In 2016, President-elect Donald Trump threatened to put Muslim citizens on a registry, once elected. Let’s continue building a nation that welcomes all people in 2017.
The New Colossus
by Emma Lazarus (1883)
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!”
Emma Lazarus (1849–1887) wrote The New Colossus in 1883 to raise money for the construction of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. In 1903, the sonnet was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the pedestal’s lower level. It has come to portray the statue as a welcoming mother, a symbol of hope to the outcasts and downtrodden of the world. It serves as a powerful emblem of the spirit of the United States of America. In this video, immigrants from West Africa, Russia, Iran, and Palestine, along with U.S.-born citizens whose parents or ancestors were immigrants, recite the poem as a reminder of the best and true spirit of our country.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Did Donald Trump say he would create a registry of Muslims, if elected president?
During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump stated on multiple occasions he would support the development of databases to track Muslims in the United States. These comments began attracting attention in November 2015, following terrorist attacks in Paris, France, and San Bernandino, California. Although members of his transition team have denied that Mr. Trump ever advocated explicitly for a “Muslim registry,” his comments have been widely perceived as endorsing such a proposal (which has specifically been promoted by Trump advisors and political surrogates).
Isn’t there a registry already?
Although there isn’t known to be a “Muslim registry” in the United States, there is widespread evidence that Americans who are Muslim are already forced to endure numerous forms of governmental surveillance. The federal government’s “No Fly List” launched in 2001 quickly began targeting people with Muslim-sounding names; it operates in total secret, unaccountable to public scrutiny. From 2002 to 2015, the New York City Police Department coordinated widespread surveillance of Muslim communities; in 2016 a landmark lawsuit received a court judgment demanding the NYPD eliminate all such investigations. Nevertheless, some national politicians argue the NYPD program should be used as a model for federal religious profiling initiatives. And data brokerage companies already have created databasesthat allegedly maintain information about Muslim adherents throughout the nation, which are already available to federal government agencies.
What will FOR do in 2017?
In response to the incoming administration’s hateful potential for increasingly oppressive policies, the Fellowship of Reconciliation will expand efforts to promote a culture of nonviolent resistance to the “Triple Evils” of racism, militarism, and materialism. We will continue to support and strengthen grassroots efforts by providing education and training in nonviolent organizing and activism. We will raise a louder voice of hope and compassion through our ongoing nonviolent narrative, and to promote spiritually-grounded principles of nonviolence as a way of life.
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Video created by Two Sons: Jacob Brooks, videographer, and Brian Wertheim, videographer and sound; and FOR’s Director of Campaigns and Strategy Anthony Grimes, writer and executive producer.