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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 09:35 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.
Nov. 20th, 2015 11:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Surprised...
Putting steak instead of stake in a comment read by my favorite fiction writer is mortifying. I think there's a lot wrong with your reply, but this is your space and I don't think it's productive to get into an argument with you here. I'm sure many other will do so.
Nov. 22nd, 2015 01:14 am (UTC)
Re: Surprised...
Maybe you should fuck off back to wherever your ancestors came from? (Hint - unless you're Native American it's not the US)

And yes I'm aware that Native Americans are descended from people that came from Asia but they were in the US long before anyone else
RE: Re: Surprised... - moretha1941 - Nov. 22nd, 2015 01:35 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Surprised... - Blaisem - Nov. 23rd, 2015 08:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 21st, 2015 02:41 am (UTC)
Re: Surprised...
Exactly! A moral imperative.

I'm sure if the Westerosi were a morally enlightened people (like us), they'd see that the Dothraki are victims too.. and they'd eagerly embrace the vibrant diversity and cultural enrichment… and bravely confront the challenge of the few bad apples that have gotten all the attention. They don't represent the vast majority of the noble people of Essos! After all, there are certainly far more good, decent folk in the rear of their struggling migratory band, baking bread and weaving baskets, just yearning for a better life for their children.

Why can't the rest of Planetos see that?!? Let them in!
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
Nov. 21st, 2015 07:21 am (UTC)
Re: Surprised...
We should be Jon Snows, not Alliser Thornes.
Nov. 21st, 2015 09:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Surprised...
Well put. We made http://ThanksgivingForSyria.com to support groups directly helping Syrian refugees.
Trocki Tomasz
Nov. 22nd, 2015 01:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Surprised...
He is right.
Our Best Writer have very simplistic view.
I live in eastern Europe, I have friends from Hungary, Germany and Czech.
What you say is very theoretical. Why do you base your opinion on theories and not facts?
My girlfriend was few months ago in Hungary, just before they build a fence.
Do you know what is to see thousands of young men shouting, swearing, threaten to kill and rape you?
That was the situation. Thousand of thousand young men with demanding attitude, and a will to destroy you if you don't give them what they want.
You are talking about high ideas, ideas so abstract that have no translation to the real word.
You should come to Germany Muslim districts. To Paris Muslim districts and see for yourself. Please go to places where actually there are refuges and then specify your opinion.
The thing is, there are others so blind, just like you, who don't ask question such as "why 80% of them are men in they prime?", "if war lasts for at least 2 years, why they came here now?", "Why NONE of other muslim countries did not took refuges?!".
As writer you are able to make some small predictions. Please make one, where army-aged men are transferring to other countries. Also notice that, most of them are not Jihadi. No. They are not.
But they support them...
Re: Surprised... - Swen Jacobs - Nov. 23rd, 2015 01:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 22nd, 2015 05:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Surprised...
I love you even more for this post.

It amazes me that people can witness the horrors of Paris and Mali and then fail to recognise that it's exactly these kinds of atrocities that people are fleeing.

Yes, there are people from other countries who are faking their refugee status, taking advantage of goodwill as an opportunity to migrate. That's always a risk in any refugee crisis. But it doesn't mean the people fleeing crucifixion and beheading and sex slavery aren't real. It doesn't mean we don't have an obligation to help them.

As for the notion that ISIS will infiltrate Western countries under the pretext of the refugee crisis - what a truly absurd idea. Wake up. We live in an age of intercontinental air travel. Every day, thousands of planes take off, crossing borders and carrying 8 million people to their destinations. If terrorists want to enter the UK, France, Germany, Spain, the US, or elsewhere... they don't need to go to the arduous lengths of the refugee process. They need only pretend to be tourists. Or easier still, they can just recruit disaffected, angry citizens. So shutting the door on refugees when they need our help the most only aids ISIS in their barbarity.

ISIS are doing the very things that will terrorise you the most and you're all falling for it completely. Snap out of it. You're losing your mind in the face of fear.
Nov. 23rd, 2015 01:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Surprised...

So we want to let in a million refugees? Even if only a tiny percentage of these people are actually terrorists, we could have a terrorist attack 10 times worse than Paris.

And you can bet good money on the fact that there are terrorists looking for any way into the USA and other nations

I'll try very hard to remember GRRM's nugget of wisdom 5 years from now when ISIS massacres several hundred innocent people here in the USA. And when it comes time to fix the blame on the politicians and other "experts" who enabled this mindset , well, those people will be long gone from the public eye and nowhere to be found. Yeah, I'm SO sure these foreigners will ALL respect the lives of their fellow humans, just like Hitler did. So here we are. I don't blame the refugees. I blame the incredibly naive short-sighted politicians and media pundits. It's almost like they want the terrorists to come on in and kill us.


Please remember those words when you turn on the news and there it is. Over a thousand killed in terror attack in the "heart , the center of America".


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

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