16,000 NYT readers share their stories of being told to 'go back'

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/19/after-trumps-racist-slur-aga.html

“Go back to where you came from.”


I refuse to believe trump is a citizen. I demand to see his birth certificate.



From the EEOC

Harassment Based on National Origin

  • Ethnic slurs and other verbal or physical conduct because of nationality are illegal if they are severe or pervasive and create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment, interfere with work performance, or negatively affect job opportunities. Examples of potentially unlawful conduct include insults, taunting, or ethnic epithets, such as making fun of a person’s foreign accent or comments like, "Go back to where you came from, " whether made by supervisors or by co-workers.

You know a phrase is bigoted bullshit when the EEOC uses the phrase as a primary example of harassment and creating a hostile workplace


Big shoutout to the NY Times for setting aside some time and space for this instead of running their usual profile of a heartland white supremacist who’s pretending to be a struggling farmer.


I had a HS teacher who was a sexist racist asshole. His primary job was apparently soccer coach, as you found out when you took one of his classes. A friend from a neighboring town told me that when his team played ours, a kid on his team of Indian ancestry was doing well. Our town’s coach yelled at him to “go back where he came from”. At the end of the game, when the two teams met to shake hands, my friend said that all of my town’s players kept apologizing to him, saying “we’re so sorry, our coach is a complete asshole”. This was the mid 80’s, was hoping we’d progressed since then, not gotten worse.


Many years ago, when I was much younger, much more stupid, and quite drunk, I had a disagreement w/ a Native American guy (also drunk at the time). After some verbal back and forth he ended up telling me that I needed to “die for his race”. I didn’t know precisely what that meant, though obviously not good, but didn’t have time to think about it anyway b/c he immediately put his fist into my jaw. That led to a little brawl betwixt us that was soon broken up by others nearby. It was at this point that we both, restrained and incapable of hitting each other any longer, decided to talk it out. Long story short, we ended up laughing it off, and the whole episode really did change the course of my life. I have, ever since that night, made it a point to be as aware of NA peoples and their struggles as I can be. Anyone that’s read any actual, real history of this land simply cannot deny the vast chasm that exists between native people and those that are occupying their lands. Can I go back to where I came from? Not really (not in 1 piece anyway!). Are there any easy answers to the injustice that’s run rampant in the western hemisphere for so very long? Not really. Can I do at least a little bit? I’ll certainly try, whatever that may mean. Right now it means that I’ll push back at every opportunity against this racist, piece of shit, wannabe president that appears to lack any sense of what is right. Motherfucker!


“I am home. I’m a [Mohawk], my family goes back here 40,000 years. You’re the squatter on stolen land.”

Great response, but there isn’t any response that will register with most people who shout “go back where you came from.” They don’t really expect anyone will “go back”, since that usually means Queens and San Diego and just down the street. What they want is to hurt, they need an enemy to attack.


“You first. You’re the one who’s upset by the climate here.”



That’s in NYC alone, imagine how many there are through out the USA…


(the stories are from around the US.)


Well that settles it then.


It would be a fake, almost certainly.

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As someone who has a tiny bit of Haudenosaunee ancestry (but I’d never identify as anything but mostly-White mongrel going through life on the easy setting), I’m careful to say Kanien’kehá:ka. I don’t want to call anyone ‘cannibal’ even if they use the exonym to self-identify in broader society.


We’d have to send some guys to new york to figure this whole thing out. But it’d definitely be fake news.

For every person who shared their story in response to the NYT’s request there were at least 10 (and probably a lot more) who didn’t write in about their own experiences. This “go back” racist nonsense goes back a long time, too.


TRUMP TO AMERICANS: If you don’t like what’s happening in your country then leave it!

TRUMP TO REFUGEES: If you don’t like what’s happening in your country then stay there and fix it!

I somehow doubt any of his supporters will see the hypocrisy.


Yeah, well, I was typing the quote from memory, and knew I’d never spell that right.


The BBC also had people contribute similar stories. What surprised me was how many of those stories were from NYC or similar cities.


I’m one-quarter Mohawk - My grandmother’s family were reserve-dwelling, full-on live-by-the-land types, and in a town that is now notorious for the Residential Schools program and terrible treatment of aboriginals. The stories my family has - from even one generation ago - are nearly as bad as a lot of the crap going on today with general North American race relations.

I have no such stories, as my three other caucasian grandparents gifted me with “white invisibility”, but I’ve listened with rapt attention at all of the stories my extended family has shared over the years, and it has IMHO duly informed not only my behaviour, but my understanding of the craptastic cyclic nature of all of this bigotry.