A series of emails obtained and published online Monday appears to show Joe Ricketts, founder of TD Ameritrade, sharing and endorsing racist jokes and conspiracy theories, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Ricketts, 77, issued a statement apologizing for the emails after they were posted. Joe Ricketts is the father of Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and recently opened a multimillion-dollar religious retreat center near the Platte River south of Gretna called the Cloisters on the Platte.
“I deeply regret and apologize for some of the exchanges I had in my emails,” he said in a statement on his website. “Sometimes I received emails that I should have condemned. Other times I’ve said things that don’t reflect my value system. I strongly believe that bigoted ideas are wrong.”
The emails, which were posted on the website Splinter, include anti-Muslim sentiments. In one, Joe Ricketts said, “Muslims are naturally my (our) enemy.” Others claim former President Barack Obama is a Muslim.
The email exchanges were from 2009 through 2013. Some have racist content, including one from April 2011 in which Ricketts responded “great laugh” regarding a forwarded joke whose punchline includes the word n-----. He responded "I like this" to another forwarded message that complains about special days for certain groups, including Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.