Trump abuse reminds celebrities of familiar racist phrase

  • President Donald Trump on Sunday told four progressive congresswomen to "go back and help fix" their "broken and crime infested" countries.
  • The attack has prompted people from all walks of life who were born in or migrated to the US to share their stories of being subjected to the taunt. 
  • "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," tweeted actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani.
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President Trump's racist attack on four progressive congresswomen of color Sunday has prompted celebrities and members of the public to share their own stories of being told to "go back" to their own countries.

"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," tweeted actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani, who was born in Pakistan and moved to the US for college. 

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, who was born in India and took American citizenship after moving to the US 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, and it's also something the President of the United States says to strong women of color who oppose him."

"It's rooted in centuries of ignorance, violence and white supremacy. This man does not represent us," Lakshmi said in another tweet.

Read more: Resolution introduced in the House of Representatives condemning Trump's 'racist comments' directed at progressive freshman lawmakers

"As a person of color, I've heard 'go back to where you came from' many times said by ignorant, hateful, racist people. I never thought I would hear those words from the President of the United States," tweeted The View host Sunny Hostin.

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LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Padma Lakshmi attends the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Dan MacMedan/Getty Images)
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Star Trek actor and LA-native George Takei said his response to racists was to to ridicule their ignorance. 

"One things many minorities hear more than a few times in their lives is, 'Go back to where you came from.' I always responded, 'What, Los Angeles?'" he tweeted. 

Former Acting Attorney General of the US and Supreme Court lawyer Neal Katyal said he had been subjected to the taunt since childhood, discussing his experience in an MSNBC interview. 

It is not just celebrities sharing their stories of racism, with regular Twitter users also posting their experiences.

"For those of us who have heard the phrase 'Go back to your own country,' it is the silence of bystanders who do nothing that is just as painful as the hurled insult," tweeted Jennifer Chuang, a medical doctor. 

"I've been called a gook, a chink, a VC (Vietnamese communist) & told to 'go back to China' or 'wherever you came from' more times than there are fingers & toes on my body. I came here as a refugee out of necessity, but America IS my country!" — tweeted Sonny Lê, a Census Bureau worker.

In his message, Trump targeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

Read more:Trump doubled down in his attacks on 4 Democratic congresswomen of color, calling their actions 'horrible' and 'disgusting'

Of the four, only US citizen Omar was born outside of the country, with her family taking asylum in the US from Somalia when she was a child. 

At a joint press conference Monday the four struck a note of defiance. "No matter what the president says, this country belongs to you," said Ocasio-Cortez.

NOW WATCH: Why the US border facilities are 'concentration camps,' according to historians

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