“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teaming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” New Colossus  – Emma Lazarus.

For centuries of American history, “Forward” was the cry. “Forward, to America,  land of the free,” cried the Pilgrims. “Forward, to new territories and manifest destiny,” cried the pioneers in their covered wagons. “Forward to the land of opportunity,” cried European immigrants from Italy, Ireland, and Scandinavia.

However, that cry had an ugly underbelly as these relative new-comers to American often trampled, cast aside, and oppressed native people in that quest Forward. Or, the promise of Forward was relegated to the Anglo-protestant immigrants, raising prejudice against immigrants from non-European countries or with other religions.  Our history has many chapters of shunned Asian,  Hispanic, and even Catholic immigrants. The ugly side of Forward continues today as we build walls and dispatch armed patrols at our borders, all in the name of freedom.

Forward American, Forward.

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This is a section of border fence between Mexico and the USA near Jacumba, California (note: there are similar fences on stretches of the Canadian border too). This segment begins in a random spot high on a hillside but continues across the desert floor with no differentiation between tumbleweeds and homes on its mission to secure the borderline. Just down the road, a Border Patrol checkpoint blocks travelers, although this white female traveler is waved through without much ado. Back a stretch, you’ll also see large compounds with dozens of jeeps and 4x4s parked waiting to head out on patrol and catch the Forward traveling, tempest-tossed immigrants.

This post is in response to WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward.