Then … And Now

Two days ago, June 17th, marked the 134th anniversary of the arrival of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbour.  The statue arrived dismantled, in 350 individual pieces packed in more than 200 cases, and it would be October of the following year before it was fully re-assembled and dedicated by President Grover Cleveland.  The statue was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and came to symbolize freedom and democracy.

In 1892, Ellis Island opened as America’s chief immigration station, and for the next 62 years Lady Liberty, as the statue is nicknamed, stood watch over the more than 12 million immigrants who sailed into New York Harbor.

In 1903, a plaque inscribed with a sonnet titled “The New Colossus” by American poet Emma Lazarus, was placed on an interior wall of the pedestal.

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 poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Lazarus’ now-famous words, which include “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” became symbolic of America’s vision of itself as a land of opportunity for immigrants.

This is that vision today …

immigrant-children-3immigrant-children-2immigrant-children-4immigrant child-2


It’s funny that the longer humans are on this earth, the more ‘developed’ our society becomes, the better educated we become, the less tolerant and compassionate we are.

By the way, in case anyone is interested … today is World Refugee Day.  Ironic, isn’t it?

liberty cries

60 thoughts on “Then … And Now

  1. Pingback: Then … And Now, 2020 | Filosofa's Word

  2. Pingback: This Land, Independence Day, 2019 | The Balsamean

  3. Reblogged this on Scotties Toy Box and commented:
    Hello Jill. I know we have many of the same viewers, however this post needs to be widely shared. Those pictures will stand as an indictment of our country in the future. History will ask what kind of people we were that could do this. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing this one, Scottie! Yes, it was intended to be a thought-provoking, meaningful piece, and I’m happy to see it being shared. History will not judge this period in our nation kindly … that is, if there is anybody left to write the history books in 50-100 years. I’m doubtful. Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t suppose my idea of ‘Thwack at least one racist with a baseball bat Day’ would gain much traction then (shhh..don’t tell Sheila I suggested it)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Then … And Now — Filosofa’s Word – GettingrealwithPTSD

  6. I wish I could put my feelings into words tonight. I was watching a British show and the ending song was Sting…If I Ever Lost My Faith In You. For some reason it grabbed me.

    So I went to Utube and listened and found another and another and it all got me to thinking about all the wonderful meaningful music of the late 60s / early 70s and some even beyond. And how so much of it was about social justice and human rights and the whole feel of our country at that time. It was such a time of social consciousness. Where did all that go? How did we lose all that? It seemed to me in looking back, we were in the beginning of something great. Yes there was drugs and some crazy behavior, but the direction of change was good and uplifting. Fairness, religious freedom, women’s rights and much more.

    Listening was so nostalgic and left me so sad. I know some of it is I’m getting older and time has moved on by, but..

    I don’t remember any religious fanaticism in those times..the meanness of it like now.

    When abortion became legal, I don’t remember any backlash or any obsession about it like now.

    Integration began in schools and in our lives. Anti war demonstrations became a point of trying to change away from a war culture and look at us now….no change.

    I know I’m rambling because I’m filled with emotion..a deep sadness at what I see in the world now. It’s like a dark fog is spreading and destroying as it goes and we are helpless.

    But those of us, in this timeframe, saw a spark of goodness and a promising future, that those of later generations will not see. At least we had that even though it has faded away now. We saw the promise of what could have been.

    It’s late, I’m rambling…good night.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Feel free to ramble here anytime, for your ramblings are much the same as my own. Music has power to evoke emotions, to start our minds on a journey of remembrance and of memories — some good, some not-so-much.

      The 60s were a time of heightened awareness. Two things — civil rights, and the Vietnam War — created the era we both remember so well. There were leaders of the civil rights movement who made us aware of the social injustices the generations that came before us perpetrated. We became aware that African-Americans were people who should have the same rights as we — the right to a good education, suitable housing, jobs, and such simple things as drinking from the water fountain. The Vietnam War brought our attention to the fact that there were men (not many women at that time) in power who sat in ivory towers and in their arrogance made foolish decisions that took the lives of our friends. My boyfriend in 1967 went to Vietnam, was placed in a nice, safe desk job, and got blown to bits. Why? To stop communism in a country halfway ’round the globe.

