How ‘Go Back To Where You Came From’ Doesn’t Help Anyone
In the history of mankind, how has blatant racism or discrimination helped us?
Last Sunday, the world was exposed to yet another rant from Donald Trump. It involved four congresswomen of colour and him basically telling them to go back to where they came from.
Amongst the pile of racist comments that America’s president has uttered most of his life, this one has caught my interest.
Not because I’m a racist and get off to this stuff. But because I’ve heard that line before and I’m often asking myself one big question from that comment:
Why Is This So Important?
I get America’s president somewhat from his comment. Yes, there are definitely problems in other parts of the globe. However, one individual isn’t going to be enough to address the problems. Sure, there can be some differences from one person's efforts, but in most situations what will make an impact is a larger group of people.
You could say even a nation could help solve these issues. Especially in situations where some countries problems stemmed from other countries poor actions.
Regardless of being on a large scale or an individual scale, telling someone to more or less go away doesn’t solve the issue. Of course, people are free to have opposing views, but when has forcing your own ideals or asserting yourself on those points made cooperation any better?
Different or opposing ideas and views allows us to grow as individuals. We know that diversity can lead to a well rounded and more accepting life.
This is something that Trump doesn’t understand despite his own wife being an immigrant. Especially since three of the four congresswomen are US natives and the other — Ilhan Omar — has been a US citizen for longer than the first lady.
All this has done is cause further separation between the parties involved. And I don’t honestly see why it’s so important for that divide to even exist.
Why Are You Doing This?
The other instance I have heard this comment uttered was on the topic of school segregation. When desegregation systems were introduced into the US, there were many students making the point for people of colour to go back where they came from.
This sort of racial behaviour sparked a series of events to where we are now: schools being more segregated than ever before in America.
The issue is that parents and student today know the importance of diversity. We’re more familiar with than when school desegregation was introduced in the 1950s. Parents have said on occasion that racial tensions persist because their kids aren’t getting exposed to other ethnicities.
So why are we still doing this?
Why are we still holding onto these beliefs that we know are wrong and destructive?
From one angle, I can understand why this is happening. It’s easier to assert your dominance and inflate your ego than to be open and accepting. We see this in arguments as we often try to prove our points and make an effort to prove that “we’re right and they’re wrong.”
But like Dale Carnegie said in his book How To Win Friends and Influence People, what’s the benefit of winning an argument? Yes, you proved your point, but you crushed the other person's ego in the process.
Imagine what that must feel. Soul crushing. Damaging. Hurtful.
A lot of pain from that which can easily turn into the person resenting you, hating you, or may even seek vengeance.
Of course, you’ll have people who don’t like you and you’re not going to have every person on your good side. However, by making a point that you’re a racist and using racist tactics doesn’t put you in other peoples good graces. This becomes incredibly challenging when you are in situations where you need peoples support.
And let’s face it: we all need other peoples help at various points in our lives. So maybe stop being a dick and telling people to go back where they came from? I see no benefit from asserting this sort of ideal.
Why Is This Behaviour Continuing?
I know that this question is more complex and there isn’t a clear cut answer. The answer can point to racial tensions in general, school segregation, and old and dated tactics that people continue to widely use.
However, that doesn’t really answer why bother doing this. Why are we still creating and furthering this rift between men and women and white people and other people of colour?
Much like the generational labels for us millennials, these are tactics that continue to divide us and from what I can see all they provide is an ego boost.
Yeah, we sure showed those millennials that baby boomers are better.
Good job and as a result you’ve stalled progress and potentially doomed the rest of humanity. That’s definitely a step in the right direction there. #MAGA
This scenario is played out pretty much the exact same way whenever we continue to look down at women or people of colour. When we push back change or advancement, we start screwing ourselves up.
On a generational level, don’t you want the world to be a safer and better place than when you first were born?
If the answer is yes then maybe look to help other people. Start supporting people of colour, women in general, and the generations younger than you.
If you believe in their ideas and goals, give them as much support as you can.
After all, when you get older and can’t do the things you normally would do, guess who is looking after you?
And if the answer is no, well then I guess it says a lot about you as a person. Maybe it’s time to look at yourself and start to ponder the real hard questions. I know that Trump probably isn’t going to do that, but you’re not Trump.
The behaviour of a single racist man shouldn’t dictate your entire identity and what you stand for.
Divide, Confusion, And Racism Hasn’t Made Things Better
The one sort of twisted benefit that I’ve ever seen from these acts is that these sorts of experiences haven’t derailed people, but rather made them stronger.
We see this in politics today where women in congress have the fortitude to handle outright discrimination and racist remarks. Women, in general, have become bolder individuals and firmer in their beliefs.
We see this sort of behaviour across a variety of other spectrums. Even on this very platform.
Throughout history, there have been many people of colour who have opposed those racist ideals and started to change the world’s view of thinking.
And yes, these are wins for both women and people of colour. However, it’s worth looking at some of the challenges that they had to go through.
In most situations, it was people who were trying to force a wedge between two groups. They either did this through racist remarks or undermining specific groups of people.
In other words, most of the problems people of colour and women alike are facing are problems that other people have made for them.
And at the end of the day, we’re going to remember the people who rose over those hurdles despite that. That’s great. But those types of hurdles wouldn’t exist if we stopped being racist and stopped looking down at other people and actually helped in whatever way we can.
It’s not just with money, but something as small as sliding in their dm’s and giving them a positive message or a vote of confidence works.
Even small acts can go a long way. As I said, one person may not be enough to change the world, but it is enough to change one person at a time. And that can make a huge difference.