Things That Matter

The New York Times Asked People To Share Stories Of Being Told To “Go Back” Where They Came From

I don’t think many of us needed reminders of all the blatant racism and xenophobia that exists in our country. From Los Angeles to Miami, Tulsa to Nashville, there has been incident after incident of racist attacks on immigrant communities, even on US-born citizens who are brown and black. Many of us have experienced these attacks first hand

But they’re being put under the microscope again as Trump’s racist comments reverberate across the country. When he told AOC and ‘The Squad’ to “go back” to where they came from – even though all but one were born in the US – he was opening up wounds for so many of us who have been told the exact same thing time and time again.

The New York Times published the story of 64 people, from 2nd generation Americans to recent immigrants from Japan, who were told to “go back” where they came from.

Credit: @LaraTakenaga / Twitter

For many, Donald Trump’s words and the chants from his supporters just reignited the pain or the memories of their own experiences. For many people who shared their experience, they talked about first learning about being ‘different’ because of comments just like those from the President.

Before adding their stories to the actual paper, the New York Times released a super emotional video that is pretty much something all of us can relate to.

From African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Native Americans to Mexican-Americans who have been living in the US for six generations, so many people have experienced these words simply because of the way they look and sound.

In the video, many shared that it was after Trump’s election in 2016 that they began experiencing more hurtful, racist comments. That’s a theme that common from the 16,000 responses according to the New York Times.

Here’s a closer look at some of the 64 responses the NYT highlighted.

Credit: @LaraTakenaga / Twitter

Although most of the people who shared their stories identify as people of color, many were told to ‘go back’ because of the language they speak or the clothes they were wearing. And for many, it’s been a constant stream of racist attacks ever since they were in this country as young children.

We’re also highlighting a few here. Like the story from this man who first experienced those seven words as a young boy.

Credit: New York Times

Imagine simply going up to the mercado con tu mamá and having someone yell such hateful words at you…

For many of us, we don’t have to imagine it. It’s happened to us before. We’ve been waiting in line to pay for something or to order in a restaurant, when somebody feels they have the right to invade your space, interrupt your day, and Hurt your with blatantly racist words.

Even in cities with large populations of migrants and diverse communities (think LA, New York, Chicago), we are not immune.

For many, the common theme was being told to speak English.

Credit: New York Times

Simple chores such as going to the post office, which Sandra Benitez’s of Washington was going, can result in racist encounters. Thankfully, she was equipped with a good come back, telling her attacker she “can speak in any language” that she wants.

While other’s pointed out they can’t even get into political discussions or disagreements without the trolls coming for their identity.

Credit: New York Times

As soon as you start expressing viewpoints or having opinions as a person of color, it seems like the trolls are ready to pounce on you for being black, brown, or Muslim.

The NYT piece and the larger discussion about the words “go back” all started when Trump uttered those words in regards to four congresswomen – all of whom are women of color.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

Amid infighting in the Democratic Party, Trump shared some opinions about what ‘The Squad’ should do if they’re so upset with how things are in the US. He suggested they “go back” to where they came from. Mind you: all but one of them were born right here in the US and the 4th is a US citizen.

In response to the piece, some took to Twitter to share their own experiences.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

When you’re constantly being beaten down for who you are and for your culture, it’s extremely important to have the support of your family. Your family is there to teach you the importance of being you and in taking pride in your heritage.

Some have defended the President’s language but most on Twitter knew exactly what he meant.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

Many pointed out just how sick they were of hearing people say that the phrase “go back” to where you came from doesn’t have any racial undertones to it. It’s obviously 100% blatantly racist to tell someone you think is different from you (based on color of their skin or the way they look) to go back where they came from.

Foul-Mouthed Karen Yells At People To Stop Playing Bad Bunny And Play ‘American’ Music Instead

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Foul-Mouthed Karen Yells At People To Stop Playing Bad Bunny And Play ‘American’ Music Instead

Ramon Luis Cancel / Facebook

Puerto Rico is part of the United States. Puerto Ricans are American citizens (without the right to vote). Music made in Puerto Rico would then be considered American music since it is part of the U.S. However, one Karen in Wisconsin just doesn’t understand that and had a complete meltdown.

A very angry white woman went on an expletive-filled rant against people barbecuing in the park because of their music.

My first Karen was today. Todo por que no le gusta la musica que escuchamos 😂 #KarenWantTalkToTheManager Stop Being Racist. To use this video in a commercial player or in broadcasts, please email licensing@storyful.com

Posted by Ramon Luis Cancel on Wednesday, May 20, 2020

A woman made a point recently to verbally attack a Puerto Rican family while barbecuing in a park. What did they do to offend the woman? They were playing Bad Bunny. The woman, who has not been identified, called on the group to play American music because they are in America.

“You are so fucking disrespectful,” the Wisconsin Karen told the group when they called her disrespectful. “Puerto Ricans. Fuck all this.”

During her rant, the group turns on Bad Bunny’s “Safaera” and continued to argue with her.

