Four years ago, Daron Musick (Chickamauga Cherokee) reported to his Telephone Company Century Link (Previously Embarq) that an employee had drawn a “spear-chucking Indian” on his Utility box outside of his home. Though Musick had complained for years, Century Link finally corrected the error after social media erupted with criticism against the drawing.
On January 26 when Musick posted a picture of his Utility box with the Indian drawing in the Native American Google+ Community – people immediately responded and shared the image on other social media networks.
In his post Musick stated, “This is something that one of the phone company employee’s put on my phone box years ago. When I asked them to fix it, they said they liked their Indians,” Musick says the employee inferred the company liked revenue from Indians, while Musick himself said he found it downright offensive.
Social Media aficionado’s in Indian country responded immediately about the offensiveness of the drawing and asked Century Link to respond to the issue which had gone unanswered for several years.
@JingleDance2 on Twitter called out @CenturyLinkHelp by stating – “So Disrespectful of #Native People, Fix this problem NOW no excuses and fire that worker! She also wrote “…cannot and won’t tolerate this!”
After several tweets, posts and shares on several social media platforms, Steph Lake, the Supervisor of the Century Link Social Media Customer Service team responded to Musick.
In her Google+ post to Musick, Lake stated to Musick, One of Century Links strengths is the diversity of our people, and we are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture, wrote Lake. She continued with, “…we will of course remove the drawing if it is a CenturyLink box as the drawing certainly isn't consistent with our company values.”
Musick responded “When the box was installed, it was in Embarc’s (sic) hands. Then your company took over and about two years into my account I needed someone to come out and repair my box. To my surprise was the same man that installed it and had drawn on it to begin with. I told him it offended me and I wanted it replaced.”
By Tuesday Afternoon, the box was replaced.
In an email to ICTMN, Lake wrote a response to the matter.
“As a company who values diversity, we appreciate being made aware of offensive graffiti that had been drawn on one of our cross boxes. We removed the drawing as soon as we learned of its presence.”
After the replacement, Musick posted in Google+ “The phone box has been replaced. Wado to everyone. Thanks for making it happen Vincent and Steph, my new oginalii.”