The president claimed to quote “The New Colossus” in his speech last night on the beauty of uncontrolled borders, but he made a couple mistakes.
First, he reminded us of an earlier wave of immigration, which Lazarus welcomed.
Although she was a poet, she spent much of her time advocating for better health care and housing for the newcomers. 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 -- the Statue of Liberty -- which actually was funded in part by small donations from people across America.On a pedestal. This statement already is a little off. I don’t think “people across America” paid for construction of the Statue of Liberty. They paid to build the pedestal for the statue. The statue was a gift from the French.
The president continued:
Years before the statue was built -- years before it would be seen by throngs of immigrants craning their necks skyward at the end of long and brutal voyage, years before it would come to symbolize everything that we cherish -- she imagined what it could mean. She imagined the sight 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 and freedom.Now he turned to a version of her poem:
“Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand,” she wrote,Well, no. Let us not remember those words. The correct words, in the most-often-quoted lines of the poem, are:
A mighty woman with a torch…
From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome…
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!”…
“Give me your tired, and your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to be free…
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Let us remember these words.
“Give me your tired, [no and] your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe [not be] free.”
Let us remember the real words.
And since fair’s only fair, let us note that Glenn Beck, in his rousing CPAC speech last Feb. 20 on the Statue of Liberty, also misquoted the poem, ending it with the words, “I hold, I hold my lamp beside the golden door!”
It’s lift, not hold.
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Note: Gateway Pundit also noticed the president's gaffe.