“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-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
These are the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, greatest physical symbol of who we are as a nation. Today, if it were possible, I believe she would hang her noble head in shame at the direction of this country. Trump, in one short, whirlwind, executive order photo-op driven week has changed the face of the very character of who we are as a citizenry. He’s implementing a moratorium on all refugees from the war torn nation of Syria and today, he’s signed an action that targets one particular group of individuals, individuals who aren’t even responsible for the aggregate amount of violent deaths in this country (see our previous post on the subject). British Prime Minister Theresa May said it correctly when she stated that we can kill all the terrorists we like, the threat will forever remain if we don’t vanquish the ideal that these extreme religious sects extoll in propaganda via the internet and other digital means.
Additionally, all this isolationist action under the guise of keeping America safe, sounds terribly akin to the domestic travesty that is racial profiling. That’s what law enforcement told the public as to why mostly African Americans and Latino citizens were pulled over, in many cases, for nothing at all. And that’s what the executive action against Islam and Syrian refugees does, it makes entire swaths of innocent men, women and children suffer because of the reprehensible actions of a poisoned few.
We are a nation of immigrants, every one of us, with the exception of Native Americans, did not originate from this continent. Period. Our new president’s forebears immigrated here from Germany, his lovely wife is a first generation immigrant to this country. If not for our policy, that proverbial melting pot that we used to be so proud of and that I learned about in grade school, Mr. Trump wouldn’t even be fortunate enough to have such a beautiful lady as his spouse.
We are losing our way, we are being guided by the consistently eroding flame that is fear and not the principled light of hope and inclusion that this country was founded on. Our Lady Liberty today is questioning very validity and veracity of words written sacredly upon her so many decades ago.
I urge us all to remain vigilant!
Think Passionately. Disrupt Strategically.
-A. Lawrence Haskins
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