Are You American Born?

July 22, 2019
Linh Kochan, PIVOT Member

Are you American born? Are you naturalized American? Are you white? Are you non-white? Where are you on the ladder of American privilege? How many times have you been told to "go back to your country?"

Trump has said it. If you don't like America (i.e., the America under Trump), leave! Go back to where your ancestors came from! He directed it first at the four minority congresswomen then broadened it to the rest of America to a crowd that shouted to an American born citizen, "Send her back!"

Imagine that being said to you by Obama, by anyone else but Trump. "If you don't like America, leave! Go back to not just where you come from but to where your ancestors came from!" As an American citizen, how would you have reacted?

According to Trump, if you don't like how he runs the country, you can't question him, you can't criticize him, you must leave America, back to where your ancestors came from because you don't belong in his America!

For those who support Trump, because it is said by Trump, because you agree with Trump, you would probably say, I love the America under Trump, I belong here. Those who don't can leave!

Be very careful of this rhetoric. You are now telling American born and naturalized American citizens to leave America. Please remember your family history. You, your parents, your grandparents, your great-grandparents, your ancestors risked your lives, their lives to come to America to leave the countries where your ancestors came from so you could have freedom and democracy where you could voice disagreements and question the government, their policies, words and actions, not to follow and agree with whatever the government tells you and leave when you don't. If you agree with Trump, you should have left America and gone back to where your ancestors came from when Obama was president!

Of course, if we are American, if this is our home, we are not going to leave America to go back to where our ancestors came from regardless of what any lunatic tells us. But we all have to recognize the danger in this kind of rhetoric and be concerned about where America is heading morally, ethically, culturally and socially. We shouldn't have to dig too deep to ask ourselves the question, Is this the kind of rhetoric and behavior I want myself or my children to have or be subjected to?

America belongs to all Americans, not just those who agree with each other or those in power. We must all come together and work together, despite our differences, not to make America what it used to be, but to continually make America better than what it is.