Impact of BLM protests 2020

Politics • American • US
Chicago temporarily take down Christopher Columbus statues
Chicago temporarily take down Christopher Columbus statues
Credit: Unknown author / Wikimedia commons (Public Domain)

After a week of protests in Chicago, Chicago's two Christopher Columbus statues were taken down on Friday morning. The statues, located in the Little Italy neighbourhood and in Grant Park, have been "temporarily removed until further notice, according to the office of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Sports
Washington Redskins announces it will be called 'Washington Football Team' pending the decision of a new name
Washington Redskins announces it will be called 'Washington Football Team' pending the decision of a new name
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

The Washington Redskins announced the franchise is officially going to change its name to the Washington Football Team, pending adoption of a new name. The decision to use 'Washington Football Team' for the 2020 season is to give the franchise some time to undertake an in-depth branding process to properly include player, alumni, fan, community, and sponsor input.

The Redskins name and logo will officially be retired by the start of the 2020 season.

Sports
Washington Redskins to change controversial team name
Statement published by the Washington Redskins
Statement published by the Washington Redskins Credit: @Redskins via Twitter

After years of pressure from both Native American leaders and major retail brands, the Washington Redskins American football team announced it would retire "the Redskins name and logo upon completion of a review." The use of the term "redskin", considered a slur against Native Americans, has long been seen as controversial but it has taken major sponsors such FedEx, Pepsi and Nike to threaten to pull funding for the team to take action.

"Dan Snyder and Coach Rivera are working closely to develop a new name and design approach that will enhance the standing of our proud, tradition rich franchise and inspire sponsors, fans and community for the next 100 years," so the team's statement published on Twitter.

Politics • American • US
"Black Lives Matter" mural painted outside of Trump Tower
Tweeted by Mayor Bill de Blasio: "Our city isn’t just painting the words on Fifth Avenue. We’re committed to the meaning of the message. #BlackLivesMatter"
Tweeted by Mayor Bill de Blasio: "Our city isn’t just painting the words on Fifth Avenue. We’re committed to the meaning of the message. #BlackLivesMatter" Credit: @NYCMayor via Twitter

New York City painted a large, yellow "Black Lives Matter" mural on the street just outside the Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan. Activists and city workers were joined by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who authorised the mural earlier this month.

"Black lives matter in our city, and Black lives matter in the United States of America. Let’s show Donald Trump what he does not understand. Let’s paint it right in front of his building for him," so the mayor who helped paint parts of the mural.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Bristol Pub Named After Edward Colston Renamed 'Ye Olde Pubby Mcdrunkface'
Former Colston Arms Pub asking for name suggestion on Facebook: "All suggestions welcome & encouraged. #theartistformallyknownas #blacklivesmatter #colstoninthdrink #pubbymcdrunkface"
Former Colston Arms Pub asking for name suggestion on Facebook: "All suggestions welcome & encouraged. #theartistformallyknownas #blacklivesmatter #colstoninthdrink #pubbymcdrunkface" Credit: Facebook: Colston Arms

A Colston Arms Pub in Bristol, named after slave trader Edward Colston with the Royal African Company, has temporarily rebranded as 'Ye Olde Pubby Mcdrunkface'. The pub had previously placed a sign outside its doors that read "We are listening. Black Lives Matter."

"There hasn't been a lot of chatter about our name since the statue came down, but I thought we'd be inundated with suggestions. We thought we'd give the pub a temporary name to kick off some discussion about it and get the ball rolling," Paul Frost, Colston Arms' landlord, told Bristol Live. "Myself and pub owners Admiral Taverns are going to listen carefully to people's suggestions before settling on a new name," he added.

Business • Media & Advertising
Ford, Adidas and Clorox join social media advertising boycott
Ford, Adidas and Clorox join social media advertising boycott
Credit: Image Composition: Pendect; Images via Unsplash

Ford, Adidas and Clorox have joined a growing list of companies pausing social media advertising to take action against hate speech. Ford will not advertise on either Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter in the U.S. for the next 30 days. Clorox is pausing advertising globally on all Facebook-owned platforms until the end of the year, Adidas through July.

Politics • American • US
Mississippi to replace state flag displaying Confederate emblem
The Mississippi state flag
The Mississippi state flag Credit: Michaelswikiusername at English Wikipedia / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

On Sunday, the Mississippi state legislature passed a bill to remove the Confederate emblem from the state's flag, the last remaining state flag to display the Confederate insignia. The Mississippi House voted 91 in favour and 23 opposed of removal, the Senate vote was 37 to 14. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves (R) said he would sign the legislation into law.

Politics • American • US
"George Floyd" police reform bill passed by the House of the United States
"George Floyd" police reform bill passed by the House of the United States
Credit: unsplash.com/ElevenPhotographs

The United States House of Representatives, in which the Democratic party has a majority, has passed a police reform bill named after George Floyd. The chamber voted 236-181 in favor of the bill, but Donald Trump has already threatened to veto the legislation. If the legislation would be put into law, police officers could be held personally liable for lawsuits, ban no-knock warrants and stop the cash flow of the military surplus towards the police. The Republicans in the senate are also presenting a reform bill, though the senate one is far less reaching.

Science • Space
NASA headquarters to be renamed after its first female African American engineer, Mary W. Jackson
Mary Winston Jackson (1921–2005) successfully overcame the barriers of segregation and gender bias to become a professional aerospace engineer and leader in ensuring equal opportunities for future generations.
Mary Winston Jackson (1921–2005) successfully overcame the barriers of segregation and gender bias to become a professional aerospace engineer and leader in ensuring equal opportunities for future generations. Credit: NASA

When Mary W. Jackson started working for NASA in 1958, she was the first female African American engineer at the agency and now, 62 years later, the NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. will be named after her. Jackson, a mathematician and aerospace engineer, was a key figure in influencing the hiring and promotion of women at NASA and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2019.