      But now? Over the past 20 years or so, we have been slipping backward, mostly unnoticed. Mitch McConnell’s statement regarding reparations tells of his attitude when he says we paid for slavery by electing Barack Obama as president. Say WHAT??? He doesn’t understand. Women’s rights are sliding backward. As you noted, when Roe v Wade was first passed, I don’t recall nearly as much brouhaha as there is today over abortion. I think this comes from the extreme religious right. This is something else we didn’t have in the 60s … the very political evangelicals who think it is their “god-given” right to force all of us to live as they believe we should.

      And now, my friend, I am rambling. Have a good night … wake up and smile in the morning. Here’s a hug to start your day with a smile 🤗

      Liked by 3 people

    • For Mary and Jill both, and anyone else willing to listen:
      If school in America was anything like school in Canada, with frequent air raid drills where authorities had us sit under our desks and put our heads between our knees, as if we could survive an atomic bomb, what we learned was how useless war is, and how stressful it is for children brought into such a world. The cold war was as responsible as any other issue to how we became flower children. Civil rights and the Viet Nam war were huge factors, but without the cold war as the glue we might never have gotten as far as we did. The is the birthplace of the not living past 30 feeling we shared. The dropping of atomic bombs was an expected future. Somehow we made it past that.
      Which was part of the downfall, along with the emergence of cocaine as the drug of choice. No longer were kids feeding their minds, adults were feeding their bodies. Money became the main attraction. How many of today’s fortunes were made on the backs of thrill-seekers? We will never know.
      From good causes to personal interest, things changed drastically, and rapidly. Before I even noticed anything happening. Altamont came and went, and our innocence was destroyed. If you look back in the history books, Woodstock was our major achievement, even for those who weren’t there. Half a million people getting along peacefully, helped out by those who days before were rejecting us. Humanity’s greatest time. And then Altamont brought it crashing down. A continent away, but really a world away. From peace to violence, and murder. Who could have foreseen California, the mecca of hippiedom, being the graveyard of the 60s counterculture? But it was. A whole new era, destroyed in the time it took to pull one trigger.
      Okay, I’m not rambling, but I am ranting. There is so much I would like to say, but the the ideas are tripping over each other, and I cannot give time to them all. Most are gone before I even realize they were here.
      And so it goes…

      Liked by 2 people

      • Very interesting RG…
        I’ll admit to not even knowing about Altamont and had to just google it now. I must have been clueless when I was young. Here is a lengthy but highly interesting link.

        I graduated high school in 1965. The Beatles were just starting..then I went away to a two yr school and really got into the music of the times and then the feeling of the social consciousness effort with Civil rights, Women’s rights, anti war efforts and anti establishment philosophy.

        I did come to see that drugs played a big part and that the good intentions began to get lost and corrupted.

        The Cold War didn’t sink into my mind until after high school, even though we did do the under the desk thing and I do remember the Bay of Pigs and of course, Kennedy’s assassination. I was you g and just wanted to party and have a good time.

        From my view, things seemed to settle through the 70-90s until 9-11. It’s never been the same since. Politics saw money to be made with continuous wars. Drugs continued to spread to the mainstream and we see that major problem today.

        Here is a paragraph from this link I posted that really says a lot and is very much what you said.

        “The Altamont concert is often contrasted with the Woodstock festival that took place less than four months earlier. While Woodstock represented “peace and love”, Altamont came to be viewed as the end of the hippie era and the de facto conclusion of late-1960s American youth culture: “Altamont became, whether fairly or not, a symbol for the death of the Woodstock Nation.”[29][30][31] Rock music critic Robert Christgau wrote in 1972 that “Writers focus on Altamont not because it brought on the end of an era but because it provided such a complex metaphor for the way an era ended.”[32] Writing for the New Yorker in 2015, Richard Brody said what Altamont ended was “the idea that, left to their own inclinations and stripped of the trappings of the wider social order, the young people of the new generation will somehow spontaneously create a higher, gentler, more loving grassroots order. What died at Altamont is the Rousseauian dream itself.”[33]”

        It’s kinda the old “everything good must die and all good things come to an end.”

