Time to remove socialist "huddled masses" plaque from Statue of Liberty by Selwyn Duke
1. Many now see the poem's most famous line, "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore," as a policy statement. In fact, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright (Halfbright?) tweeted last year, "There is no fine print on the Statue of Liberty. America must remain open to people of all faiths & backgrounds. #RefugeesWelcome."
"Fine print," of course, is the way you speak of law or a contract. That the poem is being used this way should give everyone pause.
2. "The New Colossus" was an example of 19th-century virtue signaling. It's also more than troubling that policy is being influenced by sentiments that most don't even know have a socialist pedigree. In fact, as a socialist, Lazarus could be seen as having been an (unwitting) enemy of America.
Having said this, she's not the only 19th-century socialist shaping policy -- there's Bernie Sanders, too.
3. Today, the huddled masses aren't yearning to breathe free; they're yearning for free stuff. Immigration ain't what it used to be, and romanticizing immigrants distorts reality; being people, they include the good, the bad and the ugly. I'd sooner see the romanticizing of citizens, though truth beats incessant pep talks any day.
4. Created by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the Statue of Liberty was originally intended to symbolize the principles of international republicanism; again, it had nothing to do with immigration. And as with the Constitution, we'd do well to return to original intent.
This is especially true because the huddled-masses bit now buttresses what I dubbed immigrationism, the bizarre notion that immigration is always good, always necessary and should be the one constant in an ever-changing universe of policy. Yet with 85 to 90 percent of today's immigrants hailing from the Third World and 70 to 90 percent of them voting for freedom-squelching Democrats upon naturalization, there's an irony here: The phenomenon now represented by the Statue of Liberty is destroying liberty.
Historians bash Ken Cuccinelli's revised Statue of Liberty poem | The Denver Post |
Her sixth-grade students seemed to understand Emma Lazarus's "The New Colossus" better than the head of the nation's legal immigration system did. "Clearly, he did not take part in our curriculum," said Polland, executive director of the American Jewish Historical Society, which is leading a three-year initiative called the Emma Lazarus Project.
She had recently asked the class to rewrite Lazarus's poem for a national competition. And while the 11-year-olds welcomed the tired, poor and huddled masses, Cuccinelli - acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services - took a different direction as he offered his own twist to an NPR reporter Tuesday. He said:
"Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their
own two feet and who will not become a public charge."
Cuccinelli's off-the-cuff edit befuddled and concerned immigration historians who saw his comments as a distortion of one of the nation's most symbolic ideals. Cuccinelli made the quip in the wake of USCIS's announcement this week that it will expand the "public charge" rule, punishing poor immigrants who use government benefits by making it tougher for them to earn green cards. In interviews with NPR and CNN Tuesday, Cuccinelli called the public charge doctrine a "140-year tradition in this country," a "central part of our heritage as Americans."
Voice of Liberty, Voice of Conscience
On August 17, 1790, the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, was expecting a visit from President George Washington. To welcome him, a prominent merchant named Moses Seixas wrote a letter about his hopes for the future of Jews in America:
Deprived as we heretofore have been of the invaluable rights of free citizens, we now (with a deep sense of gratitude to the Almighty disposer of all events) behold a government erected by the Majesty of the People--a Government which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance, but generously affording to All liberty of conscience and immunities of Citizenship, deeming every one, of whatever Nation, tongue, or language, equal parts of the great governmental machine.
Inhis reply, President Washington wrote,
It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it was the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily, the government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
Washington's promise, in precisely Seixas's words, soon became a birthright for American Jews.
○ What Emma Lazarus Can Teach Us About Our World Today
So tell me, in the interpretation of America's Founder George Washington, who is Un-American in today's politics, huh Trump!
Related reading ...
○ America's Greatness Ended With the Statue of Liberty
○ Dutch Colonial Heritage Reaches Xenophobic Zenith
The Irish: Robert Kennedy and his work for McCarthy in the Un-American Committee of U.S. Congress ...
○ The Kennedys and McCarthyism
○ HUAC: A young Robert F. Kennedy worked briefly on McCarthy's staff
○ Israel 1948 - A Dispatch by RFK