Keep your wretched refuse

Recently, I was watching the over-paid mental midgets in our government debate “Immigration Reform” when a Black Female Democrat® (registered trademark, all rights reserved) quoted part of the sonnet found at the bottom of the Statue of Liberty.

You know the one: “…give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…” etc.

As “liberals” often do when the subject of managing immigration is brought up, she spouted the incomplete quote her staff scribbled on a piece of paper for her as if it were an invocation from our nation’s founding documents espousing our forefather’s attitudes toward immigration.

It is not.

It was written by a Jew, for Jews.

The Statue of Liberty and “The New Colossus”

The Statue was a gift from France, designed by Frederic Bartholdi and the frame work was constructed by Gustave Eiffel, of Eiffel Tower fame. Dedicated on October 28, 1886, it features the Roman goddess of liberty- Libertas.

Interestingly, France paid for the statue, but the Americans were responsible for finding a site and building the pedestal on which to mount it.

Fundraising for the pedestal began in 1882. America was headed for a Depression, recession, and market crash. The last thing the public wanted was to spend funds helping to site a French statue. A multitude of fund-raising events were held, many spearheaded by Jewish publisher Joseph Pulitzer.

It was slow going, and it was for one such event that Jewish Poetess Emma Lazarus was asked to donate an original work.

Initially, she refused. Writing about statues was not her thing. At the time she was heavily involved in helping Russian Jews escape the pogroms in Eastern Europe and making a home in New York. Eventually, a friend convinced her that she could help that cause by helping the pedestal fundraising.

The result was 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!”

The poem was auctioned, funds were raised, and then it was forgotten until 1903 when a friend of the now deceased Lazarus presented a bronze plaque bearing the poem to the Statue managers, who mounted it inside the pedestal’s lower level.


Emma Lazarus came from a well-to-do New York Jewish merchant family. Around 1882 she became concerned with anti-Semitic violence in Russia and the the standard of living of Jews there. Many Jews were immigrating to New York at the time, and “Lazarus began to advocate on behalf of indigent Jewish immigrants. She helped establish the Hebrew Technical Institute in New York to provide vocational training to assist destitute Jewish immigrants to become self-supporting. Lazarus volunteered as well in the Hebrew Emigrant Aid Society employment bureau… In 1883, she founded the Society for the Improvement and Colonization of East European Jews.” (source: wikipedia)

There was a lot to do.

Between 1820 and 1880, America’s Jewish population increased from 3,000 to 250,000. This is a rate of growth 15 times greater than that of the U.S. as a whole. This includes an estimated 150,000 Jews who emigrated to America, a rate nearly four times that of their non-Jewish immigrant neighbors. Between 1880 and 1924 (when new immigration laws went into place), “well over two million Jews from Russia, Austria-Hungary and Romania settled in the United States. ” (source)

Obviously, the Statue and its Jewish sonnet are not responsible for Jewish immigration to the United States. But as Jewish writer Paul Aster wrote: “Bartholdi’s gigantic effigy was originally intended as a monument to the principles of international republicanism, but ‘The New Colossus’ reinvented the statue’s purpose, turning Liberty into a welcoming mother, a symbol of hope to the outcasts and downtrodden of the world.”

Specifically, The New Colossus was written by a Jew to inspire and encourage other Jews.


Final thoughts for consideration:

This is a classic example of “biting the hand that feeds you”: our Jewess poet calls for “the wretched refuse”. Modern law-makers cite her sonnet as the ideal America was founded on. After all, they say, we were all immigrants at some point. And in a way, that’s true.

But there is a difference.

The original immigrants that built this country were far from wretched refuse. True, they too searched for better opportunities and to escape persecution. But I would not call them wretched. Instead, they came to an untamed land and BUILT. They created a new land, a new nation. When they arrived they understood that no one was going to give them anything.

I find it interesting, too, that we see an early example of our current woke malaise in the sonnet. She says “Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land…”, implying that there is something wrong with comparing the Statue of Liberty with the Colossus of Rhodes, and in celebrating victorious conquest- even though, ironically, our liberty as celebrated by the Statue was won in war and conquest!

To hammer this home, our Jewess wishes to rename the Statue from Libertas, and all that implies, to “Mother of Exiles”. Vomit.

In a final blow to White patriarchy, she cries “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!”- dismissing in one stroke the contributions to this country from our Greek, Roman, and English (that is to say, White) heritage and forefathers.

Now the next time you hear someone say “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…” you can say “No thank you. That wasn’t what the country was founded on, and it wasn’t what the Statue of Liberty originally represented.”

Amerika Erwache!

2 responses to “Keep your wretched refuse”

  1. Dan Schneider Avatar
    Dan Schneider

    I simply want to state that in the 19th Century, America was considered to be under populated. There were more jobs than workers – so they say. The answer to filling those jobs were immigrants. Those immigrants came mostly from Europe and some from China. Say what you want about the Chinese, but they have a strong work ethic, unlike most of today’s immigrants. The European and Chinese immigrants wanted to assimilate and become Americans. Today’s immigrants spit on us. They want our jobs, but they don’t want to be Americans. They are here to set up colonies, not to assimilate.

    That plaque on the Statue of Liberty may have been valid back then, but now it’s an outdated anachronism that should be removed.

    1. Johann Rhein Avatar

      “That plaque on the Statue of Liberty may have been valid back then, but now it’s an outdated anachronism that should be removed.”
      Very well said.