        I just for some reason find it so sad. All the hope of a nation gone and look what time has morphed the US into today. We ended up with trump and these particular republicans of today and a base that is totally soulless and empty of any integrity, reflection, introspection or empathy.

        Liked by 2 people

        • There was so much going on, Mary, so many things playing on the minds of people. What we had, wherever we were, was mostly good. But there were bad elements around, trying to take advantage of the things we were trying to do. Not to mention the government and security forces being faced with something they could not understand, or control, and in trying to control it made it worse.
          One epusode had it that a riot was supposedly started by the Black Panthers was actually started by government infiltrators from different initialed groups egging each other on, not knowing the others were infiltrators too, with different initials. No one was talking to each other, and it was their fault a whole raft of people ended up in jail, injured, or worse. That makes every riot or event suspect. Who really wanted the riots, kids, or the initials!
          No matter how, our experiment in social movement fell apart, and it may be a long time before the right conditions show up again, if ever. It is sad. It is disappointing. And it is possible to succeed. I’m sure we showed that.

          Liked by 3 people

    • Sigh. I’m afraid the democratic field is making my prophecy come true … far too many candidates are diluting the field and the message. The ones in the lead are being smeared, their skeletons brought out of the closet and their dirty laundry aired. They are in-fighting. And the democrats in Congress are being so ineffective that I fear 2020 may bring a return of a republican majority to the House. Right now, I’m not feeling happy about the whole situation. Sigh.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Jill, our American ideals are like an onion to the president. He is peeling them away layer by layer.
    -he said the media is fake
    – he said he was not sure he would concede if he lost
    – he denigrates allies and treats them as transactions
    – he backs out of negotiated agreements with multiple parties
    – he butters up autocrats and looks away when human rights violation
    – he tolerates and placates white nationalists
    – he makes it easier to pollute
    – he has disdain for immigrants and travelers from non-Anglo-Saxon countries

    Our ideals are transactions. And, his base that speaks of values, better ask him more questions. Lying, bullying and being a jerk are not good values. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • What an excellent analogy. I only wish it would make him cry like peeling an onion does me! I would add one more to your list … he truly believes he only represents those who ‘like’ him and/or agree with him. He does not see a responsibility to the rest of us. I read tonight that in an interview with, I believe it was Time Magazine, he said he could win in 2020 with only his base. Sigh. In an honest election, no he couldn’t, but I am under no illusion that 2020 will be an honest election. Values? Trump? What an oxymoron! The sad thing, though, is that so many people in this nation are willing to sacrifice their values for Trump.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh … they are hoping to fight anybody whose skin is not quite ‘white’ enough, or who perhaps love someone of their own gender. I’m sure that if children under 10 are Black, Latino, or Middle-Eastern, they would be happy to pound on them, too. It is overkill, and that’s their intent. The cops did an excellent job keeping order with those thugs in town, for it could so easily have turned into another Charlottesville.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hello David. One of the border patrol is on trial right now for hitting immigrants with his work truck. The lawyers for the victim got some of the text messages between agents that are very racist and violent. They do not care the age, they delight in and want to hurt these people. Hugs

      Liked by 2 people

      • That’s sick and I take it to be as a result of Trump’s rushing to employ these agents and getting a lot of white supremacists who like his brand of politics. Roll on a decent Government who can clean up his messes.I think he will be talked of as the Worst President ever in the future.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hello David. Yes he will be the worst president and the most criminal. The problem is over the last three years tRump has emboldened the most racist radical extreme elements of the border patrol and especially ICE. He has made asylum seekers the same in people’s minds as border crashers for nefarious purposes. He has crimilaisted something that is not criminal! By both US law and the treaties we have signed it is permissible to cross a border and then turn yourself in for asylum. What he is claiming is that everyone who crosses the border is a criminal so therefore cannot be released and must be held. That is why we have so many people in concentration camps. So good is his constant message on this I have recently gotten into heated arguments on the subject with people locally who think these are criminals. My country seems unable to learn or understand laws or history, only demagoguery. Hugs

