From the Dianny Rants Archives: Only a Poem

With all the caterwauling and carrying on we’re having to endure this weekend, I thought it might be beneficial to revisit a column I wrote in November, 2015.

Because man, oh man. Is it relevant today.

Only a Poem – Originally published November 22, 2015

On September 11, 2015, I got a lovely, hateful response to my column about remembrance.

Perhaps you remember as I published the spittle-flying, nasty little missive in its entirety HERE.

Well, the huffy young man didn’t stop at sending a message here.

He also took to the Patriot Retort Facebook page and, among other profanity-laced comments, wrote this:

I mean, for fuck’s sake, you call yourself an American? Do you know what’s written on the Statue of Liberty? America is a nation of inclusion and understanding, not a nation of hate and xenophobia.

Move over de Tocqueville!

America isn’t a nation founded on Liberty. It’s a nation of “inclusion and understanding.”

Why?! Because, because, because what’s written on the Statue of Liberty!!!!!

The other day, when the House voted overwhelming to increase vetting on refugees claiming to be from Syria (including 47 — or 25% — of the Democrats), CNN Global Affairs correspondent Elise Labott tweeted out this:

“House passes bill that could limit Syrian refugees. Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish.”

The Right Scoop reported that Ms. Labott was suspended over this highly biased tweet.

My first thought was, “Wow, CNN suspends biased reporters?!”

I mean, come on. If that were a regular thing, CNN would be broadcasting a blank screen 24/7.

But she wasn’t the only one to invoke the Statue of Liberty over this refugee situation.

My moronic governor, Andrew Cuomo wrote the following on his Facebook page:

“If the day comes when America says ‘close the gates, build the wall,’ then I say take down the Statue of Liberty, because we’ve gone to a different place.
 
“The poem on the Statue of Liberty reads, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’ On the day this is no longer true, we will have lost sight of who we are.”

Could you imagine if these people had as much reverence for our Constitution as they do for a poem written by Emma Lazarus?

The poem on the plaque at the Statue of Liberty was originally written as part of an 1883 auction to raise money for the construction of the pedestal on which the Statue would stand.

Initially, when asked to write a poem for the event, Emma Lazarus refused. She was busy working with Jewish refugees who were fleeing Eastern European pogroms.

But the wealthy woman finally decided to participate in the fundraiser.

So Lazarus composed “The New Colossus” as an homage to these Jewish refugees with whom she worked. And this poem was auctioned off as part of the fundraiser for the pedestal.

In 1901, a friend of Lazarus began an effort to honor Emma Lazarus’ memory by having the poem placed on a plaque and mounted in the Statue of Liberty.

In 1903, six years after Lazarus’ death, her friend succeeded.

Only a poem

Note what it says on the bottom:

“This tablet, with her sonnet to the Bartholdi Statue of Liberty engraved upon it, is placed upon these walls in loving memory of Emma Lazarus.”

Notice it doesn’t say, “This tablet with her sonnet is placed upon these walls as a Constitutional Amendment for the United States of America. And in placing it herein, the United States must permit unfettered immigration from this day until eternity because America is a nation of inclusion and understanding.”

It was placed there in memory of Emma Lazarus.

As lovely a story as that may be, “The New Colossus” is a freaking poem written to raise money for the construction of the pedestal.

The Statue of Liberty was not a statue to honor immigrants or refugees.

It was a gift from France on America’s Centennial.

France was our oldest ally and fought side-by-side with us in our war of Independence. So it was natural that they would want to honor the Centennial of this nation’s birth.

The Statue of Liberty is a statue to honor America — the land of Liberty.

Not the land of “inclusion and understanding.”

But the land of Liberty.

Having such reverence for this poem as if it is part of our system of government or laws makes about as much sense as saying, “We as a nation must to feed the world. To not do so would be spitting on the traditions set out by Band-Aid when they recorded We are the World!”

Yet Liberals act as if a poem, written in 1883 as part of a fundraiser, is somehow of more weight and significance than our Constitution, the consent of the governed, or the will of the people.

They act as if US law, national security, and American sovereignty have to take a back seat to this poem by Emma Lazarus.

As sentimental and sweet as the poem may be, it is, nonetheless, only a poem.

It does not annul our laws or supersede our Constitution.

In fact, it is not in any way relevant to whether or not we as a people wish to limit — or curtail entirely — a proposed influx of refugees.

Especially if those refugees are from a part of the world crawling with radical Islamic terrorists.

Terrorists, mind you, who have already vowed to secrete their people among the throngs of those legitimately fleeing their terror.

Given the fact that Ms. Lazarus herself worked with refugees fleeing certain genocide from brutal, vicious barbarians, I can’t help but wonder if she too would be more inclined to reach out only to those ethnic groups who are facing genocide from radical Islamic butchers.

Like Jews (if there are any left in Syria or Iraq), Yazidis and Christians.

But I’ll be the first to point out that that’s pretty much conjecture on my part.

And, frankly, about as relevant to this debate as Ms. Lazarus’ poem itself.

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One thought on “From the Dianny Rants Archives: Only a Poem

  • January 30, 2017 at 10:12 am
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    If you look in New York Harbor, immediately behind the Statue of Liberty is Ellis Island which was the gateway to arrival to the US by all refugees coming here. We cannot forget that all throughout our history we have had quotas on the numbers of refugees we would allow into our nation per year. At no time did we “Open Our Doors” to the world. Far from it. All who arrived here and who wished to stay had to make their way through the process of Ellis Island and the governmental process. Those would would or could not were sent back to where they came from.

    The French gave us the Statue of Liberty not to celebrate our openness to refugees. It was a gift to celebrate our demonstrating to the world that a free society that was established and controlled by its people and not a monarchy or the rule of another government was possible. The French revolution was inspired by the American Revolution. Thus, the French were acknowledging the importance of America’s having fought for freedom from oppression from both within and without.

    Requisite to freedom is the act of self preservation. Just as any creature in the wild will defend its space so as to preserve its safety and survival, we should as a nation be willing to keep those who are bent upon our destruction from entering onto our shores. To do anything different is to commit the act of suicide albeit slowly and not dissimilar to a death from a thousand cuts. Every Jihadist that manages to arrive upon our shores and who takes a place in society presents a cancer that will ultimately need to be cut out. The problem is that once there are too many ‘cancers’ to remove it is impossible to do so and the host namely our nation, will die.

    As I explained at the outset, we screened and admitted specific numbers of people from different areas of the world based on decisions made by our government all of this designed to preserve our way of life. I will add also that all of these people who arrived here were expected to learn English and to assimilate into our society. The notion of insular groups of foreign cultures living within our nation to such an extent that they were independent of our laws and customs was abhorrent to our nation as a whole.

    So as you look upon the torch of the Statue of Liberty it was and is not a beacon to summon every lost soul to America. It is a light symbolizing freedom and self determination. In order for our nation to be free it took people of a conviction and determination and a willingness to work together that persevered in the revolt that freed us from English rule. That determination and unity is what has truly made America great.

    Emma Lazarus’ poem was not a plea for immigrants to come but was instead, a challenge to those who wish to emigrate to the US. You have to aspire to be an American as it is not a given that you can come here. Only if one was willing to become an American would they will welcomed here. Those who wish to live as they did in Europe or Asia or Africa need not apply.

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