Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Good bye Lady Liberty

Dear France,

In 1886 you gave us a beautiful token of our international friendship: Lady Liberty illuminating the world. She still stands on Liberty Island looking like a beacon for the world’s tired, poor and huddled masses yearning to breathe free. But like an adult’s once treasured childhood dream, my country has forgotten her. Please, take her back, restore her dignity, and adopt the graces this country has forsaken.

When you gave us the Statue de la Liberté, you thought this country truly believed what was written in its constitution. You thought this country actually believed in freedom, liberty and justice for all. Unfortunately, both you and I were duped.

Everyday, all I read on line and all I read in the papers confirms a fear that has been haunting me. The descendents of the immigrants who founded this nation are now terrified of other people enjoying the same opportunities that allowed their families to succeed in this young land.

In the same breath the citizens of this country swear to defend the constitution and bill of rights but then argue that all Muslims, blacks, atheists, and anybody who doesn’t look like them or believe what they believe, should be silenced and evicted. My country people, I’ve realized, love the crumbling parchment of those documents but not the words written on them, which guarantee freedom of speech, freedom of (and from) religion, and the pursuit of happiness.

So please, take her back. Give her a home where her words will be valued and her values will be treasured. I can no longer bear to see a symbol that I once revered acting as a mirror of my nation’s hypocrisy. Maybe some day we’ll be more deserving. I hope so.

An American

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