The New Yorker’s upcoming issue will feature a troubling illustration of Lady Liberty’s light snuffed out.
According to the magazine, under a different political climate, the cover of the issue for Feb. 13 and 20 — which marks the magazine’s 92nd anniversary — would have featured a variation on the iconic image of dandy Eustace Tilley, created by graphic artist Rea Irvin.
Instead, the New Yorker decided to comment on the incipient stages of the Trump administration. Just last week, the White House announced that citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — will not be allowed into the U.S. for at least 90 days. No refugees will be allowed to enter the country for at least 120 days.
Artist John W. Tomac created the new image, which was revealed Friday morning, as a comment on President Trump’s highly controversial executive order on immigration.
“It used to be that the Statue of Liberty, and her shining torch, was the vision that welcomed new immigrants. And, at the same time, it was the symbol of American values,” Tomac told the magazine. “Now it seems that we are turning off the light.”
Liberty Enlightening the World, which is the full name of the giant copper statue in New York Harbor, is a recognized symbol of freedom and democracy throughout the world. It became a beacon of hope for immigrants escaping oppression or seeking a better life since it was dedicated in 1886. It was designated a national monument in 1924.
Americans critical of Trump’s executive order on immigration widely shared on social media images of the statue and lines from “The New Colossus,” the sonnet that’s inscribed on a bronze plaque inside its pedestal — particularly its final lines:
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “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!”
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