Is that a funny? No its not. It’s a statement that’s meant to make the receiver feel like they don’t belong…in their own country.
While I was on social media last year, posting my feelings about the Breonna Taylor verdict, a white male poster informed me that if I didn’t like America, I could go back to where I came from. Heaven? My mother’s womb? What he meant is that I can go back to Africa. The thing is, I’m not from Africa. I’m from the United States of America. Shockingly (not really), this was not the first time I’d encountered that statement online. It’s one of the main reasons why I typically do not engage racists on social media.
This is a common sentiment amongst racists to African Americans when confronted with the realities of injustices and racism in America. It underscores the racist’s belief that America belongs to white people. Not only is this an asinine statement, but its grounded in fallacies.
Who does this country really belong to? Native Americans. Other than that, I once watched a documentary that showed the many people who’d made it to America before Columbus, including Africans, Asians, and Polynesians. Due to America being a land of immigrants after the decimation of the Native Americans, it’s possible that my ancestors were here before yours. Quite simply, don’t tell me that I’m not a real American or that America is not my country.
As the call for reparations continues to gain steam along with the fight to teach critical race theory, the contributions of African Americans to America are only now beginning to be highlighted. This country was literally built on our backs. We don’t just provide music, soul, and entertainment. Speaking of which, isn’t it funny that we’re only “real” Americans when we’re expected to provide something, like Simone Biles bringing home gold medals for the USA or athletes standing for the National Anthem and keeping football season going. I mean we’re not real Americans, right?
As Malcolm X said, we didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, the rock was landed on us. Nevertheless, we’ve been here since the beginning of America, and we’re not going anywhere else. This is my country just as much as it is yours.