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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.



Nov. 20th, 2015 09:31 pm (UTC)
... 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.
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.
Johannes Kneussel
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:55 pm (UTC)
RE: Re: Surprised...
Especially as the USA played a vital role in creating ISIS
Patrick St.Croix
Nov. 20th, 2015 10:01 pm (UTC)
RE: Re: Surprised...
Agreed! I am so tired of the political climate and hate that is rampant in our country.
Nov. 20th, 2015 10:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Surprised...
*sighs* The ultimate irony here is that the original commenter is certainly descended from someone who came to this country as an immigrant or refugee from some other place who came to the US to build a better life.
Nov. 20th, 2015 10:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Surprised...
Thank you, Mr. Martin, for your inspiring thoughts.
Donatella Riso
Nov. 20th, 2015 10:28 pm (UTC)
RE: Re: Surprised...
Thanks to you George for explain that you all are refugees
Nov. 20th, 2015 10:34 pm (UTC)
RE: Re: Surprised...
Yes! That's exactly it, a moral imperative. I just can't fathom people can be so callous about the lives of so many--the number displaced by this conflict is in the millions. Millions of lives are at stake.
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
Byron Gillan
Nov. 20th, 2015 09:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Surprised...
What a writer puts in his stories isn't necessarily what he thinks, it's more what he's thinking about. You can create complicated narratives in your fiction, and still be sensible when it comes to the real world...
Nov. 20th, 2015 10:05 pm (UTC)
RE: Surprised...
First of all, it's "lives are at stake", not "steak--" unless it's Syrian cows that are coming over (#nomorecows #weshallnotbemoooooved). And this is not a complex moral issue. This is a simple matter of whether we're going to follow the precident and laws which we ourselves have set. Are we going to be the America that sent immigrants and their descendants within our borders to internment camps like we did to Japanese-Americans circa WWII or are we going to be the America that accepts immigrants knowing that we ourselves are a nation of immigrants? That is a pretty simple question. We don't get to pick and choose which immigrants we accept and which we don't want. We chose to allow the slogan of "give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, longing to breather free" to be affixed to the Statue of Liberty. Unless we want to change it to "ew go away," we'd better hush up with the bigotry and class-ism and start being a part of the solution. So that's the question, isn't it...which America are we going to be?
Re: Surprised... - mjkdailyreading - Nov. 21st, 2015 01:25 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - Joe Kelly - Nov. 23rd, 2015 04:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 20th, 2015 10:07 pm (UTC)
RE: Surprised...
Your bitter and unempathetic views on this are enough to say you're disappointed in GRRM? Like you're some wise man who looks down on anybody not in your ideals? You are so sad
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
Nov. 21st, 2015 12:24 am (UTC)
RE: Surprised...
You're only disappointed because your favorite author doesn't share your own flaccid view.
Jonathan Schaper
Nov. 21st, 2015 12:36 am (UTC)
Re: Surprised...
The simplistic approach is the one that involves judging all Muslims as bad and seeking to solve all the world's problems by building walls. That is both morally and intellectually simplistic. And I do believe the word you were groping for was "stake".
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
Nov. 21st, 2015 07:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Surprised...
If you bothered to do even a modicum of research before you spewed out your comments, you'd realize that it is a complex procedure for refugees from Syria to be admitted into the U.S. And from the people I know who are dead-set against letting in any refugees- um, yeah, they're pretty racist. They're the ones who condemn all Muslims for the actions of terrorists, complain about immigration when there are actually more Mexicans leaving the U.S., and can't understand why Black Lives Matter started in the first place. Now go eat your stake and let the thinkers have the floor- gracias!

Edited at 2015-11-21 07:34 pm (UTC)
Nov. 22nd, 2015 02:06 pm (UTC)

To be kind, to open yourself to others, is to invite risk. It's always worth it.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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