By Hector Lopez
THE STATUE OF LIBERTY
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-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
EDITORS’ NOTE: We’ve taken from the messages Hector Lopez of Connecticut sends to the International Committee of the US Green Party the magnificent cry of the Statue of Liberty. He asks where has the stunning symbol of the woman with her torch of freedom and her immortal words gone? Are they only just words to cover up or distract us from what is now actually going on in the country –the country now ruled (cruelly mis-governed) by an entrenched political-economic class? Hector’s is a potent voice crying “foul”; he speaks from his long and courageous fight for the people of Puerto Rico and their country ground down by the oppressive policies of this class. He writes: “Is this lady watching the misery sent to Puerto Rico by a government that Puerto Ricans do not elect and did not invite to our shores?”
Can we breathe new life into these words and into the symbol itself? Can we apply these symbols in a creative way to the startling and terrible struggles of the homeless all over the world today? We must have dialogue. It must be dialogue that includes a powerful focus on the meaning of these symbols for social, economic, spiritual, and political well being of all the people in the countries within which, from which, and to which the homeless are forced to struggle. Can a creative resolution be attained within the confines of an outmoded nation-state system?