Archive for the ‘Statue of Liberty’ Category

>Things Happening this Fourth of July Weekend

July 3, 2009

>Tomorrow the crown of the Statue of Liberty will re-open and visitors will be able to climb the steps and peer out over the harbor again. Tickets are sold out through November, they say.

I guess we will have to return. After November.

News from the sports world:

Venus Williams and her sister Serena Williams will meet tomorrow in the Wimbledon final. It’s a rematch of last year’s final which Venus won.

They are like John Archibald (who said in his column yesterday that he doesn’t vote) in that they do not vote (I am 100% sure its for differing reasons).

ORLANDO — Karl Marx said ‘Religion is the opiate of the masses.’
Well, I’m going to take it a step further and say, ‘Religion is the opiate of them asses.’
I refer, in this particular case, to the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena. Recently when questioned about the significance of the Obama candidacy, these ladies emphatically said they would not vote because their religion strictly forbids any involvement in politics and political activity…
article in Black Athlete by Wendell Simpson.

In that case, they can never complain about the conditions in our country. And neither, I guess, should Archibald complain about our city. Oh, but that’s how he makes a living. Anyway, VOTE, John.

But the sisters, they play great tennis. I think Venus will win.

Also from the sports world:

Michael Phelps’ Subway ad starts this weekend. This is not it. But it’s Subway.

See (David), people in our country get a second chance. We are a forgiving people, that’s what we learned from the Bible. Not that Michael Phelps’ inhaling was such a big deal. I mean, shouldn’t marijuana be legalized?

Have a safe Fourth of July. Eat lots of ribs and enjoy the fireworks at Roosevelt Park in Bessemer.

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>Immigrants – Western Tribune column July 1 2009

July 1, 2009

>Once again I get to add photos to my Western Tribune column for effect. Whatcha think?

One cannot approach the Statue of Liberty and look up at her endless gaze across the sea without trying to put oneself in the place of the thousands of immigrants that made that same approach a century ago. “From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome” the famous poem by Emma Lazurus says.

Forty percent of Americans can trace their ancestry to Ellis Island which was the first stop those immigrants made when coming to our country. The rest of us, unless we are 100% Native American, also have immigrant roots.


There is no hard line rhetoric against the descendants of the European immigrants today. That tone is reserved for the immigrants who come not across the sea, but across the desert.

Yet those of Hispanic origin who enter our country today do so for the same reasons and suffer similar hardship as those who came seeking a better life so long ago. No one can blame them for that.

The fears surrounding the immigration debate are unfounded. One of those fears is about language, but a look at New York City’s history dispels that fear.

New York City began as a Dutch colony; New Amsterdam. Presumably, the language spoken was Dutch. After the English gained control, at some point, the principal language became English. However, when Chinese immigrants populated an area, they retained their language, which is still evident as one walks through Chinatown where all the signs are written in Chinese.

The mother of a friend of mine has lived in New York City for decades yet still speaks only Italian. In other words, people do just fine when exposed to an additional language in their culture.

Yet in Albertville and other cities people are up in arms because Hispanic business owners want to have storefront signs in Spanish.

These silly debates about language are an expression of the prejudice that some people have against people who are different. For those people, I offer a challenge.

Travel to New York, get on the ferry and visit Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Develop a little empathy by learning about the history of immigration and imagine that the many languages you hear from fellow tourists represent the many origins of immigrants that make up our ancestors.


Then imagine where you would be today if your immigrant ancestors had been turned away.

You might not be so quick to condemn today’s immigrants.