What Might Emma Lazarus Think About Her Poem Today?

Lazarus

Check out National Public Radio’s (“All Things Considered”) recent piece on Emma Lazarus‘s poem The New Colossus.

This, of course, is relevant in light of recent comments by Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Director of the Citizenship and Immigration Service Office.

Here is the NPR discussion with Annie Pollard of the American Jewish Historic Society.

3 thoughts on “What Might Emma Lazarus Think About Her Poem Today?

  1. I think the poem was speaking an ideal. Despite its association with the Statue of Liberty and a time when most immigrants were Europeans.
    Ideals aren’t policies or statutes.
    Similar to the ideal that “all men are created equal”. It was an ideal stated that wasn’t, and still isn’t universally held, nor practically in effect.
    Ideals are almost something worth working towards, and maybe never fully realized.
    Mr. Cuccinelli is yet another Trumper, along with the Trump, whose ideals they intend to pursue to make America great again, happen to chip and chop away at ones like “all men are created equal”, and “give me your tired, your poor”. They would chip away at freedom of religion, another ideal that needs to be constantly worked towards, to favor a version of my faith.

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  2. This, of course, is relevant in light of recent comments by Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Director of the Citizenship and Immigration Service Office.

    Isn’t Cuccinelli’s “Meaning Europeans” another way of saying “Whites Only”?

    Which is a real kicker since when Cuccinelli’s ancestors passed through Ellis Island, Italians weren’t REALLY White. Only blond, blue-eyed Anglo-Saxons were White. (And Irish were just becoming White and thus stomping on the new wave of Not Whites.) With a name like Cuccinelli, if he’s been in charge of Citizenship & Immigration back then, HE would have been turned away at the Wall.

    Ethnically, my father’s side of the family was PA Dutch (Watsontown, north of Harrisburg) but my mother’s family came from somewhere in northern Italy. That’s why I tell people that “according to 19th Century Scientific Racism, I am not a white man”.

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