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What It’s Like to be Told to “Go Back to Your Country”

It's not just members of Congress being told to "go back" to their country — the racist comment is heard by people of color frequently in America.

Xenophobic Discrimination

The racist concept became national news when President Trump tweeted to congresswomen to go back to the "places from which they came." The president has been criticized for saying that Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ayanna Pressley should go back to the ‘‘broken and crime infested’’ countries they came from, even though all are American citizens and three were born in the US. 4 Congresswomen were quick to publicly respond. The House voted to formally condemn President Trump's racist tweets telling Democratic congresswoman of color to "go back" to where they came from. But long before that, the federal agency charged with enforcing anti-discrimination laws offered up that phrase as an example of potentially illegal harassment. The federal anti-discrimination law does not directly apply to Mr. Trump's tweets, since the four congresswomen he targeted are not his employees.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) specifically cites the phrase "Go back to where you came from" as the type of language that could violate anti-discrimination employment laws in certain circumstances. The phrase is nearly identical to what Mr. Trump wrote in his tweets about the congresswomen: "Why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came." The House resolution approved condemned the president's tweets as "racist comments" that have "legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color." It is the first time the House formally rebuked a president in more than 100 years.

Many Americans across the nation have been told to “go back to your country,” or some variation of the racist comment. “Go back where you came from” is not a new insult and is sometimes flung at new arrivals to the United States, at foreign-born U.S. citizens — or at those who are from the U.S. but belong to an ethnic minority. The use of the trope angered many and prompted people to tweet shared experiences or encounters of being told to “go back.”

These are some of their experiences…

Brut.

07/17/2019 6:22 PMupdated: 07/17/2019 6:28 PM
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112 comments

  • Gabriel K.
    07/31/2019 22:48

    I open minded and were I'm frm is earth so sure I'm where I'm frm lol

  • Kelo J.
    07/31/2019 17:12

    NO ONE GETS IT WORSE THAN BLACK PPL AND MEXICANS 🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️

  • Nora P.
    07/31/2019 10:08

    Trump 20/20

  • Jeff D.
    07/31/2019 05:24

    Im white...... Ive never said, or even heard that.

  • Joel B.
    07/31/2019 02:48

    I don’t think that it’s a racist thing since I use to live in MS And was welcomed. What hurts are those ungrateful immigrants that sucks life out of the system and don’t contribute to the society.

  • Robert Z.
    07/31/2019 02:43

    They told me to go back where I came from..... so I went home.....

  • Brett K.
    07/31/2019 02:38

    We " All" need to go back to where we came from. The mud, spit, and breathe of God.

  • Robert S.
    07/31/2019 01:18

    Ok, ALL you knuckleheads listen up (yes you!) It doesn't matter what party affiliation, race, religion, sex (you actually are or think you are), sexual preference (unless you're into children or animals, then you deserve to die) , what country, state, County, town, village or Planet you're from. I resident Trump's statement was NOT directed towards you or your family or loved ones UNLESS you are a US senator who has no interest in representing the best interest of your constituents, want to change America to cater to your preferences (ignoring the fact that we are the greatest melting pot the world has ever known, made up of many cultures, which makes richer in our diversity) instead of accepting and representing our constitution, or if you display an open hatred for this country and what it stands for if these statements don't apply to you then please stay and help or join us in continuing the legacy that is our nation. If not THEN leave! Go to the country of your ancestry and try to make it better, make it a place that like minded people do not want to run screaming from, wishing they were here instead, then if you actually accomplish that goal come back and show us how you did it! Why would you be offended if you love this country and believe we are the greatest country due to our cultural exchange and the opportunities to to learn from and understand each other and that no one person's beliefs outweigh anyone elses?

  • Dan C.
    07/31/2019 00:06

    He said if you dont like it here then go back to where you came from. They dont like it here so bye

  • Jose d.
    07/30/2019 21:40

    The asian women said she heard that when she was little. Who was president back then.

  • Keegan L.
    07/30/2019 21:01

    Maybe they should go back

  • Scott H.
    07/30/2019 18:43

    I'm a white American born and raised and have been told to go back to my country.

  • Laura S.
    07/30/2019 15:32

    Yes! What that last guy said, says it all.

  • Diane G.
    07/30/2019 10:51

    He said that because they bad mouth America every time they open their mouths

  • Jessie T.
    07/30/2019 10:16

    It stuck me, reading these comments, that many, many people missed the point. Entirely. If you come from somewhere else, seeking the United States, for all its blessings, then come here to enrich it. If you come here, and seek to make it the same as where you came from, then the easiest way to get what you (apparently) want, is to go back. The majority does not want to lose what we have. If we wanted socialism, we'd move to France. If we wanted Sharia law, we'd move to a Muslim country. But we don't. So if that's what you want, please, go where it already exists, rather than try to force it on people who don't want it. That said, if, as I said before, you come here seeking our blessings, and to help enrich this great nation, then peace be with you, and welcome. 🇺🇸

  • Jeb P.
    07/30/2019 09:14

    This is my own perspective. According to the US debt clock, there was more people working in the US in the year 2,000 than there are people working today, and since then, the population has grown. There are more people collecting some form of public assistance than there are people working. This phenomenon is not just happening in the Unoted States, in fact, this phenomenon is worse in most countries around the world. I have friends from foreign countries who are always struggling to make a living. Immigrants come to America for the same reason my father left the state he and his family lived in for many generations, it was to come and work in a state that offered him a decent job. Can you really blame immigrants? If you were in the same situation, would you not try to have something better? The thing is that in America, jobs are starting to become harder to find. There is a reason for that. It is called "automation." Automation and technology will continue displacing more and more people from the workforce. Pretty soon, jobs will become fewer and fewer. Young people will have a harder time entering the labor market. Immigrants will be blamed for something they have nothing to do with. Automation can be a good thing, but without proper action on how to deal with the impact it is having and will continue to have, we are in for a major breakdown in trust in the institutions that we always have placed our trust in.

  • Helen F.
    07/30/2019 07:02

    Im Irish,African, German, Dutch, Siberian and Slovenia according to to a ancestry.com we all come from everywhere

  • Amy S.
    07/30/2019 03:44

    I think it takes a lot of courage to leave your home, family, friends, job and life as u knew it, to move to a foreign country. I have respect for immigrants and asylum seekers who come here legally. And if u did, u belong here.

  • Jonathan R.
    07/30/2019 02:27

    I'm so mixed up I don't think they could cut me into enough peices to send

  • Joe A.
    07/30/2019 01:45

    I just came from the liquor store so yes maybe i will head back thanks