“There are several phrases associated with the Statue of Liberty, but the most recognizable is “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” This quote comes from Emma Lazarus’ sonnet, New Colossus, which she wrote for a fundraiser auction to raise money for the pedestal upon which the Statue of Liberty now sits. The poem did not receive much recognition and was quite forgotten after the auction. In the early 1900s and after Lazarus’ death, one of her friends began a campaign to memorialize Lazarus and her New Colossus sonnet. The effort was a success, and a plaque with the poem’s text was mounted inside the pedestal of the statute.” https://www.howtallisthestatueofliberty.org
When we look at America today, it is hard to believe that it could describe the same place. America has always stood for tolerance and healthy values as you would expect from a country primarily founded on immigrants from all over the world. All religions, creeds, cultures, races and beliefs are embroidered into the Stars and Stripes. America was built on immigrants coming from all corners of the globe bringing their culture and expertise with them. America has been generous in the way it has taken in the world’s poor and underprivileged and given them the chance to live the American Dream. Come to us, work hard and you can make a success of yourself..it is in your hands. Of course, these opportunities will always attract the bad apples of the world as is always the case and these need to be stopped. But what is happening in America today is beyond belief.
I have in my practice many concerned people. Members of the LGBT community, US citizens with a middle Eastern background. I have Muslim friends and family and a Muslim wife. They are all concerned and this concern is also present in other people as well who see the ban imposed by Donald Trump as unjust. On paper, it makes little sense and we can expect a myriad of legal challenges to the order in the next few weeks. If you throw a blanket over something you will maybe catch what you aim for but many others will be trapped too. That is how this seems….rushed and ill thought out. But just who is he trying to catch? Most “terror” acts that have taken place on American soil were carried out by people already living there and held the US passport. There was a case for extra vetting of applications which would have ben a natural step for a process that is already quite extensive. However, blanket bans on a specific religion or group of people seldom work. Walls seldom work and those who really want to cause damage will find a way. The ordinary people suffer.
What people are truly worried about is that this may be the start of a long list of orders from Trump excluding groups or individuals from American soil and who knows where that will end? What is his solution for the many already living there? Deportation, internment camps, loss of rights? Are you only American if you are a certain color or religion or sexual orientation and can prove this beyond doubt? I lived in Germany for 18 years and the war is still very much in the German psyche and fully explained their open door policies of late. There are still many alive who remember daily life under the Nazi regime. It started in much the same way..”undesirables”, homosexuals and anyone who disagreed would find themselves in peril. We all know that this led to persecution and mass murder of Peoples based on religious profile. This is not to say that this will happen again but what Trump is doing is dangerous to say the least. An interesting summary based on life in Nazi Germany can be found HERE
I would like to see Trump tackling such issues as gun control, the lack of coherent policy around this subject kills more Americans on American soil than anything else. Yet you hear nothing coming from him concerning this. His reversal of environmental policies including the pipeline across native American land could prove to be disastrous as could his support for the oil and fossil fuel industry who are set to drill until the cows come home. His views on global warming being a Chinese conspiracy are ridiculous at best. And this is a very short list of issues needing looking at…abortion, medical provision and minority rights are but some others. Yet this is the man who is in charge of the free world, the head of the self-appointed “world’s policemen”. We, looking from the outside could expect better.
Yes, we have to get used to a more cynical, protectionist America attempting to keep the world at bay. As usual, the ordinary people of America and other parts of the world will likely pay, literally and figuratively. Trump has his boogeymen already established as justification for his policies and is acting like the proverbial bully in the school yard. Four years can be a long time.