/ Kleptocracy /

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore
Emma Lazarus

Popular Columbia history prof, (the late) James Shenton used to quote that Lazarus fragment, then translate: “Hello, Garbage.”

The test I plan for this module will include as central the point that coalitions of colonizers — white men — take territory from uncoordinated peoples — natives — and then give portions of the territory to newcomers from the coaltion. DC knew that it could rely on the Limmey landrusher to Oklahoma to farm or raise cattle, perhaps become a landlord (and therefore, taxcollector). Whereas DC knew equally well that the displaced Cheyenne, while he might farm, or even raise cattle, could even take on borders, would not be doing it for DC. (Therefore, white men are “better.”)

Good. Soon DC has farms and ranches and bording houses all over Nebraska to supplement the factories and sweat shops already all over downtown and Brooklyn. So: the sweatshoppers and factory owners are now rich: live uptown. DC is now rich. So who’s going to be the scullion, wipe the spitoons, make the upstairs beds? Hey: the surplus population of the maxed-out Europe. How about starving Irish, folks? They’ll work for less than an n-word (Bowdlerizing K. 2016 07 31).

Hundred years go by? Now the Irish are becoming landlords and tax collectors? Welcome some other kind of wog: Pakis, Koreans …

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.”

Emma Lazarus 1883

Emma Lazarus’s Petrarchan sonnet to American immigration and Lady Liberty is engraved on a plaque at the State of Liberty, New York Harbor. (Racist Note)


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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