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!”

Emma Lazarus (November 2, 1883)

Today the 45th president is being sworn in under a cloud of great hostility.  Although many people voted for him, giving him the electoral college vote needed to win the presidency, his popular vote is under the toilet.  He ran on the slogan “make American great again” and fueled the racists fears that laid just below the surface throughout this country.  NOW THEY ARE OUT!  The message of hate, racist thought, and bigotry have a platform and a spokesman who TRAGICALLY is now the POTUS, President of the United States.

He has said everything imaginable thus far to humiliate EVERYONE not Trump, but for some reason he is being given a pass.  It is not exactly clear who he hates the most.  What IS clear is that if you cross him, he will make your life a living hell.  He is a bully and is proud of it.  During the campaign he told people that it was alright to physically attack others with differing views.  Guess what?  People did just that and are continuing to follow his lead of spewing hate.  Many criticized the UK for accepting Brexit.  We all knew  it was clearly a move to stop immigrants from coming into the country.  Trump wants to build a wall and charge Mexico for the cost.  He is anti-immigrant which is crazy because he is a third generation immigrant from Germany.  His wife, who was NOT a citizen until recently, is an immigrant from Slovania.  His family came here believing what Emma Lazarus wrote and was placed on the Statue of Liberty.  They were” tired and homeless”, coming from a place in turmoil.  Remember Hitler who was trying to kill the Jews and anyone else that did not fit his profile?  “The tempest-tost.”  HOW QUICKLY THEY FORGET?

Emma Lazarus was a proud Jewish American whose parents came here seeking the same refuge.  A better life and opportunity for their children and because this country embraced them, Emma was influence by other great American poets and penned her feelings of appreciation and empathy for all who were in the same situation that her grandparents were in.  They did not forget where they came from and she was able to put into words what this country stood for.  Yes, I used the past tense.

Under this administration there could be the likelihood that those words etched on that tablet that the Lady Liberty holds may be ERASED.  Many do not want the tired and homeless coming from other countries seeking better.  Seeking freedom.  Seeking what Donald Trumps’ grandparents sought.  If you come, you must pay physically, financially, and emotionally.  Those who cannot, too bad.  Now some may say that this is harsh but look at the track record of this person who has been selected to represent us before the world.  One who bullies others with cruel and disrespectful gestures to those with exceptional needs.  Grabbing women without consent and talking about it like it is no big deal.  Discounting the bravery and sacrifices made by those who came before him like John McCain and John Lewis.  One who puts his business before family.  Oh sure he has his family around him but THEY WORK FOR HIM.  This is a man who holds the professional lives of others in the balance.  “TO TWEET OR NOT TO TWEET? THAT IS THE QUESTION”!

The similarities between Donald Trump and Emma Lazarus are only that they were both born and raised in New York and they are children of immigrants.  Beyond this, the similarities end.   Who will be that “haven of rest” for all those that Emma speaks of on that tablet that Lady Liberty holds?  “Not I, said the richest country in the world.”   Should Obamacare be repealed, my family will lose their healthcare coverage.  It is already open season on young African American males and I am a mother of an African American Male. Do I sound discouraged?   I am, but I am not defeated.  I know where my loyalties lie and I know who holds my future.  I shall cherish and honor those who came before me and sacrificed so much for me to have what I do have.  I shall continue to teach my son that HE IS SOMEBODY and he DOES NOT have to be afraid when a police officer drives up next to his car and looks at him questionably.  Yes, I shall continue to be one of the voices crying out in the wilderness that right is right and wrong is wrong and for me BULLYING will FOREVER BE WRONG!

~~~Malinda Gwyn~~~

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