Jim Bridenstine announced the renaming of the agency's headquarters building on Wednesday and praised Jackson's time at the agency: "Mary W. Jackson was part of a group of very important women who helped NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space. Mary never accepted the status quo, she helped break barriers and open opportunities for African Americans and women in the field of engineering and technology."

Politics • American • US
Statue of Theodore Roosevelt at NYC's Museum of Natural History will be removed
The Statue of Theodore Roosevelt in front of the American Museum of Natural History, sculpted by James Earle Fraser in 1940.
The Statue of Theodore Roosevelt in front of the American Museum of Natural History, sculpted by James Earle Fraser in 1940. Credit: Ad Meskens / Public domain

The office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Sunday that the statue of President Theodore Roosevelt at the American Museum of Natural History would be removed. The statue shows an African man and a Native American man standing next to Roosevelt on a horse.

The mayor's office stated that the American Museum of Natural History had asked for the statue's removal as it "explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior" and that the city of New York supports the museum's request as it "is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue".

Politics • American • US
All Confederate statues on Capital grounds will be removed in North Carolina
Memorial to Zebulon Baird Vance by Henry Jackson Ellicott. North Carolina State Capitol, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.
Memorial to Zebulon Baird Vance by Henry Jackson Ellicott. North Carolina State Capitol, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. Credit: Daderot / Public domain

In a statement on Saturday, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced the removal of all Confederate statues and monuments on Capitol grounds, as "monuments to white supremacy don't belong in places of allegiance, and it’s past time that these painful memorials be moved in a legal, safe way."

Cooper issued a statement on Twitter, writing: "I have ordered the Confederate monuments on the Capitol grounds be moved to protect public safety. I am concerned about the dangerous efforts to pull down and carry off large, heavy statues and the strong potential for violent clashes at the site."

Business • Media & Advertising
Netflix CEO to donate $120 million to HBCUs
Reed Hastings speaking at the Media Convention Berlin in 2015
Reed Hastings speaking at the Media Convention Berlin in 2015 Credit: Mondileinchen / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, announced that he and his wife Patty Quillin would be donating a total of $120 million to three HBCUs, historically black colleges and universities. Morehouse College, Spelman College and United Negro College Fund will receive $40 million each.

In their statement, the pair said that they have "supported these three extraordinary institutions for the last few years" because they believe that "investing in the education of Black youth is one of the best ways to invest in America's future" and adding "generally, white capital flows to predominantly white institutions, perpetuating capital isolation. We hope this additional $120 million donation will help more black students follow their dreams."

Lifestyle • Food
Mars plans to "evolve" Unlce Ben's brand
Uncle Ben's Logo
Uncle Ben's Logo Credit: Mars Inc

In a statement on Wednesday, Mars Inc announced it is planning to evolve the Uncle Ben's brand, including its visual brand identity to address racial bias and injustices. "Now as we continue to listen to people from around the world, look inward and continue to educate ourselves on how the elements of the brand are perceived, we recognize it is time for us to evolve, which we will do," so the company's statement.

Uncle Ben's was inspired by two black men: a black Texan farmer, known as Uncle Ben, "who was known for growing high-quality rice" and the logo image was inspired by Frank Brown, a "beloved Chicago chef and waiter".

The announcement came hours after Quaker Oats released a statement that it will rebrand Aunt Jemima.

Lifestyle • Food
Quaker Oats to remove Aunt Jemima brand, in effort to "make progress toward racial equality"
1951 ad for Aunt Jemima - America's Best-Loved Pancakes
1951 ad for Aunt Jemima - America's Best-Loved Pancakes Credit: Aunt Jemima / Public domain

In a statement on Wednesday, Quaker Oats announced the rebranding of their syrup and pancake mix brand as they recognised the image of Aunt Jemima as a racial stereotype. Aunt Jemima products feature an illustration of a black woman, first depicted as a minstrel and later as a "mammy" wearing a kerchief which was eventually removed.

Vice president and chief marketing officer Kristin Kroepfl said in a press release: "We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype. As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we also must take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers’ expectations."

Politics • American • US
Breonna's Law passed, banning "no-knock warrants" in Louisville
A sign at BLM protest in Atlanta, demanding Justice for Breonna Taylor
A sign at BLM protest in Atlanta, demanding Justice for Breonna Taylor Credit: unsplash.com/Maria Oswalt

On Thursday, the Metro Council of Louisville, Kentucky has unanimously passed Breonna's Law, banning "no-knock" search warrants. The law is named after Louisville 26-year-old resident Breonna Taylor who was shot in her home by police officers on March 13. Officers will be required the also turn on body cameras before entering and searching an apartment.

District 1 Councilwoman Jessica Green told WHAS: "This is probably the proudest moment I have had as a member of this council. So, it's a good day to be a Louisvillain. The entire world is watching us."

Technology • Internet & Web
Microsoft: No facial recognition software without a legal basis
Brad Smith
Brad Smith Credit: Microsoft (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

After IBM and Amazon, Microsoft has now announced that it no longer wants to make facial recognition software available to the US police.

The basis for further cooperation can only be a legal framework based on human rights.

The reason for the temporary interruption of the cooperation is seen in the criticism that was given in the context of the demonstrations surrounding the death of George Floyd.

"We will not sell facial recognition tech to police in the U.S. until there is a national law in place," said Brad Smith, Microsoft's president ,speaking via video conference at a Washington Post event.