The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect in New York honors the life and vision of a young girl whose diary has haunted and inspired millions every year since it was first published in 1947. Written from 1942 to 1945, the book is a first-hand account of a Jewish girl from the age of twelve to fifteen while her family was in hiding in Nazi Germany.
The Center describes Anne Frank’s vision as “an inclusive world in which mutual respect replaces hatred and its consequences.”
The president’s actions in just three working days in office are alarming to many. Trump’s ban on travel against immigrants from seven countries in which the vast majority of the population are Muslim, the expectation that he will order a temporary ban on refugees, his ordering of a giant symbolic wall built to keep immigrants out, and ordering weekly reports of any crime an immigrant commits should be concerning to everyone.
The Center’s executive director, Steven Goldstein, sent a message to Donald Trump and the world on Wednesday when he posted this powerful message to the new president, which he titled “The Statue of Liberty Weeps as President Trump Targets Mexicans and Muslims.”
‘As President Trump prepares orders to wall out Mexicans and shut out refugees from America, today marks one of the most hateful days in our nation’s history. Donald Trump is retracting the promise of American freedom to an extent we have not seen from a President since Franklin Roosevelt forced Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II. Today the Statue of Liberty weeps over President Trump’s discrimination.
President Trump is beyond the wrong side of history. He is driving our nation off a moral cliff.
When President Trump uses national security as a guise for racism, he doesn’t strengthen our national security. He compromises our national security by engendering disrespect for America by people around the world.
Make no mistake, suspending visas for citizens of Middle Eastern and African countries is not called national security. It’s called prejudice.
President Trump is now exacerbating the largest global refugee crisis in history. His slamming America’s doors on the starving, the wounded and the abused is a grotesque blot on our nation’s history of freedom. The President’s actions are an embarrassment to the timeless vision of America as inscribed by Emma Lazarus to “give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Demonizing refugees and immigrants, and spending billions of taxpayer dollars to keep them out of our nation, will go down in American history as one of the most tragic deviations from our national conscience.’
When the president’s largest agenda is a divisive “othering” of a religious or ethnic group, that just sounds too familiar to miss its larger historical connections.
To learn more about Anne Frank, see the 1959 film, The Diary of Anne Frank, below.
Featured image via Getty/Anne Frank Fonds Besel