Huddled Masses Yearning for Free Stuff

SellwynThumbby Selwyn Duke2/2/18
Time to Remove Socialist “Huddled Masses” Plaque from Statue of Liberty • With storied statues having come down from sea to shining sea the past year, it’s time for the same to happen with something somewhat newer: the socialist-born plaque in the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal.

Yeah, it’s the one with the “huddled masses” bit. There are good reasons for it to be removed, too — above and beyond the fact that our whole nation is being turned into a huddled mass.

The plaque contains the poem “The New Colossus,” written by socialist writer Emma Lazarus. It didn’t come with the statue, a gift from France unveiled in 1886, but was slapped on smack dab in the middle of the “Progressive Era” (in 1903). This was also the period that gave us other things as American as Lazarus’ poem, such as entry into WWI, the income tax and the notion that the Constitution could be considered a “living document” (Woodrow Wilson loved to bloviate about this).

If most of these huddled masses voted GOP, the Democrats would have long ago changed the statue’s plaque to read, “America is full. Stay wherever the heck you are.”

The poem remained relatively obscure for decades, and we’d be well served if it stayed that way. Alas, though, it’s now well known. What’s not so well known is that the Statue of Liberty had nothing to do with immigration. That the poem helps create the confusion that it does is enough of a reason to remove it, but there are others as well:

1. Many now see the poem’s most famous line, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,” as a policy statement. In fact, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright (Halfbright?) tweeted last year, “There is no fine print on the Statue of Liberty. America must remain open to people of all faiths & backgrounds. #RefugeesWelcome.”

“Fine print,” of course, is the way you speak of law or a contract. That the poem is being used this way should give everyone pause.

2. “The New Colossus” was an example of 19th-century virtue signaling. It’s also more than troubling that policy is being influenced by sentiments that most don’t even know have a socialist pedigree. In fact, as a socialist, Lazarus could be seen as having been an (unwitting) enemy of America.

Having said this, she’s not the only 19th-century socialist shaping policy — there’s Bernie Sanders, too.

3. Today, the huddled masses aren’t yearning to breathe free; they’re yearning for free stuff. Immigration ain’t what it used to be, and romanticizing immigrants distorts reality; being people, they include the good, the bad and the ugly. I’d sooner see the romanticizing of citizens, though truth beats incessant pep talks any day.

4. Created by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the Statue of Liberty was originally intended to symbolize the principles of international republicanism; again, it had nothing to do with immigration. And as with the Constitution, we’d do well to return to original intent.

This is especially true because the huddled-masses bit now buttresses what I dubbed immigrationism, the bizarre notion that immigration is always good, always necessary and should be the one constant in an ever-changing universe of policy. Yet with 85 to 90 percent of today’s immigrants hailing from the Third World and 70 to 90 percent of them voting for freedom-squelching Democrats upon naturalization, there’s an irony here: The phenomenon now represented by the Statue of Liberty is destroying liberty.

This, of course, is why leftists love today’s immigration. If most of these huddled masses voted GOP, the Democrats would have long ago changed the statue’s plaque to read, “America is full. Stay wherever the heck you are.”

Regardless, immigration is far from as American as apple pie. In fact, 21 years after Lazarus’ poem was placed on the statue, immigration was severely restricted via the enactment of the National Origins Act in 1924. Back then our population was only 114 million, mind you.

Now, having almost tripled, it’s 327 million — and counting.

And with our stable fertility rate, it only grows because of immigration. When will we say enough is enough? When our population is 400 million? A half-billion? One billion? George Soros may want to make our population stats look like his bank account, but, c’mon, really, talk about “teeming shores.”

This is yet another reason why the socialist plaque should be removed from the Statue of Liberty. Oh, don’t worry, I’m not proposing it be destroyed. To echo the opponents of Confederate monuments, it can be put in a museum — where it belongs.

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8 Responses to Huddled Masses Yearning for Free Stuff

  1. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Yet with 85 to 90 percent of today’s immigrants hailing from the Third World

    I have been to two “citizenship” swearing in ceremonies, and from what I saw, the percentage should be more like 97-99%.

    The two largest immigrant groups I saw (by a long way) were Mexicans and Pakistanis/Indians.

