Weekend Reads: Mutual of Omaha drops Indian logo, police brutality in Canada against First Nations chief, and more

In this blog:

  • Mutual of Omaha drops Indian logo
  • Police brutality caught on video in the arrest of a First Nations chief in Canada
  • The quiet campaign to make clean energy racist
  • Guerilla art in south Minneapolis

Mutual of Omaha drops Indian logo

Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom logo. (Photo: Thom Watson)

he Washington football team is changing its name. Land O’ Lakes removed the Indian maiden from its butter logo. And now Mutual of Omaha is dropping its Indian logo, according to a story in Indian Country Today.

“We believe the decision to retire our corporate symbol is the right thing to do and is consistent with our values and our desire to help overcome racial bias and stereotypes,” Mutual of Omaha CEO and Chairman James Blackledge said in a news release Friday.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based company is in the process of creating a new logo.

Police brutality caught on video in arrest of a First Nations chief in Canada

A video captured the violent arrest of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam after police pulled him over for expired plates. The initial standoff seemed tense, but had settled down. As Adam was standing their calmly with one officer, another one comes flying in, tackling Adam to the ground and throwing a punch. It left Adam bloodied.

The incident required a response from the highest levels of Canadian government, reigniting the debate around police brutality, according to an AP story in Indian Country Today.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that black and Indigenous people in Canada do not feel safe around police after a police dashcam video emerged of the violent arrest of a Canadian aboriginal chief.

The arrest has received attention in Canada as a backlash against racism grows worldwide in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee to his neck.

Here is a link to the video.

The quiet campaign to make clean energy racist

San Luis Obispo, California has been an environmental trend setter, according to the website Heated. “It was the first in America to ban smoking indoors in 1990. It made history again in 2018, passing “the most ambitious carbon neutrality goal in the nation:” net zero emissions by 2035.”

So when Mayor Heidi Harmon this year proposed that San Luis Obispo become one of the first cities to have “zero-emission, all-electric new homes and businesses,” the electric industry pushed back.

Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) set up a front group — California for Balanced Energy Solutions — to give the illusion there was grass roots opposition.

The front group first got Mayor Harmon to cancel a vote on the proposal by threatening to bus in outside protesters, potentially bringing coronavirus carriers.

Next, opponents pitched stories to national media that “The consequences of this policy will disproportionately impact vulnerable communities and communities of color at a time when we should be finding ways to socially and economically empower them.”

The pitch included inaccurate information about supposed opposition from groups like the local NAACP (which did not oppose the plan.)

Click on the link above for the full story.

South Minneapolis guerilla art

This art has probably been up for a while, but I hadn’t noticed it until a recent drive through South Minneapolis. Someone has changed the name of Columbus Avenue in several spots.

For instance, at the intersections with East Lake Street and the Midtwon Greenway, Columbus Avenue is now Little Crow Avenue. At the intersection with East 28th Street, it’s now Change The Name! Avenue.


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