Then … And Now, 2020

Today, June 17th, marks the 135th anniversary of the arrival of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbour.  I did a post similar to this one last year on this date (actually, a couple of days late), but this year my point is still valid and so I have updated it to reflect the differences between then and now.  The main difference this year is the issue of police brutality, and I have added some pictures to reflect this.

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, a land where all people, regardless of race or religion, would be treated equally.

This is that vision today …

Officer Derek Chauvin with hands in pockets kneeling on George Floyd's neck

2-year-old immigrant girl crying as mother is arrested by ICE

Police shooting tear gas against protestors

Immigrant boy behind wire cage

Line of police advancing on protestors on Capitol Hill

kids in cages at the southern border

Police knock down 75-year-old man and walk by without stopping

barbed wire and immigrants lying in the dirt

white supremacists giving Nazi salute with huge swastika burningIt’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.Statue of Liberty crying

 

 

55 thoughts on “Then … And Now, 2020

    • The protests are still ongoing, and Congress is … well … not going to do a damn thing. The democrats are working on one bill, the republicans on another. The republican bill will do nothing. Neither bill will see the light of day, for the two parties cannot even be bothered to sit down and work together. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. You’re right … if not now, then when? After the next hideous murder of a black man by a cop? Or after a dozen more? Or a hundred? How many have to be brutalized and lose their lives before we wake up??? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
      Cwtch

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  1. A powerful piece indeed. But I would take exception to your final remark. We are not better educated than our forbearers. Not by a long shot! But I would say that there is very little connection between education and virtue. I have posted about this. Compassion and empathy are essential to virtue and these are instilled in the young at an early age (or not) by the examples of those around them. It cannot be taught.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wasn’t it gifted to you by those ‘surrender monkeys’, whose intervention in your rebellion in 1770s kept the Continental Army from getting its butt kicked by the loyalists ?
    By the way, something for those asshats with the swastikas give them pictures of the Malmedy Massacre and ask them if they supported that!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Over at Jill’s: Then … And Now, 2020 – 🐝 The Bee Writes…

  4. So sad, but so true. We certainly have fallen a long ways down. But unfortunately this dream was one of what could have been, should have been, but I’m afraid it wasn’t even true back then either..lots of racism then against many ethnic groups including blacks and even women, not to mention gays.

    For a country to have had to march and protest for civil and equal rights for all people, even back in the 60s and now without much change and in some cases being worse, says a lot about a country and it’s true heart.😢

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are so right, my friend. But, I think perhaps it’s not just this country, but the human species in general that seem to need divisions, need to find a criteria on which to judge others. We have only become more sharply divided and more violent in our approach of late. Where do we go from here? Sigh. Sadly, I don’t see things getting any better, for the racists and bigots of all sorts have dug their trenches and aren’t backing down … they are convinced that they are right and … well, they have the big guns.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Maybe the USA needs a Statue of Liberty at every border crossing, instead of just the crossing from Europe. I never thought of this before, and please forgive me if you find this insulting, but Lady Liberty is also a racist symbol.At the time it was erected, 90% of immigrants passing through Ellis Island were white. No, most were not rich, but definitely they were white. People of colour came through other entry points, and were not greeted with symbols of freedom. Most were brought in as slave or cheap labour, not fit to be full citizens. And those who were there before the whites, they were people to be conquered and forced off the land they had lived on, and off, for millennia.
    I’m betting no one is willing to take down the Statue of Liberty, and yet, she is an emblem of white supremicism.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Half the world is pushing for you now, sickened not just by the level of violence bur also the breach of trust by those you are meant to trust implicitly.Now is the time to forge ahead and show the world how many care and that these bastards can be got out of the police forces and their unions can’ t be allowed to affect things.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 2 people

    • Half the world … nay, most of the world … is thoroughly disgusted with the arrogance and cruelty, the bigotry and hatred that define the U.S. today. I suspect most are hoping this nation will soon implode, as well it might. We are now a pariah among those who were once our allies, and with good reason. Will we … can we … fix the problems of systemic racism in our police departments, police unions, and our government? We can start, but something tells me that … the effort will be defeated. Why? Because half this nation are prejudiced against any who don’t look and act just like them. They call it ‘tribalism’ … I call it hateful stupidity. But, it’s been around forever, so the thought of defeating it in a matter of months, or evey years, seems like pie in the sky. Sigh.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry, John, but America was never great. Non-wbhite people have been mistreated from the time Columbus called them Indians, then slaves instead of Africans, then traitors instead of Asians, and now terrorists instead of Muslims. The only thing white Americans and Candians (present company excepted) are good at is subjugating others by calling them savages, and it is whites that call that good. To everyone else, it is worse than hell.

      Liked by 3 people

        • See. Football is played with the feet all over the world. North Americans are playing fake football, a hybrid of football and rugby, or rugger. The championship of baseball is called the World Series. Americans, like Trump, need to be the greatest. Yet they never will be. Funny, but white players are paid much better than their black counterparts. Why is that? Racism!

          Liked by 1 person

      • I agree, Rawgod. We have a huge mess of systemic racism to clean up here in Canada. I can’t believe the video footage we’re seeing of RCMP officers beating Indigenous people for no good reason. Disgusting. Thugs with badges. There are many good people of all colours in this country, but they need to become active so that real change can begin to occur. Unfortunately, racism is taught at home and that will necessitate a long time before it can be eradicated. I think we need to screen people psychologically before they are permitted to have children.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow Jill. No words. Powerful stuff. And those pictures are with a thousand words. Falling and falling further into third world status. That’s the good ole USA right now. NOVEMBER 3rd!!!!!!

    Liked by 4 people

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