“Safaera” is one of Bad Bunny’s most popular songs. It would be pretty hard to convince people that this song is something that should be turned off. Like, Why can’t people just enjoy their time out and about without having to get into a racist, xenophobic argument?

Some Puerto Ricans on Twitter made sure to remind her how lucky she is to be in Wisconsin.

This isn’t the first time someone was verbally harassed in a park for showing their Puerto Rican heritage. One man was charged with a hate crime after trying to attack a woman in Chicago who was wearing a shirt with a Puerto Rican flag on it. It is a true testament to their resolve that the Puerto Rican family being yelled at were able to stay calm and level-headed. Granted, they did argue back but it seems they were provoked.

It seems the woman needs a basic civics lesson on how Puerto Ricans are Americans.

A poll conducted by Morning Consult found that half of Americans do not know that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens. The confusion has been exacerbated by President Trump during the early stages of Hurricane Maria recovery. The Trump administration has been criticized for its treatment of Puerto Rico.

People commented on the Facebook video about how else the situation could have been handled.

Credit: Ramon Luis Cancel / Facebook

If she wants to hear American music, then let her hear American music. Crank that volume all the way up and let her hear the true range of American music. There’s nothing better than educating someone when they let their ignorance be known.

One person is just feeling bad for the man clearly trying to get the confrontational woman moving.

Credit: Ramon Luis Cancel / Facebook

He really just wants to keep it moving. It is almost like he realized before she did that being on camera saying racist things is not a good look in the time of social media and doxxing.

Smartphones have changed the way we live by giving us a chance to capture moments like this and broadcast them to the world. Social media serves as a way to really make the most out of the public shaming.

READ: Felony Hate Crime Charges Have Been Filed Against The Man Who Harassed A Woman For Wearing A Puerto Rico Flag Shirt

A Louisiana Cop Has Been Fired After Saying It Was ‘Unfortunate’ That The Coronavirus Hasn’t Killed More Black People

Things That Matter

A Louisiana Cop Has Been Fired After Saying It Was ‘Unfortunate’ That The Coronavirus Hasn’t Killed More Black People

Dan Kitwood / Getty

study released last week, as U.S. deaths from the Coronavirus approached the 100,000 mark, shows that the black population is dying of the virus at a rate 3.57 times higher than the white population. In some places, such as New York, that rate is even higher.

That is apparently not enough for a Louisiana police officer, who has been fired for writing on Facebook that it is “unfortunate” more black people have not died of the deadly illness.

A white Louisiana cop has been fired following a social media post that revealed his views on the Coronavirus and black people.

Steven Aucoin was a police officer with the Kaplan Police Department – a town about 60 miles outside the Louisiana capital of Baton Rouge. He was fired earlier this month after an investigation showed he made extremely racist comments on a Facebook post.

Aucoin’s comments, which were shown in a screenshot of the live stream, were in response to another user who described the Coronavirus as the “virus that was created to kill all the BLACKS is death.” The officer clearly responded with two statements, “Well it didn’t work.” And directly under that comment he then said, “How unfortunate.”

In another section of the thread, Aucoin wrote, “I can’t wait until the next part of the plan is implemented and they see what’s in store for their kind.”

The police chief investigated the comments and quickly fired Aucoin.

Credit: Kaplan Police Department / Facebook

According to Kaplan Police Chief Joshua Hardy, the matter was looked into, investigated, and Aucoin was fired shortly after.

In a brief statement posted to Facebook, the agency said “Chief Hardy and the Kaplan Police Department would like to apologize for this matter. As a police officer, we’re held to a higher standard than normal civilians, so you got to watch what you do. You got to watch what you say.”

Aucoin’s firing was met with some applause – including in meme form – on the department’s Facebook page.

Credit: Kaplan Police Department / Facebook

“I applaud your swift and decisive action regarding this matter,” one commenter wrote. “Your willingness to serve notice on bigotry and ignorance is a genuine representation of redoubtable leadership that is necessary during these difficult times.”

The racist officer’s comments and firing comes as a number of high-profile racial incidences have made headlines across the country.

Credit: Shaun Rayford / Getty

Just a few weeks ago, the brutal murder of Ahmaud Arbery – a 25-year-old black man – made headlines after a video was shared on social media of former police officer Gregory McMichael and son Travis that chasing and gunning him down. The two men were arrested and public outrage over the lack of response from local officials in February has been wide-spread.

Shortly after that, a video showing a white Minneapolis Police Department officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for over 8 minutes, until he died, has sparked outrage and massive protests against the murder around the country.

Also in May, a white woman named Amy Cooper was walking her dog off the leash in Central Park in New York. When a black man  – Christian Cooper, who was out bird watching – asked if she could put her dog on the leash, she called the cops on him, saying her life was being threatened by an ‘African American man’. She has since been terminated from her job as head of insurance investment solutions at Franklin Templeton on Tuesday, having been placed on administrative leave a day earlier.