“Mother of Exiles”

Dear President Trump,

Gosh, yesterday morning when I wrote to you about the positive things from the day before, I really was sending you a sincere thank you. Now, though, I am back to feeling disgusted by you, and dismayed. Unfortunately, it’s really no surprise at all and rather, it was the sincere thanks that were odd. I think Ann Coulter summed up the last couple of days’ events quite well when she said you were trying to win her back. That pretty much nails it, doesn’t it? Obviously she meant you were trying to win back the white supremacists and nationalists after your scary, intemperate talk of a love bill for the Dreamers and comprehensive immigration reform. As much as I would like to think no one is truly as racist and hateful as your statement about Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa being “shithole countries” conveys, I know that isn’t a defensible position. Clearly there are legions of people whose minds and hearts have been warped by insidious, divisive messages of racial superiority and inferiority and they now have you as their chief spokesman.

Because I feel like crying and can’t think of anything articulate to say about this, I’m sharing with you the poem Emma Lazarus wrote in 1883 to raise money for the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal, a bronze plaque of which is affixed inside said pedestal. Her words shine with the love and generosity so many of us have been proud to associate with America.

The New Colossus

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!”

May we be safe from those who seek to pit us against one another.
May we be happy to welcome whoever needs a welcome.
May we see that we are healthiest most vibrant when we are diverse and inclusive.
May we find peaceful ways to overcome insecurity-fueled hate.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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