The Evolution Of American Public Opinion Towards Refugees
Neither our doors nor our minds have opened much since WWII
In 1903, the poem “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus was engraved onto the base of the Statue of Liberty. You may not know the sonnet by name, but you know the its final lines:
“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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Despite the fact that the United States of America is a nation of immigrants, public opinion around welcoming them has been historically cool. In the video above, GOOD takes you on a tour of global catastrophes that have resulted massive swathes of displaced people, from World War II to the expansion of the Soviet Union following the rise to power of Nikita Khrushchev to the Sino-Vietnamese War and on to the Mariel Boatlift incident in Cuba. Then in the mid-1980s, sentiment about taking in refugees was measured at around the same time the Cartegna Declaration was signed to protect refugees in Latin America. Next comes the U.S. military invention in a civil conflict in Haiti that displaced thousands, and most recently the Syrian Civil War, which has resulted in literally millions of people seeking refuge across the globe.
Let’s hope millions of Americans never need to knock on international doors for aid, because we haven’t been paying very close attention to the Golden Rule throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
Music: NYM - Seven Hills
Produced and Written by Gabriel Reilich
Graphics by Jake Infusino
Should Students Boycott School Until The U.S. Government Does Something About Guns? “Grind the system to a halt.”
Why You Should Care About The Rohingya — And What You Can Do To Help While the “fastest growing refugee emergency in the world” may seem dire, there’s still plenty you can do to help.
Canceling Student Loan Debt Isn’t Just A Dream. It Could Save The Economy. What would you do if your student loan debt was eliminated?
Chicago Cubs Player Attends Candlelight Vigil After Shooting At Alma Mater Anthony Rizzo calls for stricter gun laws.
Athletes Are The Most Important Part Of The Olympics. Or Are They? A former Olympic high jumper on how the rights of athletes aren't always the top priority. A former Olympic high jumper on how the rights of athletes aren't always the top priority.
Kristen Bell Shares Relationship Advice She’s Learned Over 11 Years With Dax Shepard She and her hubby have been through a lot.