I delivered this at the KEEPING FAMILIES TOGETHER rally at the Plymouth UU Church, June 23, 2018
“Give me your tired, your poor”…she said.
As long as they are white, Christian, educated, financially stable and have passed the merit based competency qualifications – which we haven’t developed yet…but maybe someday….we’ll just have to wait and see.
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”…she said.
No-no, not them. We don’t do huddled masses here, I don’t care what their scripted made up story is…send them back where they came from, but before you do, take away their children and detain them all….separately. Where, you ask? I don’t care where? Jails, tents in the boiling sun, holding tanks, just keep them out of the eyes of the fake news media. There’s an election coming. Gotta think about image.
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore”…she said.
That’s them, all right. Wretched refuse. Liars, rapists, drug dealers, bad hombres using the kids that aren’t even their own to get our sympathy. …No wretched refuse here, not here, not in my back yard or my front yard, or my neighborhood…or anywhere in the good ole YEW ESS OF A. We don’t do wretched refuse here…or do we?
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me”…she said.
No, dammit, sent them back to where they came from. It’s not our problem. If they only worked harder they would have a home and enough to eat. All they want is a free ride and free medical care. What do they think we are anyway? The land of the plenty, the land of the free and the brave? The land of opportunity? A nation of immigrants?
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”…she said.
And the door is locked, and the lock is rusted out with the tears of the frightened children and their desperate parents.
But this is not the end of the poem or the end of the story….it can’t be. We can’t let it be….and we can stop it. We are being heard….sort of.
Being present here today is an action call. And thank you so much for responding to it. But it’s only a starting place. When you leave here, PLEASE raise your voice, call your senators and representatives, sign petitions, donate to organizations that are really helping these people. Show your support to undocumented immigrants hiding in our midst. They are terrified. Do something….anything that will help…and most of all VOTE! We absolutely can re-open that golden door, and relight that diminished lamp.
“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!”…she said.
And the good kind caring active people….said AMEN!
This is the America I used to know….and, BY GOD, I will know once more. …..Actions speak louder than words…go thou and be ACTIVE….