By: Marc Kelley
Syndicated by: Montana News
When you approach the United States thru New York Harbor, you will be greeted by the Statute of Liberty. Lady Liberty made her debut on October 28, 1886. The monument was a gift from the people of France, in recognition of our country remaining intact after the Civil War and to remind the world of the consequences, which would come, as a result of the conflict. First conceived, by French poet and political activist, Edouard Laboulaye, The Stature of Liberty was intended to be a reminder for future generations, never to forget our hard fight, for freedom and democracy. Laboulaye believed, the Union victory would serve as a beacon, for the world to follow. A nation which would fight for the abolition of slavery, would clearly represent the inspiration, for not only the French, but for the world, to fight against oppression.
Laboulaye, a long time antislavery activist, believed the towering image of Libertas, the Roman Goddess of Liberty, would best represent the struggle against oppression for newly freed slaves in America. In the liberal bastions of academia, the original message of Lady liberty, has long been ignored. As perhaps the first example of attempting to rewrite history to fit a political narrative, the true meaning of our Stature of Liberty had been hidden from the public for nearly 125 years.
In 2008, while campaigning near Liberty Island, then Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, was asked by the liberal news outlet, The LA Progressive, to explain the meaning of the Statue of Liberty. Palin went on to explain, the statue represented, a reminder to the world, to learn from history and the mistakes which had been made. Not satisfied with Palin's explanation, the left seized upon the opportunity to report the inaccuracy of her answer. As a result of the attention brought to this issue, a great many more questions came to the surface. Many people today, simply do not understand the message, Lady Liberty was meant to deliver. While everyone is well acquainted with the torch and tablet on the statue, most have never heard of, nor seen, the broken shackle and chains, laying at her feet. It is these items, which are emblematic of the State sponsored bondage and human cruelty, over which the Civil War was fought.
Today, The Statue of Liberty has become known as a symbol, welcoming to immigrants, from across the globe. While welcoming immigrants is a nobel cause, it certainly does not represent the intended message of Laboulaye. In 1903, as part of a fund raising effort to complete the pedestal of the statue, a placard was added containing a sonnet, written by American Poet, Emma Lazarus entitled, "The New Colossus." Initially, Lazarus declined the offer to associate her work with the Statue of Liberty, recognizing the addition of her words, would fundamentally change the statue's message, of freedom from oppression. When word spread about the declination, Lazarus was contacted by a wealthy southern socialite, by the name of Constance Cary Harrison. Harrison used her political clout and social influence, to convince Lazarus to allow her words to be used on the statue. Unbeknownst to Lazarus, Constance Harrison, was the wife of pro-slavery Democrat, Burton Harrison, who at one time had served as Secretary of State, for Confederate President, Jefferson Davis. Additionally, it was Harrison and her two sisters, (known as the Cary invincible's) who conceived and sewed, the first three examples of the Confederate Battle Flag.
In 2019, you will be unlikely to find anyone, willing to talk about the perversion of our iconic, Lady Liberty. Many of us are progeny of immigrants ourselves, having long held the belief, the United States IS, the shining city on the hill, where the American Dream can be realized by anyone, regardless of your race, religion, or place of birth. I expect, if word would ever get out about the original message of Lady Liberty, and the perversion of that message by political ideologues, the calls would immediately begin, for the statute to be removed. As we take time this holiday weekend to reflect upon and celebrate the freedoms we have in America, take a few minutes to share this article with your friends and family. Today, perhaps more than at any other time in our nations history, there is a great need to teach our children, the lessons our country has experienced over the last 243 years. We can no longer rely on our schools and universities, the nightly news, or the politicians to speak the truth. History, is not simply taught through textbooks and didactic lectures, it is passed from one generation to the next, through stories, photos and family journals. If we are to survive another 200 years, we must learn from our mistakes, adjust our thinking and change our behavior. I have long maintained, children cannot mimic behavior, until they have witnessed it. Now is the time, to show our children what America stands for and who we are as a people. Motivation for these actions can be found in the words of the philosopher, Edmund Burke, when he said "the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing."