard anyway, a completely dead break in the middle of the edited audio where two pieces of a recording were clumsily spliced together. The sound of the room when nobody is talking includes plenty of background noise, but right in the middle of this video is a period of pure, dead silence where “Anonymous” glued together two cherry picked moments of a much longer recording in the hopes of getting Ricketts off the hook. And what is it he says in this excerpt? “Where the hell were you guys when I…”

Okay, so he didn’t say “you people,” according to “Anonymous.” He merely belligerently accused black community leaders of being absent in some moment in which he himself did something awesome. Even if that edited audio were not suspect it hardly makes Ricketts sound like he was respectfully engaging black leaders.

Truly anyone can purport to be “Anonymous,” and that is exactly what “Arcanus Anon” did when they set up a YouTube channel and put up an edited video trying to exonerate the billionaire whose ass they likely get paid to kiss every day. And they called themselves “Anonymous” thinking that credulous tools would then believe that even the left sees the injustice being heaped upon the billionaire governor by black community activists worried about being killed.

Of course “Anonymous” actually had no problem finding dupes in local media willing to report this steaming pile of horseshit as gospel. KLKN and KETV obliged, reporting that the audio “apparently” from Anonymous indicates the governor said “you guys”:

So let’s just review what happened here. Black community leaders wanted to talk to their governor about addressing actual horrific criminal and economic injustice in their state. The billionaire who could not give less of a shit said something reflecting that he could not give less of a shit, and many if not most of the participants walked out of the meeting. But we are supposed to disbelieve that entirely plausible and predictable story, because a fake YouTube account just popped up and posted an amateurishly edited and spliced together tiny portion of that meeting that still manages to make Ricketts look like a douche, then sent it anonymously to the news, who in turn thought, “Sounds right to me!” and ran with the exoneration narrative.

This total disregard for what black leaders said happened in that meeting, based on laughable “evidence,” is part and parcel of why we have riots in this country right now. The worst white man is taken more seriously than the best black people, and local media is here for it.