You are legitimate. I know people will try to delegitimize you because of it, but you are still Red, still NDN, still Native and still part of our community. Cops, the government, whites don’t care if you speak your language when they abuse you, call you slurs or (try to) kill you. No matter how much of your language you know, you deserve to be recognized as someone who is surviving a genocide and who is power. Today I will say a prayer for you, asking Totilme'iletik to guide you.
And hey, if it’s any comfort, John Trudell, the Santee Dakota man who was the spokesperson for the United Indians of All Tribes’ takeover of Alcatraz refused to learn his language, citing Indigenous Peoples’ long-standing ability to work with what they were given, in this case, being taught English as a first language.
You are great. You are part of our community. Your skin, your heritage, your life is a testimony to survival. Not knowing your language doesn’t change that.
“John is gonna be apart of my life forever you know, because it was something that was just such an important part of my life”. - Fred Seamen (John’s PA 1975-1980)
“When John was killed that was the day the music died, as far as I was concerned” - Dennis Farrante (John’s recording engineer)
“I do know, that he always still cared for me, that it wasn’t something just flash in the pan of the night you know what I’m saying, it was, he truly did love me” - May Pang
“I think people saw John as a spokesmen not only as a musician but a spokesperson for them, for a better life that they wanted, and I think John Lennon meant far more than The Beatles, he meant far more than his music, he was on the brink of something new” - Bill Harry (College friend)
“He could be bitter and sweet, but basically he was a lovely person,I’ll stand by that, even though, you know he fucked me off” - Alan Williams (The Beatles first semi-manager)
“Of course I love him. of course I love him, I love John as I loved him, you don’t change love, there is no reason on earth why I should hate him”. - Cynthia Lennon
Not all yellow traffic lights are not created equal, it seems. Especially in Chicago.
Earlier this year, the city began issuing tickets to motorists who drove through yellow lights that turned red fractions of a second shorter than the three-second city minimum. The change was slight, but the effect for the cash-starved city was real: nearly $8 million from an additional 77,000 tickets, according to the city’s inspector general.
All of those $100 tickets were issued after cameras installed at intersections caught the drivers as they passed through. These systems, known as red light cameras, are an increasingly controversial tactic for policing roadways. Established in the name of public safety, critics contend the cameras have become little more than a way for municipalities to funnel money into their coffers.
“If the machine is set to catch more people and generate more revenue, then it does not really seem to be about safety but about revenue,” says Joseph Schofer, a professor of transportation at Northwestern University.
Chicago isn’t the first municipality to benefit from shorter yellow traffic lights. In 2011, the Florida Department of Transportation secretly reduced its policy on the length of yellow lights, likely bringing millions of dollars in additional revenue to the state.
There is no federal rule for how long a yellow light should be illuminated, but the U.S. Department of Transportation recommends three to six seconds. Nationwide, a minimum of three seconds is generally considered standard. John Bowman, a spokesperson for the National Motorists Association, which opposes the cameras, says the organization routinely gets calls from people saying they received a red light camera ticket, believing the yellow light was too short.
“I don’t think you’re ever going to get a public official on the record saying, ‘We shortened them to make more money,’” Bowman says. “But I think that clearly goes on.”
Red light cameras gained popularity in the 1990s after New York became the first U.S. city to install a network. The initial motivation was safety, says Hani Mahmassani, the director of the Northwestern University Transportation Center. The hope was that cameras would deter drivers from running red lights if they knew it would lead to a ticket. But in the 2000s, as the popularity of the cameras grew, cities and the companies that manufactured, installed and helped operate the cameras adopted a revenue-sharing model. The more violations caught by the cameras, the more money the city and the businesses stood to make.
“That’s when it became a greed thing,” Mahmassani says.
By the end of the decade, red light camera networks were in hundreds of municipalities. Today, 499 towns and cities have adopted them, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
While the potential for profit is clear, the public safety value of red light cameras is fuzzy.
A deeply shocked Ringo, George and John speak to the press just after hearing about Brian Epstein’s death in August 1967. They were in Bangor to be inducted into TM with the Maharishi - Paul was already on his way back to London.
Interestingly, as this video shows, George gently stepped up to be a primary spokesperson of the group as John was almost too shocked to speak - although John was the only one who had agreed to talk to the press. George’s protective approach here reminds me a little of Astrid’s photos after Stuart’s death.