There’s been a lot of talk both during the campaign and now about President Donald Trump’s “forgotten people.” The irony of blue-collar America electing a billionaire who stiffs his own workers is irrelevant. What is relevant, however, is that there are forgotten people out there – immigrants, who want to experience the American Dream. Everyone is entitled to their chance at the American Dream, and equality of opportunity is as American as apple pie. Any sort of ban on immigration is decidedly un-American and represents a great moral decay.
“New Colossus”, a sonnet written by Emma Lazarus rests at the Statue of Liberty. Near the latter half, it reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” Turning the tired and poor away isn’t a partisan issue. These are human lives hanging in the balance.
Genocide isn’t pleasant to think about. It rarely makes its way into daily discourse or casual conversations. But we’re not living up to our shiny American idealism if we look the other way and pretend that all is well in the world.
Stand in solidarity with immigrants and refugees because everyone is entitled to their chance at the American Dream, regardless of race, color or creed.
The Forgotten People
Don’t forget about the forgotten
taking safety on a Saturday afternoon
from Syrian shells and the stench
of death staining the air. Don’t forget
about the tired, poor, and huddled
masses yearning to breathe free,
free of poison gas and free to believe
whatever they wish. Wishing
for a different reality
than the one they currently know,
wishing it all away at once.
That maybe, it was all a bad dream,
a subconscious glitch, and maybe
one day everything will be okay.