The Statue of Liberty and what it stands for!

“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!”

The Statue of Liberty was given to the people of the USA by France. It stands as a beacon on Liberty island in New York. It was constructed to honour freedom and democracy in the post-slavery age.

It is a monument to all that is good about America – it’s welcoming hand to the downtrodden, poor, destitute and oppressed.

As a British man I can identify with that. Britain has a long history of social struggle and of being a country that offers refuge to those who are sorely oppressed. It is what we stand for. I am proud to be part of that tradition. I stand for equality, freedom, tolerance and fairness.

The section above is part of a poem written by Emma Lazarus which is to be found in the statue and epitomises the philosophy on which it is founded.

The New Colossus

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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

It was conceived as a New Colossus (of Rhodes) straddling the harbour and the two mighty rivers – a beacon of hope for the hordes of oppressed refugees who flocked to the States.

The descendants of those refugees have now turned their back on the oppressed and want rid of those they do not deem fit to come. Now there is, in Britain and the USA, a hostility to those in need, a distrust to all who would come and a hatred to anyone who is different. Now they are seen as threatening the culture and are despised and driven away. It is alright to tear their families apart and detain them in cages.

Now there are walls, forced deportations, and callous disregard of people and families. Nothing is done in a humane manner. People have to be dissuaded from coming.

Now there is fear of terrorism, of islamification, of all those who are different.

Shouldn’t the Statue of Liberty be taken down? Or at least shrouded in some way. It’s message of hope, freedom and democracy seems hollow in these times.

4 thoughts on “The Statue of Liberty and what it stands for!

  1. I see that you do if fact prefer Nationalism when it suits you.
    Has Globalism been given a day off?

    1. Oh you’re Harriot Harmon now. How wonderful.
      No – still totally opposed to nationalism, still looking for a universal answer to problems and against cowering behind walls trying to keep hold of the loot.

      1. Don’t be rude Oopher, I was named Harriot by my mother. The Harmon bit came from that bastard of a man that claimed to be my father. I believe that you are also a man…

        Opposed to nationalism yet proud to be British and proud of their tradition?
        Sounds a trifle fair-weathered to me.

      2. Nothing wrong with being proud of the long struggle people have had to gain trade unions, social justice, fair wages, democracy, women and men’s suffrage, good working conditions and environmental awareness. I can’t see how you equate that with being a nationalist. I would take the same prize in the way many other people have fought for justice and freedom.

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