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My Position On the Syrian Refugees



Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.



"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."

Those words, of course, are by Emma Lazarus. Her poem, "The New Colossus," appears in bronze on the base of the Statue of Liberty. A statue given to the United States by France, our nation's oldest friend and ally... a bit of history that seems especially important just now, in light of the recent horrors in Paris.

For me, Lady Liberty and the words on her base represent the best of what this nation of immigrants is all about. One has to wonder if all the governors (including our own governor here in New Mexico, I am ashamed to say) and congressmen voting to keep out the Syrian refugees have ever visited the Statue, or read the words on her base. If so, they surely failed to understand them.

Of course, most everyone knows the part about 'your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,' but let me draw your attention to some other lines of the poem:
-- a mighty woman with a torch... her name Mother of Exiles,
-- from her beacon hand, Glows world-wide welcome,
-- send these, the homeless, tempest-tost, to me.

Emma Lazarus had it right. Donald Trump and thirty-one governors have it wrong, wrong, wrong.

The Syrian refugees are as much victims of ISIS as the dead in France.

Let them in. Santa Fe, at least, will welcome them.

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( 310 comments )
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mjkdailyreading
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:31 pm (UTC)
Surprised...
... that a writer so good at teasing out the moral complexity of complicated situations in his books has such a simplistic view of a real world issue, where real lives are at steak. Surprised and disappointed.
grrm
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Surprised...
Real lives are at stake. The lives of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees driven from their homes by war. Many of them women and children. That's the whole point. There's a moral imperative here.
RE: Re: Surprised... - Johannes Kneussel - Nov. 20th, 2015 09:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: Surprised... - Patrick St.Croix - Nov. 20th, 2015 10:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - cailleanlarkin - Nov. 20th, 2015 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - bently52 - Nov. 20th, 2015 10:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: Surprised... - Donatella Riso - Nov. 20th, 2015 10:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: Surprised... - rinconesl - Nov. 20th, 2015 10:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - mjkdailyreading - Nov. 20th, 2015 11:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - pkbitchgirl - Nov. 22nd, 2015 01:14 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: Surprised... - moretha1941 - Nov. 22nd, 2015 01:35 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - Blaisem - Nov. 23rd, 2015 08:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - jbot6 - Nov. 21st, 2015 02:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - grrm - Nov. 21st, 2015 02:53 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: Surprised... - Joshawa Torres - Nov. 21st, 2015 02:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Re: Surprised... - grrm - Nov. 21st, 2015 11:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - jordan179 - Nov. 22nd, 2015 07:11 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - ebrown2112 - Nov. 21st, 2015 07:21 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - ThanksForSyria - Nov. 21st, 2015 09:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - Trocki Tomasz - Nov. 22nd, 2015 01:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - Swen Jacobs - Nov. 23rd, 2015 01:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - saint_91 - Nov. 22nd, 2015 05:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - scadragon - Nov. 23rd, 2015 01:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - Byron Gillan - Nov. 20th, 2015 09:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Surprised... - ProgressiveDom - Nov. 20th, 2015 10:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - mjkdailyreading - Nov. 21st, 2015 01:25 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - Joe Kelly - Nov. 23rd, 2015 04:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Surprised... - zZDanthraxZz - Nov. 20th, 2015 10:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - mjkdailyreading - Nov. 20th, 2015 11:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - grrm - Nov. 21st, 2015 02:02 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - solri - Nov. 21st, 2015 04:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: Surprised... - mercedene - Nov. 21st, 2015 11:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Surprised... - kkwrites - Nov. 21st, 2015 12:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - Jonathan Schaper - Nov. 21st, 2015 12:36 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - mjkdailyreading - Nov. 21st, 2015 01:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - grrm - Nov. 21st, 2015 01:45 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - mjkdailyreading - Nov. 21st, 2015 02:16 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - int19h - Nov. 21st, 2015 05:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - John Anthony Spinella - Nov. 23rd, 2015 01:17 am (UTC) - Expand
A Canadian Wall? - dewline - Nov. 22nd, 2015 04:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - TheRedViper - Nov. 21st, 2015 06:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: Surprised... - butcherbaby - Nov. 23rd, 2015 09:37 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - dandorotik - Nov. 21st, 2015 07:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - emp_sheeptopia - Nov. 22nd, 2015 02:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mike Nelson
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:31 pm (UTC)
Bravo
Well said GRRM.
josiegel
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you
Wish it were unnecessary to say, but thank you for having the courage to post this. Your voice means a lot here and will reach many
gholam
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:34 pm (UTC)
At the risk of sounding inflammatory...
...aren't they simply following the example set by the greatest Democrat of all time, one Franklin Delano Roosevelt?
grrm
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:37 pm (UTC)
Re: At the risk of sounding inflammatory...
FDR did many great things... but the Japanese internments and the refusal to allow more Jewish refugees to enter the US were his greatest sins, black marks on his legacy.

