In a new article from the radicals at salon.com , an art historian questions whether the Statue of Liberty still represents the values of America.
Noah Charney, a specialist in iconography, calls the Liberty Island personification of freedom “outdated,” and he asserts that it no longer symbolizes “what most thoughtful Americans” consider to be the values of their country.
In Charney’s world, “These days, a shot of the Statue of Liberty is as likely to be met with irony as pride."
Charney attempts to defend his premise with the assertion that Lady Liberty is an icon of welcoming reception toward immigrants, and that changes in the politics and racial prejudice of the day have compromised that ideal. Praising what he considers to be America’s now-closed arms to the global masses while excoriating “the looming orangeness in the White House, making a grumpy, angry, whiny face,” he ignores the facts that our country has historically welcomed legal immigrants, that in our time we have been more than forgiving of those who have violated immigration law, and that the deportation of illegal aliens by ICE reached an all-time high in 2013—during Barack Obama’s presidency.
Describing the famed yet never-built “Cathedral of Freedom” designed for the city of Ljubljana—the capital of what Charney calls his “adopted homeland” of Slovenia—he says it “remains only a pleasant blur in the touristic imagination.” Continuing, he writes:
“Perhaps that is preferable to an icon, like the Statue of Liberty for the U.S.A. today, that is an icon sadly draped in irony.”
According to Charney, “Foreigners no longer look upon this icon with the same reverence.”
Actually, Noah, legal immigrants still recognize and embrace the virtues and beauty of America. It is the so-called “liberals” who no longer do.