Relevant in soooooo many ways right now . . . .
With nods to Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) for the tweet I tweaked. I wanted the night pic for the image of the statue being a beacon in the dark. Because reasons, reasons, reasons.
Did any of the portion of my ancestors that came here from Ireland, Scotland, and England end their journeys by being greeted by a female colossus, looking out over the ships coming in and holding high a torch like a lighthouse, guiding people to a safe harbor? Like other refugees from the injustice, corruption, and catastrophes that drove various European immigrations, did they hope this 300 foot goddess borrowed from Rome was proof that the ideals of liberty and freedom, and the promise that "things are different in America", were real?
It's pretty likely that at least one did, and a good possibility for another. She may not have been the first welcoming sight the others saw but the hope she represented was still there. Even for the ones who came here as "criminals", there was the notion that here was a place where hard work would count for more than family lineage, ethnic heritage, inheritances, and moldy grudges and prejudices. Ever since Europe found out the New World was a thing, people very much like them have been coming here for the same reasons.
Humans can, of course, still be bigoted, petty, shallow, small minded rat bastards no matter where you go. A lot of those immigrants didn't include my other ancestors, or other immigrants, in that dream at all. The more important point was that the whole ideal was seen as worth trying for at all by enough people who didn't see Rat Bastardy as a solid major life goal. That there were people that wanted there to be somewhere where "things are different".
I'm not willing to hand that over to a bunch of spoiled brat thugs who are packaging Exceptionalism, Manifest Destiny, Nationalism, and Fascism dressed up as Populism as patriotic virtues, and normalizing bigoted spin. Especially not the little rat bastards that have instructed me that "you lost, get over it" applies on more than one level and that my failure to dance to their tune should preclude my citizenship. Lady Liberty and I are both immigrants in one way or another, and I'm in better company being unwelcome with The Mother of Exiles than being welcomed by poor specimens like them.