'Go Back To Where You Came From' Is Literally Unlawful To Say To Someone At Work

by Madison Vanderberg
Originally Published: 
Alex Wroblewski/Getty

If Donald Trump said what he tweeted about the four congresswomen at any normal workplace, he’d be fired

Donald Trump launched into a racist rant on Sunday, July 17, against four progressive Democratic congresswomen, telling them to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Trump was referring to congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota who, in doing their job, openly push back against the President’s policies. All four are women of color, all four are American citizens, but only one actually immigrated here when she was a child, making it very clear to see that Trump’s remarks were obviously racist, pointed, bigoted and also apparently, illegal.

Senator Tim Kaine was one of the first to point out on Monday that the “go back to where you came from” language is “a classic form of discrimination that violates civil rights.” According to the The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), it is against the law to say those words to someone at the workplace. If anyone else said what the President tweeted, that person would be fired.

“Ethnic slurs and other verbal or physical conduct because of nationality are illegal if they are severe or pervasive and create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment, interfere with work performance, or negatively affect job opportunities,” according to the EEOC.

“Examples of potentially unlawful conduct include insults, taunting, or ethnic epithets, such as making fun of a person’s foreign accent or comments like, ‘Go back to where you came from,’ whether made by supervisors or co-workers,” the statement continued.

We repeat: The EEOC lists examples of unlawful workplace language and the one phrase they used as an example of harassment based on national origin is the exact phrase our President lobbed at four women of color in Congress.

“The President’s bigoted words are so contrary to who we are as a country that we literally have laws against them,” Kaine so saliently put it.

After Trump tweeted about the congresswomen, he refused to accept that what he said was racist and even demanded they apologize to him.

Per NPR, at a press conference on Monday, Ocasio-Cortez poignantly stated why Trump’s “go back to where you came from” rhetoric is not just racist, it also doesn’t make any sense.

“We don’t leave the things that we love, and when we love this country, what that means is that we propose the solutions to fix it,” Ocasio-Cortez stated, while adding that “[Trump] does not know how to defend his policies, so what he does is attack us personally, and that is what this is all about.”

Now, the biggest questions remains to be seen. Will the President finally face any consequences for his bigoted, racist, and literally unlawful language? We won’t hold our breath, but at least the law is on the correct side.

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