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I can’t stop writing; I cried writing this.

. . .

“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.”

Or, on second thought, maybe not.
Take these tired and poor
and shut the door in their faces,
put them in their place,
it’s certainly not here.
Those refugees you speak of,
what regions do they come from?
Are they brown-skinned and Muslim?
Were they born into war-torn countries?
If they are these types of refugees
we have no use for them here.

You see,
our fear drives us these days
makes us behave in ways
our white ancestors did
when they tried to rid this land
of its rightful inhabitants
the indigenous people
who we still treat as less than equal
whose very existence makes us recoil,
“Let them drink oil!”
we cry, because the genocide
of old never really ended,
it’s simply extended in more covert
and sinister methods.

And the institution of slavery
we embraced for hundreds of years?
That’s still here too,
it too morphed and changed
the chains now more sophisticated,
the method now metal cages
and we still blame the rage
of black and brown faces
on their race and biology,
never acknowledging the racism
wrought within our economy,
psychology, institutions, foundations,
the very soul of this nation.

And let’s not forget the internment camps
that held thousands of Japanese Americans
for no other reason
than the “treason” of looking like the enemy.
So we took children and families,
and herded these like cattle
waging a battle against our own,
against the flesh, blood, and bone
of our fellow Americans
who emigrated, like us, to this land.

And now we look at the Mexicans,
which is what we call all Latino men,
women and children
because we do not actually care
where they came from
or what their nationality is
only that they exist in our midst
and we don’t think they should.
And if we could,
we’d deport them all
“Let’s build a damn wall!”
Make it as tall as the sky,
as wide as the southern border,
restore this nation to its proper order.
What’s more American than that?

And all the while lady liberty
screams in pain,
turns her face away from these shores
and implores us to reconsider.
We are better than this,
though past and present say otherwise.
But the tides are changing,
can you not feel them?
The cries of hate and lies
are at this moment being defied,
can you not feel them?
The people are marching,
can you not feel them? !

Throughout the tides of history
there has always been
and must always be
a strong undercurrent
of resistance.
For instance, the abolitionists
fighting for the end of slavery,
the Freedom Riders and their bravery,
the war resisters, pipeline protesters,
civil and gay rights leaders,
bleeders and sweaters and criers
who laid their lives on the line.
And the current time
beckons us to be on the right side,
the side of justice and mercy,
of love and acceptance and liberty,
of righteous anger and humility.

Pick up your torches,
you statues of liberty,
flood the shores of your city
open her doors wide
so all may come inside.
And together we will cry,
“Give us 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.
Welcome refugees, here you are free.
Here, you are free.”

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