Gimme Shelter?

31 Oct

Statue of Liberty - 4621961395.jpg

130 years ago the Statue of Liberty was assembled and dedicated on what is now known as Liberty Island in New York Harbor. 17 years later a bronze tablet bearing the text of  Emma Lazarus’s sonnet,  “The New Colossus”, was presented by friends of the poet and mounted inside the pedestal.

The final verse of the poem offers hope to all who come to this great land, the U.S.A.

“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!”

100 years after the great structure was erected, Lady Liberty was renovated  and the statue was reopened to the public on July 5, 1986.  In President Reagan’s dedication speech, he stated, “We are the keepers of the flame of liberty; we hold it high for the world to see.”

Now we face a time when a new Republican president may be elected and with him the promise of closing our doors to immigrants and deporting millions and millions of others who sought asylum and who live here peaceably now.

Perhaps, if elected, he will rededicate the statue and replace the poem that sits beside it with a more apt message that befits his and his followers beliefs?

Something like: Beat it you immigrants or I’ll torch your ass!

Seriously though, if Mr. Trump  should win, how hypocritical would it be to let Lady Liberty continue to stand in our harbor with her beckoning light and message of hope… to a world we would have voted to wall out?

4 Responses to “Gimme Shelter?”

  1. helen meikle's scribblefest October 31, 2016 at 3:59 am #

    I have always wondered, being a nasty, nasty cynical person, whether that poem was just a bit too sentimentally goody-two-shoes given humanity’s less than stellar record in such matters. It’s idealistically perfect, but I wonder whether the Flame of Liberty doesn’t flicker from time to time anyway, when the energy drops.
    The orange turd is a disgrace, but I have faith enough in American democracy to hope that even if he did get in, his worst excesses would be curbed by the constitution.

    • hb October 31, 2016 at 10:09 am #

      Tend to agree about the idealism.

      Another reading of that famous verse could be that people can only “breathe free” in the USA. A real idealist would yearn for people to be able to breathe free everywhere.

      People aren’t trying to get into the US or Australia or the UK or Germany or Sweden because those countries are so free (and rich) – they’re doing it because their own countries are so oppressive, war-torn and poor.

      A presidential candidate who really wanted to curb immigration would have a policy of promoting peace, stability, civil liberties, the rule of law and economic growth throughout the world. Either that or making the US such a bloody awful place that nobody would want to go there – which brings us back to Trump.

  2. carol hopkins October 31, 2016 at 8:30 pm #

    Awesome post! I am a Canadian and must confess to being very concerned about the outcome of this election. I hope and pray that everything that is symbolized by the Statue of Liberty lives on in the U.S.A. despite the mean-spirited nature of certain politicians.


  1. Yearning to be free | After Work - October 31, 2016

    […] is a response to “Gimme Shelter”, posted on Ipledgeafallallegiance on 31st October 2016. Read original […]

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