“Give me your drained, your poor,
Your huddled plenty craving to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Ship these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I raise my lamp beside the golden door!”
Emma Lazarus, The New Colossus, November 2, 1883.
That was then, that is now…
“Why are we having all these individuals from shithole nations come right here?”
President Donald Trump, January eleven, 2018
In 1883 the artists, intellectuals, and enterprise elites of New York Metropolis’s excessive society have been onerous at work elevating cash to construct the pedestal upon which the Statue of Liberty now stands. Amongst those that have been requested to contribute was the poet Emma Lazarus. She was younger, however within the last years of her life, and what she would contribute wouldn’t solely turn out to be one of many defining traits of Woman Liberty, however certainly, of America as a nation.
Lazarus already had a historical past of eloquently patriotic verse. This descendant of a few of the earliest Jewish immigrants to settle in New York Metropolis had a singular talent for evoking the spirit of America. Her quantity, Admetus, and Different Poems, sang of the great thing about America, the power of it’s individuals, and the bravery and sacrifice of these heroes reside and lifeless who fought to free it.
And certainly as her phrases well-known and fewer so outlined America then, they’re nonetheless as related as ever at present. Her poem, Heroes, particularly, ought to be learn by each American on this time of infinite struggle and an countless stream of warriors coming house with wounds each apparent, and hidden.
Nevertheless it was her poem, The New Colossus, which most outlined America at it’s greatest, and at the moment stands in shining distinction to the darkness of America at it’s worst, as embodied by the worst President this nation has ever endured. At the moment, that President, Donald J. Trump, spoke these phrases: “Why are we having all these individuals from shithole nations come right here?”
The feedback got here amid discussions within the Oval Workplace with lawmakers making an attempt valiantly, on each side, to bridge the partisan hole and strike a bipartisan deal on immigration coverage. A deal that’s important, particularly for the “dreamers”, People introduced right here illegally by mother and father whose solely actual “crime” was craving to breate free.
In response to two individuals briefed on the assembly who spoke to the Washington Publish, the President’s feedback weren’t solely surprising sufficient to go away the lawmakers they have been hurled at shocked, however have been spoken in a really racist context.
The lawmakers have been overlaying part of their proposals which have been designed to revive protections to refugees of disasters each pure and army from locations like Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa. In response Trump reportedly made his “s***gap nations” remark, in addition to suggesting we would have liked extra individuals from nations like Norway, whose Prime Minister Trump had simply met with the day earlier than, as an alternative. Individuals from El Salvador are often Hispanic, whereas individuals from Haiti and Africa are predominately Black — whereas…