    The Chinese woman standing next to my wife couldn’t even read the pledge, in English, on becoming a citizen. This really annoyed my wife.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      It’s a good thing that we don’t hate people just because of their skin color. It’s a bad thing when we assign to them traits that are based on a romanticized notion of “the immigrant” with no thought at all in regards to the consequences of people coming from shit-hole countries with no expectation that they leave their holes behind.

      Adding to the mischief are the motivations. The Left’s vision of America is as a dumping ground for those from shit-hole countries. This serves two functions. For the upper tier ideologues and leaders, it’s a way to turn America into a shit-hole country, to equalize the squalor. They can justify this because, after all, we’re rich only because we stole their wealth or otherwise kept them down. Their antipathy for America is sated. And behind their gated communities, they don’t have to care. They will not be effected. For those on the useful idiot lower tier it’s a way to feel good about yourself by being compassionate. And at this level, if you are effected then you just have to smile (a shit-hole shit-eating grin will suffice) and pretend you like it.

      Alas, we are steeped in the multiculturalist view. That moral argument has been won, if only by default. The GOP will not fight back. They already live behind gated-community walls of some sort. And even the “Build the wall” guy is a useful idiot with his latest proposals. Only forced expulsion or a race war can solve the problem. Short of that, welcome to the diminished disunited states of multi-America.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    This brings up an important point. Lazarus talked about “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” — but how many of them today (especially Muslims) really yearn to breathe free? So by the open borders fans’ own poem, you can make a case against allowing in many of today’s immigrants.

  3. Steve Lancaster says:

    Selective outrage is the fodder of the progressive, as is selective virtue. I don’t think the poem need be taken from the statue, but we need to remind the progressives that its a poem expressing what liberty is about, not a law and not a policy standard.

    On the campus of the University of Arkansas is a dedicated statue to one of the most racist politicians of the 20th century. A man who consistently voted against civil rights both in Arkansas and in DC. A close person friend of Orville Fabus, Bull Connor, Lester Maddox, Lyndon Johnson and George Wallace. Yet, an entire college is named for him and the irony is that Black history courses are held in old main and those students have to walk under his statue to enter the building. If you haven’t tripped to it J. W. Fulbright. If progressives did not have double standards, they would have no standards at all.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I believe some people have pointed out, as the Southern racism of the Jim Crow era and its practitioners are increasingly attacked, that this also includes a lot of famous Southern liberals. Fulbright isn’t the only one. Perhaps we could find a Fulbright Scholar to study the issue.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      The idea of America as a land of refuge is not a bad idea. It would be re-writing history to deny that this was one crucial element of our founding. As well as the desire for religious freedom. As well as the desire to make a buck.

      We should be careful of shallow feel-good victories. We could cement-over that plaque and it would mean little while Social Justice Warriors are spreading their racist poison in schools. John Sexton has an article about that. He quotes a report from Katherine Kersten:

      The shift began in 2013, when Edina school leaders adopted the “All for All” strategic plan—a sweeping initiative that reordered the district’s mission from academic excellence for all students to “racial equity.”

      “Equity” in this context does not mean “equality” or “fairness.” It means racial identity politics—an ideology that blames minority students’ academic challenges on institutional racial bias, repudiates Martin Luther King, Jr.’s color-blind ideal, and focuses on uprooting “white privilege.”

      You could have a plaque inscribed with “Stay away, Muslim horde” on the Statue of Liberty and it would be inconsequential. The real battle is taking place elsewhere.

      This is the problem with conservatives of late. We too often obsess on shallow moral victories that make us feel better but do nothing about the problem. I think Selwyn’s article is useful for revealing some of the underpinnings of the hate-white-America movement. It’s important to note that this hostility for America is disguised in feel-good rhetoric….even that included on the Statue of Liberty. But we won’t change things via mere symbols. Until we go to school board meetings and stand up to the racial bullies, a plaque on a statue is inconsequential.

    • David Ray says:

      Astute observation. Ann Coulter addressed that same subject / the “southern strategy” in her book “Mugged”.

  4. David Ray says:

    I did not know that factoid about the plaque. Appreaciate learning from here what pricks like Peter Jennings somehow always seem to miss tellin’ me.

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