Our Ancestors


It’s quite common for people to lose sight of their ancestral origins. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider the presence of Emma Lazarus’s poem on the Statue of Liberty. In truth, only a few can genuinely claim that their forebears hailed from these lands. To the new natives and the contemporary indigenous populations, have you forgotten that many among those who arrived were fleeing hardship, poverty, or seeking a better life? People have come to the United States for a multitude of reasons, past and present.

I often find myself pondering how the original First Nations natives and indigenous peoples must have felt as they witnessed the influx of individuals from distant shores. One day, they woke up to discover that their land had been forcibly taken from them, through falsehoods, violence, killings, and treachery, among other means.


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-tots to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

–Emma Lazarus

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