The New Colossus: Poem Analysis

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Engraved upon the pedestal of America’s prominent symbol of freedom and equality – The Statue of Liberty – are these lines from Emma Lazarus’ distinguished poem, “The New Colossus.” Lazarus’ words embody the sentiment of generosity and compassion that has made our Republic one of the most altruistic societies in the world. Our citizens fight for equality and tolerance regarding matters of race, sex, employment, marriage, education, religion, wages, and freedom for all. Our hearts bleed and our wallets open at the slightest provocation to help others all over the world to live a better life. In fact, in 2013 the United States led the world in humanitarian aid donations (GHA, 2014). Nevertheless, one group continually falls through the cracks…show more content…
Now, the blessed few people who do reach out to the homeless have been criminalized as well. Fort Lauderdale, Florida lawmakers put one such ordinance in place on October 22, 2014. The new law severely restricts when and where citizens may feed the homeless, making it nearly impossible for charity groups to continue (Alanez, 2014). As more cities across our nation enact laws against feeding the homeless, so too are we hearing more stories about individuals who have faced arrest, fines, and jail time for feeding the homeless. This was the case with ninety-year-old Arnold Abbott. Abbott, who founded the volunteer group “Love Thy Neighbor” in 1991 to feed the homeless of Broward County, Florida, has been arrested, fined, and jailed repeatedly under Fort Lauderdale’s new law (E. Goldberg, 2014). Laws against feeding the homeless are a violation of both the substantive human rights and the Constitutional rights of both the homeless and those who feed them, and they are dehumanizing, counterproductive, and not economically
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