Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Storied Pomp & Politics of Immigration While Our US Congress Stalls Again

The Statue of Liberty 
Lower Manhattan in 1999

In Red Belt Tennessee in the McCarthy era we fourth graders memorized this insightful poem. Maybe all those tea party republican creeps in congress like Boehner and McConnell and Ryan who are trying to game the system for more lobby money before they vote on an Immigration bill should read this poem. Please put your pomp and the net balance in your leadership PAC aside and do something for the good of the nation.

The New Colossus 1883 

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; 

Her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" 

Cries she with silent lips. 
"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!" 

Emma Lazarus 

The writer Emma Lazarus lived for many years on West 10th Street in Manhattan. Much of her life was dedicated to helping newly arrived Jewish immigrants learn a new language and worker skills. Because of pogroms in Europe and Russia, she became an early advocate of creating a homeland for Jews in Palestine. She wrote this poem to help fund and to honor the new Statue in New York Harbor.