"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!"
There is a sign affixed to the 'Golden Door' which now ask questions before entry is granted. 1) What colour is your skin? 2) What is your religion? 3) What Country are you from? 4) Are you a refugee?
I stand at the entrance of the 'Golden Door' with my Canadian Passport in hand, a Birth Certificate from Great Britain.... hmm, I ponder answering the first question, I call myself Mocha; coffee with creamer etc. I know that I am technically 'Brown' and do not fit into the 'non colour' group. Hey, I consider myself safe, if the President spray tans, I should be fine. My 'tan' is God given, then I really should have no problem! Wrong!! I may be from a neighboring Country, but I am sent back to the end of the line as I failed the first question.
Question two, hmm, this may be a bit confusing, I am Baptized Roman Catholic, know how to recite the Lords Prayer & can 'Hail Mary' with the best of them.. But, my Father was a devout Hindu and I also do 'Pooja', do not eat beef, and wear an 'Ohm'. I am also in trouble with the second question! I try to explain why I do these things, I love my Father who passed away when I was 17, I honour him everyday, and I believe that all religions deserve respect. During the holiest of celebrations for my friends who are Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh; I respectively join them and honour their beliefs. I probably fail the third question too!
Oh, question three... I should be safe, I'm Canadian!! NO, revert back to question one, I am mocha, coffee with creamer, brownish, light black!! Well, there is really no point in answering question four! NO, I am not a refugee.... I am however, technically an 'immigrant'! I became a Canadian when I was 10 years old.
This 'Yearning Mass' is NOT 'Breathing Free', and is certainly not feeling very welcome in the 'New USA'. Dare I mention that I have a disability? Probably best to omit this from the questionnaire!
I have not 'failed' many things in life, but I proudly fail this, as I am an 'Indo-Canadian' who has MS, I have a 'free' Tan that does not require any spraying or sun exposure, and I attend Mass, visit the Gurdwara, celebrate Ramadan and, proudly celebrate that I am an entrepreneur with a disability.
Maybe, we should erect a new sign next to the 'Golden Door' 'This Way to the North Star, on the Underground Railroad to find freedom in Canada. We welcome 'huddled masses yearning to breathe free', and we have NO questionnaire...
Right beside the Northern Star, reads... O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,