Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast, Donald Trump surprised attendees by announcing plans to tear down the Statue of Liberty and send it back to France. “Look, we need security. We need to be the best at it. To protect our borders. Our symbol can no longer be a tall ugly woman telling terrorists they can just walk right in. That’s not right. No one wants to see that. It’s weak. Later today I will be signing an executive order to remove the Statute of Liberty and send it back to France in pieces. They want the refugees, they can have them all.”
The Statue of Liberty has stood as a beacon to those entering the United States since it was gifted by France in 1886. Between 1886-1924, 14-million immigrants entered New York and one of their first sights was the lady who welcomed them with open arms. The Statue of Liberty’s base holds a bronze plaque with the following poem by Emma Lazarus,
“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “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!”
Trump was quick to quell the disconcerted reaction of attendees, “Just don’t worry about it….We have to be tough, it’s time we’re going to be a little bit tough, folks. I am going to build a new Statue of Liberty. It’s going to be bigger. So big. So big they can see it in Iran. And I’m gonna have a new model. A gorgeous girl. I’m going to hold a pageant and the winner will be the new Statue. The new model, gorgeous. She’ll be standing in that spot smiling, and maybe she’ll have a gun. She’ll be telling them to keep out. Wonderful. Strong.”
French officials have not responded to interview requests but a spokesman for Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve confirmed that they have been in contact with the White House. A small group of protesters have already begun to gather around the National Monument and officials believe that the numbers will swell in the coming hours.
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Orbson Rice is the author of the book “Exposing My Orbs: The Rise of a Liberal Satirist” and the “Creator” of the blog “The Orbson Oracle” which is thoroughly offensive, often thoughtful and occasionally funny. Stroke your mouse and visit the Oracle to read more or befriend him on Facebook.
Photograph by Erik Daniel Drost