LADY LIBERTY’S STRANGE STORY, AND MY STRANGER CONNECTION TO IT
What you’re about to read is a journey — and I launch it with the most famous line in the U.S. Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by the Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Today, many question just how self-evident America’s commitment to equality is. Good. Questioning this, and much more, is every American’s inalienable right. For me, a migrant to these shores, equality means something beyond the binary of black and white. Equality means recognizing that we’re all “plurals”: multifaceted and mongrel. Each of us has a unique back story.
That includes the Statue of Liberty. Besides being a champion of the pursuit of happiness, she’s also the queen of quirk. And I feel personally connected to her. Lady Liberty’s life has uncanny parallels with that of my Muslim grandmother. Both women came from Egyptian stock. Both spent years in Europe. Both settled into their final homes after crossing the Atlantic. Above all, both taught me the power of wonder.
Read the rest of my column in Real Clear Politics.