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.

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A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

Things That Matter

A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

Photo via @the_asian_dawn/Instagram

In another incident that highlights the anti-Asian sentiment that is on the rise in recent months, a 70-year-old California woman was attacked in Eagle Rock, earlier this month. According to news reports, a young woman attacked her while she was exiting the bus to pick up groceries.

The elderly woman, who goes by Becky, is Mexican-American. But her attacker yelled an anti-Asian slur at her before physically assaulting her.

According to AAPI news site Asian Dawn, Becky’s attacker was a 23-year-old woman who was also riding the bus with her. The woman did nothing to provoke the attack. The young woman ended up dragging the older woman from the back of the bus to the front of the bus. Becky ended up in the hospital with a broken nose, a concussion, two severely swollen eyes, and chunks of her hair torn from her head.

According to Becky’s son, who only goes by Pete, while the family are Mexican-American, people often mistake their family for being of Asian descent. According to Pete, no one intervened to stop the young woman from attacking his mother.

“Nobody would help. Not even the bus driver,” the woman’s son told The Eastsider.

Finally, the young woman stopped her attack after a fellow passenger called 911. The police were able to apprehend the young woman after issuing a bulletin for her arrest.

According to Pete, his mother has a long road of recovery ahead of her. Already suffering from lupus and arthritis, her mother is having trouble walking. Her leg is badly bruised from the assault.

The fact that the victim was Mexican-American serves to illustrate how ignorant and hateful these racist attacks are. There is no rhyme or reason to hate.

Many are linking the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the virus originated in Wuhan, China. The violent racists that have been attacking people who appear to be of Asian descent believe that Asian-Americans are somehow personally responsible for the pandemic.

If you to support the #StopAsianHate cause, donate to organizations like gofundme.com/AAPI or the Asian American Legal defense fund here.

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Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Things That Matter

Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Police have taken another Black man’s life, this time it’s 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Protests have broken out in cities across the country as the nation reacts to the killing of yet another young Black man.

But as the nation reacts to the murder, Wright’s family – his mother and child – need all the support they can get right now and thankfully there are many ways that we can all be better allies while helping support the family that Wright leaves behind.

Daunte Wright is the third high-profile police murder in Minneapolis.

Daunte Wright was driving to his older brother’s house with his girlfriend on Sunday afternoon, when police pulled him over for expired tags. Police said they found an existing warrant for Wright’s arrest and attempted to handcuff him.

Bodycam footage revealed Officer Kim Potter shot Wright when she claimed to be reaching for her taser. He died on the scene, just 10 miles from where former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the death of George Floyd.

According to CNN, Daunte’s death is at least the third high-profile death of a Black man at the hands of police in Minnesota in the last five years. And Daunte Wright’s death comes less than a year after the police killing of George Floyd, which sparked protests around the world.

Daunte Wright leaves behind a family still struggling with such an immense loss.

Daunte’s mother, Katie Wright, spoke out about the fear he experienced before his death. Daunte called her after the police pulled him over, at the suggestion of his older brother. “I know my son was scared. He’s afraid of the police, and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice. But I don’t know why, and it should have never escalated the way it did,” Katie told Good Morning America on April 13.

According to Katie, Daunte believed he was getting pulled over for his hanging air fresheners, then she heard “scuffling” and an officer told him to hang up the phone. “I tried to call back three, four times and the girl that was with him answered the phone and she said that they shot him and he was lying in the driver’s seat unresponsive.”

If you’d like to help support Daunte’s family and demand justice, below are a few resources and action items:

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