          Liked by 2 people

        • Often the reason some go into any form of law enforcement is for the power trip, the feeling of having the upper hand. I suspect part of it, too, is what you said … they had to beef up their staffing and probably were told not to worry too much about background checks or psychological testing that is typically part of the application process. No wonder Trump refused to let the U.N. Human Rights investigators into the country last year, eh?

          Liked by 3 people

  8. It is a poignant post Jill. Trump’s own lineage are all immigrants, as are most Americans somewhere in their family tree. Many of my forebears emigrated to America. And I emigrated to Canada so now have dual nationality.

    What gives Trump or anyone the right to deny the tired, poor, huddled masses, the right to live a decent life.

    Immigration laws do not keep the dangerous gangsters out, it only targets those who have no wish to hurt anyone.

    What kind of world have we become?

    Maybe we should have a world hug day… And hug everyone we meet, regardless of colour, creed or social standing, (or species, let’s not forget the fur clan) . I think I would like to see that before I die. Wishful thinking!

    Liked by 4 people

    • A quote not verbatim..” the only thing for evil to triumph, is when good men do nothing.”
      It really is coming down to good vs evil and I don’t mean “evil” in the religious sense, just insidious malevolence.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks Colette! This nation was founded by immigrants, and with the exception of those who are full-blood Native Americans, everyone of us have immigrants in our ancestry. Too bad they didn’t have a ban on immigrants in 1885 when Trump’s own grandfather came to these shores.

      I like the World Hug Day idea very much, but … can you imagine the reaction of a stranger in, say, the grocery store when you walk up to him and hug him … or her? I’d likely come home with a couple of black eyes, my teeth knocked down my throat, and a busted lip! Still, I do like the idea. I shall start here … 🤗🤗🤗

      Liked by 3 people

      • I have hugged a few unsuspecting people in my time. They don’t react by wanting to knock your teeth out. They are usually suspicious and then embarrassed. That is how disconnected people have become. But look into their eyes and you will see tears. Because a genuine hug (not the silly back pat type, but a genuine heart felt hug) moves something in a person that they didn’t know existed. ❤️❤️❤️

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hello Jill. It is becoming a trend at pride parades for straight people to advertise as a parent or grandparent willing to give a hug to any LGBTQ who need one. It is very cathartic to people whose own family have shunned them. I have even read of these same types of parents willing to go to same sex weddings and stand in for parents who refuse to honor the LGBTQ relationships. Hugs

          Liked by 4 people

        • You’re right … we have become disconnected and untrusting … often with good reason in this day where people can scan your credit card through your pants pocket and bilk you for thousands of dollars. And I ask myself … how would I react if a stranger just walked up and grabbed me in a hug? Sadly, the answer is unless he explained first, I would be inclined to draw back a fist, thinking I was being assaulted. Sigh.

          Liked by 3 people

        • A heartfelt smile has a similar reaction. I love your hug day idea and would add that everybody at their 18th birthday get one of those DNA tests that tells them how much “foreign” is in their genes 🙋‍♀️🐝

          Liked by 5 people

          • You are so right about the smile. I try to smile at everyone I come in contact with, and I know firsthand that something as simple as a smile and kind word can lift the spirits. Great idea you have there … remind them that they are the descendents of immigrants who were welcomed to this nation. 🙋


              • So true … the ‘populist’ movement that is a pushback against the refugee crisis that happened as a result of the Arab Spring, that was partly a result of climate change. Sigh. A domino effect that is likely to affect the entire world before it’s over. 🙋

                Liked by 1 person

        • Y’know … I might consider doing that … in a place like the grocery store or bookstore, where I’m pretty sure nobody has a gun tucked into their waistband or in their pocket. Gotta start somewhere, yes?

          Liked by 3 people

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