The New Colossus
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!” she cries
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!”
– Emma Lazarus
Since the attacks on Paris, there has been outcry about “closing the door” to refugees from Syria. More than half the states have come out saying that they won’t take any refugees.
More than half.
It boggles my mind.
I have even heard some saying send them back where they came from. Apparently, “they” do not read any news, because the refugees are leaving Syria because it is not safe. Images of the places from which the refugees are leaving are horrific.
Yet, in spite of all the insanity, there are examples out there of places doing the opposite of what America wants to do. Perhaps these examples will open our eyes and halt our bigoted behavior.
Places like the town of Rothesay on the isle of Bute in Scotland, or the small town of Mariefred Sweden where a friend from Facebook shared that the town was taking 140 refugees, which equates to one refugee for every thirty-five Mariefred residents.
Fortunately, our President does not subscribe to this thinking, and there other voices of reason joining him. Voices like Governor Peter Shumlin from Vermont, Governor Tom Wolf from Pennsylvania, and Governor Jay Inslee from Washington.
Thankfully, even Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is welcoming of refugees. Which, I am sad to say was greeted by an onslaught of threats via social media and his security had to be increased.
It is my hope that these beacons of reason will shine brightly and help everyone to see that this is not only the right thing to do, but it is the American thing to do. If it is not the American thing to do, then Lady Liberty needs to be taken down and the message at her feet removed.
Then unbelievably, last night, a new twist occurred. Donald Trump, when questioned by an NBC reporter, said that he would require Muslims to register for a national database. Apparently, we have learned nothing from history, no matter how horrific. Sadly, fear and ignorance are alive and well here in the United States.
Racism is a refuge for the ignorant. It seeks to divide and to destroy. It is the enemy of freedom, and deserves to be met head-on and stamped out. – Pierre Berton.
We need to stop giving in to fear and ignorance and if we do not, hate wins.