‘The poem was written as a donation to an auction of art and literary works conducted by the ‘Art Loan Fund Exhibition in Aid of the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund for the Statue of Liberty,’ the aim of which was to raise money for the pedestal’s construction. The contribution was solicited by fundraiser William Maxwell Evarts. Initially Lazarus refused, but Constance Cary Harrison convinced her that the statue would be of great significance to immigrants sailing into the harbor. The New Colossus was the only entry read at the exhibit’s opening, but was forgotten and played no role at the opening of the statue in 1886. In 1901, Lazarus’s friend Georgina Schuyler began an effort to memorialize Lazarus and her poem, which succeeded in 1903 when a plaque bearing the text of the poem was mounted on the inner wall of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.’
The Statue of Liberty was never meant to be a symbol of immigration. It was meant to be a symbol of liberty and freedom. The Statue of Liberty as designed and constructed had nothing to do with what Emma Lazarus wrote, and it’s another distortion of the left to suggest that this country was founded for the express purpose of taking anybody, anywhere, any planet, any country, who wanted to come into the country. Under the guise that they were poor, they were huddled, they were hungry, they were thirsty. It was not about immigration at all. It was about liberty. We don’t call it ‘the Statue of Immigration.’ We call it the Statue of Liberty. It was dedicated October 28th, 1886.
It is a monument commemorating the centennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which Elena Kagan yesterday in her testimony said, (raspberry). ‘It’s irrelevant to me when I look at the law,’ and yet here’s her president citing Emma Lazarus as though it’s part of the Statue of Immigration. It’s the Statue of Liberty. It has nothing to do with immigration. It commemorated the Declaration of Independence. The French did it. So profound did everyone in the world think the Declaration was, and in fact Abraham Lincoln often gave it more weight than the Constitution itself in terms of its deep meaning. Lady Liberty is stepping forward. She is meant to be carrying the torch of liberty from the United States TO the rest of the world.
The torch is not to light the way to the United States. It is to light the way to liberty to the rest of the world. Lady Liberty is carrying the light of liberty to the rest of the world. It is not a beacon for immigrants to get to this country because they’re tired, they’re poor, they’re huddled, hungry, or thirsty. The president of the United States has joined the chorus of those who have purposely misrepresented the Statue of Liberty — making it out to be the statute of immigration, misrepresenting Emma Lazarus — and it’s just an outrage how wantonly open the destruction and revision and redefinition of the great traditions and institutions that define this country is taking place now, at the hands of this regime.
RUSH: What is it the feminazis used to shout all the time? ‘I am outraged! I am outraged!’ I am outraged by what President Obama did today in this speech. The Statue of Liberty carries the light of liberty to the rest of the world. It does not welcome the wretches of the world to this country. That’s not its purpose. It was never intended as that purpose. It doesn’t light the way to this country. It lights liberty everywhere around the world. That Obama would lie about the Statue of Liberty — it was given to us as a gift to honor the Declaration of Independence — that he would take the Declaration of Independence and its weekend, the independence of this country to make a speech on immigration and lie about the Declaration and the day before his Supreme Court nominee disavows the Declaration of Independence, disavows the concept of natural law and inalienable rights, anybody still want to tell me that this is not being done on purpose?
Unlike Elena Kagan, Abraham Lincoln insisted the Declaration is the statement of principles through which the Constitution should be interpreted. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. Abraham Lincoln was certainly more of a student of law than Ms. Kagan ever has been, even if he never had a job at Harvard. The Declaration and the Constitution are inseparable, not only in terms of defining this country, but maintaining it. And we have somebody who is intellectually vapid disavowing it, afraid to take a stand on the concept of inalienable rights a couple days before our own Independence Day? Emma Lazarus, by the way — give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses — she was a huge proponent of Zionism. She was a rabid supporter of the creation of the state of Israel. It’s funny how the left never brings her up when they’re talking about the Middle East. But Emma Lazarus was a huge supporter of the creation of Israel, huge proponent of Zionism. So they’ll selectively site Emma Lazarus when they take her words totally out of meaning and the purpose of her words totally out of meaning.
