Think of it as the 21st century equivalent of the dreaded “butt dial”. Imagine being at home, having a nice, quiet racist conversation with your wife about how black people get away with everything, the Chinese are intellectual property thieves, and white people can’t do a damn thing about either when you check your phone, look at Facebook, and the comments are telling you that you’ve been broadcasting for the past half hour.
That’s what happened to Jacksonville-based retired Navy Captain Scott Bethmann and his wife Nancy while watching TV and seeing news about the Black Lives Matter movement. Scott comments on how companies have issued statements supporting BLM, at which point he unleashes his Inner Karen:
News4Jax (local TV news in Jacksonville) says that the video image is completely dark and only the audio is available, which suggests that Scott may have had the Facebook app active on his phone and accidentally “butt-dialed” a new Facebook Live broadcast.
Scott: I’ve gotten an email about how “We’re supporting…” and “We need to fix this problem.” Fuck you! “Oh, if you work in my office and you’re silent, we know where you stand.” So all the white people have to say something nice to the black bitch that works in the office. But the black bitch don’t get fired. [sounds of rustling] It’s bullshit.
At any point in the conversation, Nancy refers to the black community and as News4Jax puts it, “makes other racial slurs. The husband and wife talk about women and minority groups who serve in the military…”
Nancy: Fuck Asians from China who love to steal all of our intellectual property.
She then reminds Scott that there is a standard racist modus operandi: to not appear racist…
Nancy: That’s why I’m telling you — you better watch yourself on that board.
Scott: I don’t say anything; that’s my point.
Nancy: The admission board!
Scott: I just said! The white motherfuckers can’t say anything. That’s the point we’re making here, Nancy.
Captain Scott Bethmann used to be on the board of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Alumni Association board and was the Jacksonville chapter’s treasurer and national trustee. That all changed when word about his accidental broadcast and the chapter president posted a notice on the Association’s Facebook page which included this statement:
This morning, the board and I were notified of statements made by our chapter treasurer and national trustee, CAPT Scott Bethmann, SC, USN (Ret.). The nature of those comments are not consistent with our volunteer leadership mission at our Jacksonville Chapter of the United States Naval Academy Alumni Association, the national Alumni Association, and does not represent the leadership values of our Naval Academy or the US Navy.
CAPT Bethmann has resigned from our board and his trustee position. Our board is convening an emergency meeting today to discuss our way forward.
To echo the words of Superintendent, Vice Adm. Sean S Buck, “honor, courage, and commitment, and the mission of the United States Naval Academy. Nowhere is discrimination tolerated in any of those values.”
That post received a lot of comments, including this one, which makes a very important point (the emphasis is mine):
As a retired Marine Corps Senior Enlisted, I can’t help but wonder how many performance evaluations this CAPT wrote over his career that affected the careers of minority service members? It is scary to think of the careers he likely stymied.
To borrow a line from Captain Bethmann: That’s the point I’m making here, Nancy.
Here’s the News4Jax story: