Following President Donald Trump’s July 14 attack on four congresswomen of color, telling them to “go back” to their countries, several Indian Americans also took to Twitter to share their own experiences of similar racist encounters.
During a Congressional fight over funding a border wall, Trump took to Twitter to attack Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachusetts), Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan).
“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run,” tweeted Trump.
“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements,” said the president, referring to the Speaker of the House.
He followed up with a tweet July 15, writing: ‘We will never be a Socialist or Communist Country. IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE! It is your choice, and your choice alone. This is about love for America. Certain people HATE our Country.”
Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, and Tlaib were born in the U.S. Omar, who was born in Somalia, arrived in the country at the age of 12. Trump intensified his attack on the congresswoman, who wears a hijab, accusing her of being an Al-Qaeda sympathizer.
Trump was angrily rebuked by Democrats, as well as some Republicans: On a vote of 240-187, the House July 16 approved a symbolic measure condemning the president’s inflammatory language.
“I am a proud naturalized citizen, a proud patriot, a proud person who belongs in this country. It's not the first time I've heard ‘go back to your own country,’ but it's the first time I have heard it coming from the White House,” said Indian American Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, on the House floor July 16.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., tweeted: “I've personally been told, ‘go back to where you came from.’”
“It is vile, ignorant, shallow, and hateful. It has to stop,” tweeted the Indian American presidential candidate.
The four congresswomen July 15 held a press conference to respond to the president’s attack. Watch it here:
“Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi tweeted: “‘Go back to your country’ is a taunt immigrant kids hear on the playground, it’s a threat I get from unhinged people in my DMs (direct messages), and it’s also something the President of the United States says to strong women of color who oppose him.”
Pakistani American actor Kumail Nanjiani tweeted: ‘I’ve heard ‘Go back to your country’ many many times. Most recently was about a month and a half ago in LA. It hurts my feelings every time.”
Kartik Jayaraman, who responded to Nanjiani’s tweet, wrote: “I heard it in LA too, Jan 2018. I am not American, so did not mind it, but they told me to go back to India.”
“That’s very far and I am Canadian,” Jayaraman wrote, adding a smile emoji.
Indian American attorney Neal Katyal, who served as Acting Solicitor General during a portion of the Obama administration, tweeted that he’s heard "go back to your country" since he was 3 years old. "Still get it to this day (almost every day). I'm here!"