Do we really want to repeat those mistakes?
Re: At the risk of sounding inflammatory... - bopobyc - Nov. 20th, 2015 10:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: At the risk of sounding inflammatory... - grrm - Nov. 21st, 2015 01:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: At the risk of sounding inflammatory... - werthead - Nov. 21st, 2015 06:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Lemon Paste
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:35 pm (UTC)
Let them stay at your house, George
The words on the Statue of Liberty were written before we had a welfare state. If you want them so much, why don't you let them stay at your house and you can pay for their medical bills. I'm sure you can afford it.
grrm
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Let them stay at your house, George
History has demonstrated many times that immigrants revitalize a society, and create much more than they take. The sort of "they are just a bunch of lazy leeches" sentiment you are expressing here was also directed at the Irish, the Italians, the Germans, the Polish, the Chinese, and many other immigrant groups in the past, all of whom over time have vastly enriched the culture of America. I have no doubt that the same will prove true of the Syrians.
Re: Let them stay at your house, George - bently52 - Nov. 20th, 2015 10:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Let them stay at your house, George - kurtdbusiek - Nov. 21st, 2015 03:38 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Let them stay at your house, George - jeds - Nov. 21st, 2015 02:14 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Let them stay at your house, George - Saberune - Nov. 21st, 2015 09:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Let them stay at your house, George - pkbitchgirl - Nov. 22nd, 2015 01:22 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Re: Let them stay at your house, George - Blaisem - Nov. 23rd, 2015 08:26 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Let them stay at your house, George - grrm - Nov. 20th, 2015 10:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Let them stay at your house, George - questron - Nov. 21st, 2015 09:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Let them stay at your house, George - pierceheart - Nov. 21st, 2015 03:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Let them stay at your house, George - Noe G - Nov. 20th, 2015 10:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Let them stay at your house, George - steve_jay - Nov. 21st, 2015 12:22 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Let them stay at your house, George - grrm - Nov. 21st, 2015 12:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Let them stay at your house, George - steve_jay - Nov. 21st, 2015 01:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Let them stay at your house, George - grrm - Nov. 21st, 2015 01:52 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Let them stay at your house, George - steve_jay - Nov. 21st, 2015 02:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Let them stay at your house, George - werthead - Nov. 21st, 2015 06:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Let them stay at your house, George - Leemanism - Nov. 23rd, 2015 12:11 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Let them stay at your house, George - Shemo Creed - Nov. 20th, 2015 09:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gonzo21 - Nov. 20th, 2015 10:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Let them stay at your house, George - Peter Dobos - Nov. 21st, 2015 10:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Teer1998
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Finally a well reasoned and compassionate argument for taking refugees, where ever they may come. Shameful to use recent events to deny sanctuary to those who need it most.
Matthew Kerns
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:38 pm (UTC)
Agreed
I agree with this as much as anything you've ever written...which is high praise indeed for the guy who wrote the death of King Joffrey.
sabotabby
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you for once again standing up for what's right. I'm a huge admirer of your writing, of course, but even more so, I admire that you lend your voice to the causes of those who have no voice.
fossey19
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:40 pm (UTC)
Couldn't agree more.
OberynMattell
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:42 pm (UTC)
I have to say I was a little worried about it at first, but apparently there is a pretty robust system in place that has been around for some years now and has been quite effective. This Time article actually made me change my mind about it: http://time.com/4116619/syrian-refugees-screening-process/. I don't blame people for being concerned, but I do blame people for ridiculous, disgusting rhetoric as we've been hearing from the usual dopes.
bonitasmith
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:42 pm (UTC)
AGREED!
I couldn't agree more. Thank you for speaking so clearly about this most important issue of our day.
Abu-rumman Mahmoud
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:42 pm (UTC)
Although it's a typical thing from you, but i should state my gratitude.
Thank you,
jshetina07
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:43 pm (UTC)
Well Said
Agree 100% George! Thank you for posting. Ignore the haters!
Emily Jampolsky
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:46 pm (UTC)
Yes! Thank you!
I had no doubts about how big that heart was! It is buried deep in the pages of your books and here is extended out into our reality. Thank you for spreading the peace.

----Proud reader and fan.
cyborgturkey
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:46 pm (UTC)
Sadly, I think most Americans would have warmly welcomed those people needing our help. And then politicians turned it into Us vs. Them vote-pandering.
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