This is a portion of a comment we received yesterday to our post about the union leaders and other No Borders advocates planning to rally against a local St. Cloud, MN VFW post because the post had the temerity to allow some people to eat dinner there that the Leftists/Progressives didn’t approve of. See that post because there is an update about the big pro-America barbecue planned for the VFW.
The commenter, Will Servant, apparently is ignorant of the history of the Statue of Liberty and how the Emma Lazarus poem got there in the first place.
I’m posting this so you will know how to answer when the No Borders agitators try to shut you up with this babble. From Mr. Servant:
Time to get rid of the ” schmaltzy sonnet!” Let’s go on the offense for a change. Let’s find someone in Congress to introduce legislation to remove the ‘poem.’ After all, it is not historically accurate. Getting the plaque removed to a museum, although symbolic, would do more to restore immigration sanity than just about anything else we could do!
Thanks Ann. You’ve given me enough half truths, innuendo, and opinion masquerading as truth, to last at least until Thanksgiving. I am saddened that there are people so dramatically opposed to what I consider to be righteous and Christian, the caring for the least of us. I am dismayed that there are those who think so incredibly different than I do that it is nearly impossible to even engage them in respectful dialogue. Here is a quote from the famous poem inscribed on a pedestal at the Statue of Liberty.
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Lady Liberty does not mention any exceptions. She does not say give me your preferred, only those I consider deserving. She does not say give me your huddled masses yearning to be free, as long as we don’t have to spend any money on them. She does not have an ethnic or religious litmus test to decide who gets the protection of our mighty nation, in their quest for a better life. Lady Liberty’s lamp lights the way to freedom for everybody. It cannot be extinguished for one and not the other.
Here then, for Mr. Servant’s edification, is the real history of the French gift to America—Lady Liberty—from none other than Roberto Suro, a professor at the Annenberg School of Journalism, founding director of the Pew Hispanic Center, and published in the Washington Post (that right wing rag!).
The article is entitled, ‘She Was Never About Those Huddled Masses.’
Professor Suro tells us in no uncertain terms that the Emma Lazarus poem has to go! The poem did not come with the statue! It’s a myth! The message of Lady Liberty was never about immigration! It is about the Declaration of Independence!
Let’s get rid of The Poem.
I’m talking about “Give me your tired, your poor . . . ” — that poem, “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus, which sometimes seems to define us as a nation even more than Lady Liberty herself.
Inscribed on a small brass plaque mounted inside the statue’s stone base, the poem is an appendix, added belatedly, and it can safely be removed, shrouded or at least marked with a big asterisk. We live in a different era of immigration, and the schmaltzy sonnet offers a dangerously distorted picture of the relationship between newcomers and their new land.
The most enduring meaning conveyed by Lady Liberty has nothing do with immigration, and I say let’s go back to that. The statue’s original name is “Liberty Enlightening the World,” and the tablet the lady holds in her left hand reads “July IV, MDCCLXXVI” to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Lady Liberty celebrates U.S. political values as a force for the betterment of humanity, as well as the bond of friendship among freedom-loving nations. That’s a powerful and worthy message.
And the message would have been the same if the statue had ended up in Philadelphia or Cleveland — both were possibilities when New York was having trouble raising money for the pedestal in the late 1870s. Far from Ellis Island, no one would associate it with immigration. Too bad, because on this subject Lady Liberty misleads more than she illuminates, especially with Lazarus’s added spin.
Read it all here, it is very useful information for the next time some No Borders know-it-all agitator tries to guilt-trip you into thinking that Lady Liberty is frowning on you (calling you a racist!) for daring to question our immigration numbers that anyone in their right mind knows are completely unsustainable today.