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Stirring The Melting Pot

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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!

-“The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus

The latest Donald Trump controversy is a call to bar the influx of Muslim immigrants into the United States until “the nation’s leaders can figure out what’s going on.”

Let’s assume that these “leaders” do know what’s going on, that there’s method to their madness. And that this method is madness, insanity that places us on the brink of WW III.

Aside from that opinion here’s a fact: This isn’t the first time the melting pot has boiled over, staining the country’s conscience. United States history, from day one to the present and to what is intended for the future, is disgraceful. Native Americans were shunted to reservations, African Americans were and continue to be subjugated, and during WW II, the Japanese living here were forced into internment camps.

At this particular Trump moment, it’s Muslims, although Trump is also unsupportive of the Black Lives Matter movement. Fuck Trump.

As I write, we’re hearing from past as well as current politicians. Republicans challenging Trump for the party’s presidential nomination are strategizing, expressing outrage, jockeying for higher poll position. Fuck them.

Dick Cheney said Trump’s opinion “goes against everything we stand for.” And, yes, we know Cheney’s stances, his calling the Torture Report a “crock”, his endorsement of torture methods, and that he’d “do it again in a minute.” We know that he was one among 25 signatories to the Project for the New American Century whose principles shaped the Bush Administration’s brutal and conquest-oriented foreign policy. We know Cheney stands for permanent war. Fuck Dick Cheney.

Democrats are condemning Trump, of course. Of. Course. The same Democrats that have funded war. Fuck Hillary Clinton and fuck Bernie Sanders. Fuck all the warmongers and the war profiteers.

People attending Trump speaking events are foaming at the mouth in affirmation. These are the morons who believe they’re free and that Trump is going to protect them from their greatest fear EVEN as more and more of their civil liberties are eroded. Fuck them for being so ignorant.

Meanwhile, the country’s “leadership” is fucking each of us with aggressive rhetoric towards Vladimir Putin who’s confronting American exceptionalism and empire in Syria with attacks that are killing civilians. Putin sees US imperialism at Russia’s border. Fuck empire and fuck the emperor.

Fuck xenophobia. Fuck tribalism. And during this costly-for-all fuck-fest, think about Emma Lazarus’ sonnet, engraved on the Statue of Liberty. That Lady Liberty should either hang her head in shame or admit that she’s a symbol of hypocrisy.

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Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

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