The governor of New York, Andrew M. Cuomo, took his oath of office in Ellis Island, highlighting United States immigration in his third inaugural address.
Gov. Cuomo’s fiery speech brought promises of a “new justice agenda” and an attack on the “cancer” of hatred that is plaguing the United States.
While President Trump was not directly named in Gov. Cuomo’s speech, Cuomo discussed how the federal government “has sought to demonize our differences and make our diversity our greatest weakness rather than our greatest strength.”
Gov. Cuomo even made note that Ellis Island was “the harbor where Frederick Trump arrived from Germany” and that Frederick Trump’s grandson would go on to “become the president of the United States.”
The governor announced that “America’s only threat is from within: it is the growing division amongst us.”
According to Gov. Cuomo, New York will be a “light to lead the way through the darkness.”
Gov. Cuomo’s inaugural address took place in Ellis Island, which the governor’s administration is spending $65,000 a day to keep open during Trump’s government shutdown.
Discussing the government shutdown and the importance of Ellis Island to America’s identity, Gov. Cuomo said, “Let New York say that the federal government may shut itself down but it will never extinguish the Statue of Liberty’s torch. It will never erase the words of her poem…They will never close our harbor. They will never close our hearts. They will never close this hall of dreamers.”
After Gov. Cuomo’s speech, Andra Day gave a live performance of “Rise Up.” When released, Day’s song quickly became a common anthem for activism, hope, and–to some–America as a whole. The lyrics include “I’ll rise up, I’ll rise like the day…I’ll rise unafraid…High like the waves…In spite of the ache, I’ll rise up, And I’ll do it a thousand times again.”
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