Now, if we are as Obama said today citing the Statue of Liberty as a light, as a beacon, as a GPS signal to the wretches of the world that come to America, if we are soliciting the world’s huddled masses to come to this country, why have any immigration laws at all? Why have a border? Let ’em just show up. Why have any limits whatsoever? See, Obama’s propaganda is arguing for no limits on legal or illegal immigration. I take it back. He said the best and brightest, we need them here. We are specifically keeping the best and brightest out. It is the dumb and dumbest that we’re letting in. Let me rephrase that. It is the ill-educated and the uneducated we are letting in. The visas, college graduates, PhD’s, you name it from all over the world, they are limited. The number of people of that caliber are severely limited and tightly controlled. Now he claims the border is more secure than ever, as if he has done something to create that circumstance. He’s done nothing. Even the additional 1200 National Guardsmen, they’re not free to prevent illegals from coming here. So he lies by claiming we’re more secure than ever when he hasn’t done anything to promote security about securing the border. He argues with his false references that we want the world’s poor to come here, and that’s what the Statue of Liberty means. So the bastardization of the Statue of Liberty, the Declaration of Independence, and indeed the country took place in about 35 minutes this morning coming out of the mouth of the president of the United States.
RUSH: Cookie has given me the Obama sound bite on the Statue of Liberty. Now, you heard me, if you were here with us in the previous hour, correctly give you the history of the Statue of Liberty. This is what our president said about it.
OBAMA: A young woman named Emma Lazarus, whose own family fled persecution from Europe generations earlier took up the cause of these new immigrants.
RUSH: She did not.
OBAMA: Although she was a poet, she spent much of her time advocating for better health care, housing for the newcomers.
RUSH: That’s a crock.
OBAMA: And inspired by what she saw and heard she wrote down her thoughts and donated a piece of work to help pay for the construction of a new statue.
OBAMA: The Statue of Liberty.
OBAMA: Which actually was funded in part by small donations from people across America.
RUSH: Stop the tape right there. She entered a contest. She wrote a poem. The contest was to raise money to pay for the PEDESTAL, not the statue. She was not inspired by immigrants. The Statue of Liberty had nothing to do with immigration. The Statue of Liberty is not on the Arizona-Mexico border. It is not the Statue of Immigration. It was not constructed to show the way to the United States for the huddled masses, the tired, the poor, the hungry, the thirsty. Emma Lazarus’ poem had nothing to do with the construction of the statue. It’s not even posted on the statue. It’s posted on the pedestal inside, and it took years and years and years for that to happen after her poem was chosen in the contest.
OBAMA: Years before the statue was built, years before it would be seen by throngs of immigrants craning their necks skyward at the end of a long and brutal voyage, years before it would come to symbolize everything that we cherish, she imagined what it could mean. She imagined the site of a giant statue at the entry point of a great nation. But unlike the great monuments of the past, this would not signal an empire. Instead, it would signal one’s arrival to a place of opportunity and refuge —
RUSH: All right, hold it, hold it. Hold it right here, right here. In the first place, I misspoke. It was not a contest. She donated the poem as a work of art, but the Statue of Liberty was built by the French, a French person in the 1800s, as a gift to celebrate our Declaration of Independence. It had nothing to do with immigration. The lore of the Statue of Liberty is that after in the early 1900s when people were fleeing oppression (not poverty per se, but fleeing oppression) they had to go through Ellis Island. That was the law. They had to go through. Well, to get to Ellis Island you had to go by the Statue of Liberty and people saw it, and so the transformation of what the statue meant began. ‘Yeah, lookie there! Lookie there, Mabel. Why, it’s a beacon on all the immigrants around the world who come to America. Look at that, Emma. Why, how about that?’ Nope. The original intent… (chuckles) Are we allowed to talk about the original intent? The original intent Statue of Liberty was to light the way of liberty for the rest of the world. Obama seems to think the only thing worth cherishing about America is that everybody can live here. I’ve never heard him be more impassioned about this country than talking about the fact that everybody can move here because the Statue of Liberty is the invitation. Let’s go to the phones. I’ve had my piece about this. This is how the whole thing was distorted today and how it continues to be distorted by the left.