To Those Who Would Cast Down the New Colossus

The Statue of Liberty as seen in the film Oblivion

The future of the Statue of Liberty as seen in the film Oblivion, or a metaphor for the present…

This is about Murrieta, and all the Murrietas past and future.

I’m greatly bothered by the possibility that posting the most famous poem Emma Lazarus ever wrote will seem merely trite to some, and worth ignoring by others. If you are an American and these words are not imprinted on your heart—if you can easily put aside the promise our nation has offered to the world; if you cling so dearly to “security” that you would deny children an escape from a hell of our own creation; if you would strip people of humanity, declaring them disease-ridden, criminal, lesser for being born in a land distant from your own, or even the nation next door—then I must question whether you have a heart.

The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus, 1883

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-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I also wish it known that if anyone invokes Constantine Cavafy’s Thermopylae in honor of those demonstrating against the immigrants, I will become inexpressibly angry.

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