One Little Indian Records Changes Names To One Little Independent Records
The Black Lives Matter protests the past few weeks have already brought about many changes from police officers being arrested to companies changing their hiring practices to individuals examining their own biases and microaggressions. For London-based record label One Little Indian Records, a letter from a fan of the band Crass inspired the company to take a stand against racism by changing its name, logo and website. The label announced Wednesday that it will now be known as One Little Independent Records.
The label, which is self-described on its Facebook page as the “home to punks and popstars since 1986 (ish),” includes Björk, The Sugarcubes, Tusks, Kathryn Williams, God Damn, Foxtrott, AVAWAVES, Manu Delago and more.
Label founder Derek Birkett shared the statement below on the company’s website:
I have immediately started making arrangements to stop using the One Little Indian Records name and logo, with our digital properties in the process of this change right now. From today the label will be called One Little Independent Records.
The last few weeks have been a monumental learning curve. Following the receipt of an eye-opening letter from a Crass fan that detailed precisely why the logo and label name are offensive, as well as the violent history of the terminology, I felt equally appalled and grateful to them for making me understand what must be changed.
As a teenager living in London in the late 1970s, my friends and I were deeply inspired when we learned about some of the philosophies of the Indigenous People of the Americas, of peace and love for each other and for nature and the planet, and in turn they were of huge influence in our anarchist punk movement. I was naive enough at the time of founding my label to think that the name and logo was reflective of my respect and appreciation of the culture.
I’m aware that my white privilege has sheltered me and fostered my ignorance on these issues. I realise now that the label name and logo instead perpetuated a harmful stereotyping and exploitation of Indigenous Peoples’ culture. This is the exact opposite of what was intended. However, I know that it is not the intentions but the impact that is important.
I want to apologise unreservedly to anyone that has been offended by the name and the logo. I recognise now that both contribute to racism and should have been addressed a long, long time ago.
It is my responsibility to take ownership of my mistakes and I still have so much more work and learning to do. I have begun by immediately implementing the label’s change of name and logo. Furthermore, I have on behalf of One Little Independent, made, and will continue to make, donations to a number of organisations including the Honouring Indigenous Peoples Charitable Corporation and The Association on American Indian Affairs.
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