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!”
– ‘New Colossus’, by Emma Lazarus (November 2, 1883)
The near-universally revered poem by Emma Lazarus sits astride the Statue of Liberty; the nation’s historical beacon of hope and freedom to legions of dreamers abroad for well over a century. It has personified the ideals upon which this country is founded; ideals which now stand shamed and threatened by the Trump administration’s promise to admonish the very huddled masses it is sworn to protect.
Because in today’s political climate – with Donald Trump at the helm of a quickly burgeoning fascist state – the very freedoms and promises of hope and prosperity for all have been sidelined for nationalistic perpetuity; the idea that only certain brands of masses qualify for true Americanism, while others are rejected based on creed, color and guilt by association.
The new president’s campaign pledge of limiting, banning and registering Muslims entering the country – be it for prosperity, education or asylum – is perhaps the most anti-American thing about his winning candidacy. But because his rhetoric’s theme of exclusivity and prejudice registered with voters who would have otherwise never even knew that the aforementioned poem existed and for what purpose, his damnification of an entire population will sure to go widely unchecked by his legislative peers.
As of this writing, Trump is preparing to initially ban refugee, student and immigrant entry of Muslims entering the United States from 6 countries: Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Sudan.
As a nation and as an electorate, we must vocally and without hesitation renounce and resist Trump’s anti-Muslim agenda. Not only does it defy the very American promise that so many have fought and died for to defend, but it retracts our credibility on the world stage as a country devoted to religious and cultural freedoms. His and the GOP’s basis for a Muslim ban and registry is not only reminiscent of deplorable WWII-era policies against Japanese Americans, it is entirely without merit or evidence of cause; notions that seem to conveniently escape the Trump administration’s motivations as of late.