Earthly Thoughts

It’s time to share some random thoughts and ask some questions, on this Earth Day edition of “Becoming Today”.

Designed to show support for the environment and protecting the air, land and water that sustains our life, since its inception in 1970 Earth Day has not ever been fully accepted.

This year’s theme of “Invest In Our Planet”, includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by EarthDay.org including 1 billion people in more than 193 countries.

For me still the first thing that pops into my head is an image that in itself points out the need for us to all pay attention to the details.

When I hear Earth Day immediately I see the man who became “the crying Indian”. 

Yet in reality, he was not and the group paying for his image were actually lobbyists for major manufacturing concerns seeking to avoid criticisms for materials used to convey their goods, many of which were pictured as litter destroying waterways pictured in the advertisement.

Known as “Iron Eyes Cody” the actor was known for portraying Native Americans in films, however that was his ‘Hollywood name’. 

Born Espera de Corti he was actually an Italian-American who ‘passed’ as an American Indian in both his life and on screen.

Now before the revisionists claim he  should not have assimilated the culture of another. He was not alone at this time in history.

Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, I had friends who were darker skinned Native Americans who would tell the Irish kids, they were Italians because that kept them from getting beat up.

Yes it was a mad, mad world, where Italians played Indians in the movies and on the streets of reality Indians had to portray themselves as Italians to survive.

And still there is more to this story……

As I mentioned, the group behind this famous Earth Day image was not so much interested in “Keep America Beautiful, as they called themselves; rather their interest was in beautifying the maintenance of corporate profits. 

As Iron Eyes Cody, paddles a birch bark canoe along increasingly polluted waters ‘the lone Indian’ ponders a polluted landscape , passersby hurl trash at him scattering fast-food wrappers all over his moccasins. The camera then zooms in on his face focused on a single tear falling down his cheek.

Released in 1971, despite its manipulations of reality, it continues to be ranked as one of the best commercials of all time. 

Plus there was also another interesting thing involved in the filming. The waterway used was the San Francisco bay. At the time this occurred, Native Americans were involved in a standoff in those very waters. 

For 19-months from late 1969 through mid-1971, members of many nations from across the country were involved in the occupation of Alcatraz Island.

Coming together under the banner of “Indians of All Tribes”, in a statement of intent they addressed to “The Great White Father and All His People” they claimed Alcatraz was theirs “by right of discovery,” but they sarcastically offered to buy it for “$24 in glass beads and red cloth”—the same price that Indians purportedly received for Manhattan Island. 

And tying in with our Earth Day message, they also added that they didn’t mind that the island was underdeveloped or lacked fresh water, since most of them had already endured similar conditions on government Indian reservations. Conditions that remain that way to this day.

Just a few closing thoughts on Earth day and then I want to share an update on a story we discussed last Friday, as well as some other random remarks that I just can’t seem to remain quiet on this week.

We all have a responsibility to the planet. While humans have dominion over it, that’s only because we are to accept our responsibility to be stewards of it. 

This has been true since the beginning as it is written in Genesis 2:15 , “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it”.

Further Scriptural instructions are calculated in Numbers 35:33, “You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it”.

Also remembering that it was recorded in  Genesis 2:7, Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature”.

Circling back to the interesting portrayal of this day, there is even more .

Alcatraz Island of course was once home to Alcatraz prison. Where one of the most infamous Italian Americans admitted, “It looks like Alcatraz has got me licked’.

Al Capone was imprisoned there. Capone who at one time ran the neighborhoods where the Indian children assimilated his heritage for self defense.

Unusual, yes. However it is further evidence showing us how interconnected we all are and how life circles continually.   

If you’re traveling this weekend, remain safe. 

It’s been interesting to hear all the people not directly involved in  the process of decisions celebrate that the businesses are no longer subject to the “burdens” of public safety measures following a court decision to end mandates for wearing protective masks on publicly shared modes of transportation.

While many seeking election and of course along partisan lines were beating their chests with pride for overcoming thai agenda, it turns out most people are CHOOSING to continue wearing them. 

A poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found 56% of those surveyed favor requiring people on public transportation to wear masks, compared with 24% opposed and 20% who say they don’t care one way or the other.

So 76-percent of respondents were fine with the regulation, but apparently in the eyes of elected officials only the opinions of a vocal minority matters.

The research also revealed it was a clear majority among three different groupings of individuals who prefer to practice policies based on safety first. 

Those groups were people traveling by plane,train or bus. Workers who come in contact with the public, and people deciding to attend crowded events. Not only did a clear majority support continuing to wear masks, those who had no opinion were nearly equal to those opposed.

Last Friday, I shared a story about an Alabama wanna-be politician who was using unauthorized images of minor children to gain election. He was outraged at the fact that a charter school allowed students to participate in a “drag fundraiser”.

As Paul Harvey would say, and now the rest of the story…

It has since come to light, that the same individual who who has railed about “transgenderism” and accused administrators of trying to “indoctrinate” and groom children, sees a difference between dressing in drag when the student is LGBTQ and dressing in drag when the student is a football player, as he himself participated in a similar event while he was in high school. Yearbook photos are easily accessible. 

He even admits it’s him in the photo but claims it’s not the same thing… remaining unrepentant for his attack on the children he also told a reporter he still intended to seekvengenance saying, “they’re going to be held accountable for what they’ve done what they’re doing.”

In his ad bullying children for personal gain he says, quote:“Enough of this foolishness. I’m Tim James. Male and female he created them. It’s time to fight back.”

Yes Tim James it is time to fight back. To take a stand against bigots, hatred and those who would prey on children. Endangering the lives of others, ignoring the greatest command and encouraging others to be incited are not in agreement with the words of He who created all, in His image.

By the way, James has been trying to become a career politician running for governor for 20 years on various platforms du jour including forcing immigrants to speak English, and that Alabama is “too soft on yoga. All the while also personally profiting off taxpayers as he develops toll roads for a living. 

  • A sad note this week, eight decades after surviving the Holocaust a Ukrainian woman again forced to hide in basements from attacking enemies perished. According to her Rabbi, “Vanda Semyonovna lived through unimaginable horrors. She was a kind, joyous woman, a special person who will forever remain in our hearts.”
  • Did you know the richest man in the world is homeless? Perhaps that’s why he suggested that Twitter’s headquarters be turned into a shelter? Elon Musk says he currently does not own a home or rent an apartment and is moving about regularly staying in the spare rooms of friends. While not priced out of the market, he certainly is missing out on the parts of life that make a house a home. Evidence I guess that money can not buy everything.
  • I’m slightly annoyed by this woman who keeps popping up on my TV. As part of an ad for new technology intimate wear, she proclaims, “I don’t have the time or patience for wired bras anymore!”.

Really? That’s her breaking point? 

How can anyone believe they are so over taxed that they can not  find the time to put on underwear? And how much patience does it take to support yourself? 

Wire or not, the moments I invest in the process leaves me feeling lifted.

Thanks for joining us on  another Free Form Friday edition of “Becoming Today”. Tomorrow we’ll advance our cause by reflecting on the week that was. Hope to talk to you then.

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