Americans used (past tense used most
advisedly) to celebrate how open their shores are. Isn’t this how the city of
New York got the “melting pot” metaphor attached to it?
Think back a few years and recall Godfather II. Fleeing gangsters in his homeland Sicily,
a runaway registers himself as Vito Corleone on Ellis Island, not too far from
the Statue of Liberty. I am sure Vito could not have read the poem that now
supposedly attests to the freedom of those who land in the United States of
America. Even otherwise, his community was there to welcome him, and they must
have cited the opportunities available. He, of course, chose his own path, and
the rest is an Oscar Award.
I give below a short extract from the poem one
sees on the pedestal supporting the famed Lady with the Torch. This should
resonate with Donald J Trump, if he ever read it. Hoe would definitely find
ways to twist and turn the poem to make money, for himself.
“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!”
Now, to the location of the statue – on the
eastern shores of the US, calling out to Western Europe. Over time, the call reached
over to Eastern Europe, when the USSR met the fate of Humpty Dumpty – the wall
collapsed and so did the USSR.
It is sad that San Francisco did not have
such a beacon. The Japanese immigrants got incarcerated. I am given to
speculating that this shameful act would not have come about had there been a
Statue of Liberty looking over the Pacific Ocean.
Now, Trump, given his undisguised contempt
for the “others”, has a few options. He can send the Statue of Liberty back to
France saying, “Thanks but no thanks.” Nativism and isolationism, all rolled
into one –ism.
Or, he can, through an executive order, change
the poem to reflect his preference for the monied and wealthy from other
countries (preferably white, but wealthy Chinese are welcome; Russians are
particularly welcome). Steve Bannon will be in charge.
The third option is to put up similar Statues
of Liberty at all points of entry into the US with immigration checks and/or
processing. Oh, I almost forgot, a statue at suitable intervals along the Wall
of Trump to be constructed, of course, with Mexican money. The argument? If
France could donate the Ur Statue of Liberty, Mexico could do as well with ersatz