Saturday, July 30, 2016

A New Vision: Trump Calls America "Dumping Ground"


“We are a dumping ground for the rest of the world,” said Donald Trump, who emphasized his commitment to deporting all undocumented immigrants and building a wall on the southern border of the United States.

(Mary Jordan and Sean Sullivan. “Trump in Texas: 'We are a dumping ground for the rest of the world.'” The New York Times. September 14, 2015.)

The subject of illegal immigration has made Donald Trump a sharply polarizing figure in the 2016 White House race. His immigration plans have drawn intense criticism from Democrats and some Republicans.

After Trump's divisive comments about immigration,Vice President Joe Biden spoke to a Latino group saying that Mr. Trump and his fellow Republicans were taking pages from an old playbook that always fails.

“This will pass,” Vice President Biden said. This “sick message” has been tried on America before, and we always — “always, always, always, always” — overcome it.

Yet, Trump has caused Lawrence Downes, American journalist and member of the editorial board of The New York Times, to say ...

“The Trump effect leads to a question I’ve been pondering. Is politics like physics, where adding gas to a container creates pressure and heat? If you keep pumping inflammatory speech into the public discourse, do you eventually get ignition?”

(Lawrence Downes. “The Real Danger of Donald Trump.” The New York Times. September 16, 2015.)

Downes reminds us all that “the garbage” to which Trump was referring is “the same kind of people we describe more poetically on a plaque at the foot of the Statue of Liberty.”

Statue of Liberty Inscription – “The New Colossus”

"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!"
cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your
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!"

—Emma Lazarus, 1883

Yes, almost all of us 21st century Americans are the offspring of immigrants who entered the United States seeking a new home, a land of freedom and justice where they could live out their plans and their dreams.

And, yes, those “huddled masses” were largely the “wretched refuse” of other teeming shores. This is a birthright we must never forget. It involves a sacred obligation -- To uplift our national diversity and to insure America will always remain open to those who seek asylum from tyranny and other life-threatening hardships. This moral imperative must never end.

Perhaps Donald Trump sees the “golden door” as a entry restricted only to those who fit his judgmental ideals. Unlike Trump, poet Emma Larazus understood that tired, poor immigrants – people of all kinds under every imaginable oppression – deserve a place in this great country. Yet, Trump's derisive cry of an American “dumping ground” diminishes all Americans. It reduces each and every one of us to a place in a trash heap. This is not my vision of America, of myself, of my loved ones, or of the millions of others in my beloved country.

Or, perhaps, Trump wishes to establish some vision of his own “storied pomp.” He certainly is quick to judge others when they conflict with his “great” plans. It is not a form of humorous sarcasm or a win against political correctness when he belittles others and seeks a hierarchy for fair treatment. Such tyranny is the very reason colonial Americans revolted against injustices and established a nation emblematic of the torch of liberty.

America is neither a dumping ground of immigrants nor an enclosure behind a wall. We all know this. Even Donald Trump knows this. So, I ask you why is Trump more concerned about his vision of greatness than he is about the truth? We are a nation composed of many different types of people with many different beliefs … but we have one common commitment that must stand alone in a world of war and strife. Emma Lazarus said it best over 130 years ago …

"Give me your tired, your
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!"


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