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The Public Pulse: Logos and respect; Virus threat and schools; Unfair attacks on president

The Public Pulse: Logos and respect; Virus threat and schools; Unfair attacks on president

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Mutual of Omaha will begin removing its longtime symbol of a Native American chief from signage and other materials. A new logo symbol will be developed.

Logos, respect, complications

In reference to the letter from Rachel Dowd (July 20 Pulse) about Mutual of Omaha changing their logo and how they should also remove Omaha from their name:

Using this logic, then there are a few cities in Nebraska (also in other states) that need to change their names, like Ogallala, Monowi, Sioux City, Red Cloud and, of course, the city of Omaha.

The hard part is determining what is truly hurtful or disrespectful and what is truly to honor something or someone. Case in point: The Washington Monument was built to honor the first president of the United States of America. However, as he was a slave owner, should we tear down that monument?

We need to be careful what we wish for, as the grass is not always greener on the other side.

Rick Fetter, Council Bluffs

Mutual logo solution

I nominate Marlin Perkins to replace the Native American logo for Mutual of Omaha. When people hear Mutual of Omaha they don’t think of insurance anyway. They think of Wild Kingdom.

Barbara Danielson, Omaha

Virus threat, classroom instruction

As a retired teacher and the grandmother of six school-aged children, I read the contrasting opinions of Elisabeth Richert and Patricia Shipley (July 19 Pulse) with interest. They both have valid points. Children do belong in school! I do agree. Learning in school surroundings is much better for the children’s mental health and socialization. Children are generally more focused, and learning is essential for success. It is what works best.

But at what cost? At this time, sending children back to school is unfortunately not the answer. COVID-19 is devastating! I cannot see putting lives at stake no matter how beneficial in-school learning is. Human lives are at stake. I can imagine myself going to school to teach and coming home to my high-risk husband. I just couldn’t do it!

When lives are at stake, there really is not a choice. Yes, masks would definitely help. So would keeping children 6 feet apart. So would constant disinfecting. But children are children. They will not always stay 6 feet apart, and masks will be taken off. The virus will be spread, and people will die.

I know it is a great inconvenience to families to have children remain at home. But at this juncture there really is no other solution. Lives must be saved.

Claire Flatowicz, Omaha

Unfair attacks on the president

Because the time is getting closer to voting for President Trump or for Biden, notice how Trump is blamed for climate change. One person is to solve that issue? I believe every one of us has a role to play in improving the climate. By the way, what did Obama do for control of the climate?

Can you believe that Trump is being blamed for the ongoing COVID-19 situation? Really? How about the thousands of people who don’t wear masks nor keep social distance of 6 feet, like the protesters everywhere or even the countless people in grocery stores without masks?

Also, Democrats are back to requesting Trump’s tax returns. What else can they come up with? Before considering voting, ask yourself: What has Biden done for the United States, and what is he capable of doing? Listen carefully to his speeches and it will make you wonder.

Sister Mary Hlas, Omaha

Climate change, racial justice

In “How to be an Antiracist,” Ibram X. Kendi points out that anti-racists must fight climate change as well as police brutality, unequal opportunity in employment, education, housing, etc. Why? Because climate change affects the poor and marginalized the most. It hurts most those who did the least to cause it.

It is not enough to use less energy. It is not enough to prepare for the worst. We must stop the main cause of climate change, our dependence on fossil fuels. Otherwise, we will face an unacceptable level of extreme weather — more than doubling of 90-plus-degree days by 2100, according to Nancy Gaarder’s excellent story on July 10. That is only one example.

The best first step is a carbon tax.

If the proceeds are returned to households, protecting low-income people from rising energy costs, carbon pricing is an anti-racist policy. Our members of Congress should support this.

I am, like so many of my white brothers and sisters, overjoyed that people are rising up to fight racism. I promise to help.

If my black and brown brothers and sisters are able to take time from fighting racism to help fight climate change, we welcome you and thank you.

But I also understand that people of color may not be free at this moment in time to help with fighting climate change. Don’t worry. We white people did the most to cause this problem, and we are committed to fixing it.


Frances Mendenhall, Omaha

State climate plan needed

Thank you for your continuing coverage of the climate crisis and what Nebraskans can do about it (“Nebraska legislators, scientists make 11th hour bid for climate change study” by Nancy Gaarder, July 19). Any money spent on a state climate action plan will be an excellent investment, helping us to prepare for what is coming and reduce the economic and environmental risks of climate instability. More than 30 other states have already passed similar bills; let’s not be left behind!

Ben Stallings, Omaha

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