by John Freivalds
In our nation’s history, immigrants have never been totally welcome. This goes against the common belief that the Statue of Liberty guarding New York harbor has always welcomed all with the words engraved on its pedestal: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
After all these inspiring words, where shall we begin? How about with saintly portrayed Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, who warned that Germans are too stupid to learn English and, therefore, represent a political threat to America. He adds, “French, Russians and Swedes are generally of what we call a swarthy complexion, as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted who with the English make up the principal Body of White People on the face of the Earth . . . . Why should we in the sight of superior beings darken its people? . . . But perhaps I am particular to the Complexion of my Country for such kind of Partiality of natural to Mankind.”
Freivalds runs an international communications firm in Lexington.