Friday, April 8, 2016

Yearning to breathe free

The Statue of "Liberty Enlightening the World" holds a tablet in its left arm showing the date the written text of the U.S. Declaration of Independence was approved "July IV MDCCLXXVI".

Not on the statue, but elsewhere on the structure and grounds are other tablets and plaques. The best known is the tablet installed in 1903 with the text of the sonnet "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus. It was originally placed inside the statue's pedestal, and later moved to the Statue of Liberty Museum in the base.

You'll recognize an excerpt from it in this post by Seth Barrett Tillman at The New Reform Club,

"Did you see the April 1, 2016 Munk Debate? The resolution debated was: 'Be it resolved, give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free ... .' It was on the global refugee crisis, particularly the crisis in Europe. The participants were, in support of the motion, Louise Arbour & Simon Schama, and against the motion, Nigel Farage & Mark Steyn. ...

"I think there was some deep support among the speakers and the audience that Western society has to be more assertive and actively integrate newcomers. [citations to the video omitted] Steyn made the point that to do that Western societies have to stand for something, have to believe something, have to have a history, language, and culture. There has to be something for the newcomer to integrate into.

"I am not entirely sure Arbour agreed with that. ..."

Update: In Part II, Louise Arbour's Millions, Tillman posts on another set of "huddled masses".
"Louise Arbour had one response to Farage and Steyn that, I think, was missed by the audience and by F & S. Arbour said:
'What we are talking about now, the so-called huge crisis that Europe is facing, is very well defined by the Refugee Convention. We have not made a dent in talking about the million of stateless people in the world who don't have a passport....

'We have not made a dent into dealing with statelessness.

'We have not made a dent in talking about what are called IDPs--internally displaced persons--of which there are millions in Syria itself and Sudan. ...'

"You see integrating the millions which have come in the last several years is not enough for Louise Arbour. There are millions more.

"How many millions?"

The Wikipedia article on Internally displaced person says,
"At the end of 2014 it was estimated there were 38.2 million IDPs worldwide, the highest level since 1989, the first year for which global statistics on IDPs are available."
As Arbour says and Tillman notes, this is a separate category. The Wikipedia article on Refugee says,
"At the end of 2014, there were 19.5 million refugees worldwide (14.4 million under UNHCR's mandate, plus 5.1 million Palestinian refugees under UNRWA's mandate). The 14.4 million refugees under UNHCR's mandate were around 2.7 million more than at the end of 2013 (+23%), the highest level since 1995."

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