I want to revisit this quote – a quote that should be common knowledge. Alas, like most things these days Americans tend to be so unaware (positive bent) or willfully ignorant (negative bent) of those things which truly made this nation great.
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.
“A line from a poem, â€œThe New Colossus,â€ by the nineteenth-century American poet Emma Lazarus. â€œThe New Colossus,â€ describing the Statue of Liberty, appears on a plaque at the base of the statue. It ends with the statue herself speaking…”
These, these are the people who for three hundred years have come to these shores. We did the native Americans no good, yet with them in their downtrodden state, these came. We did the Africans no good, yet with them in their downtrodden state, these came. So came those from nations all who sought to leave their oppression, their poverty, their plight to find new life in this place called America.
Here, here is the unfounded dream that they can make a life for themselves far beyond what they could have known in their old places. And they did, come. And they still, come! Here in New York City, in Vermilion, Ohio, in Seattle, Washington they come and they make for themselves a better life and they with us all continue to make America.
We forget our past and selfishly clutch to ourselves our own stuff material and ideological for fear that it will all be taken from us. We forget the Dream, but they do not. Do we not remember that it is because of those ancestors of ours that came and with the native Americans and with the Africans and with the poor, dirty, huddled masses of nations all that this America was apprehended and fashioned? If we forget, we condemn ourselves to become something other than America. Too many of us have forgotten, because now we only want the clean, the educated, the well-off, the right-thinking and right-behaving to come to our shores. Woe to those who in seeking to preserve their privilege deny and defy the very American spirit that enables us to draw the best of the world to our shores, even if at first they look not like us – the wretched, tired, dirty, poor, huddled masses all.