Image: Instagram/@ocasio2018

Racist tropes have always turned into racist policies.

 

As the daughter of an Iranian immigrant, yesterday’s Tweet from our President hit me personally. It reminds me of why I work every day to help elect a Brand New Congress that truly represents us.

The trope, “go back to where you came from” is all too familiar to black and brown Americans. 

This kind of rhetoric has no place on Capitol Hill! This kind of rhetoric isn’t, “racial undertones,” or “racially motivated,” or “racially charged.” This kind of rhetoric is a rallying cry to racists across the country, and it should be called out as such! 

Representatives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley highlight a new movement, and the establishment is running scared.

Millions of Americans have voted for these candidates to be their voice and Trump’s abhorrent and racist tweet shows just how important their voices are.


These xenophobic and nativist attacks hits us deeply, and echoes a history of white nationalism and oppression in America. A history where Native Americans were driven from their homes. Where the Chinese-Americans, who built our railroads, were exploited, criminalized and dehumanized. Where Irish-American immigrants were driven to seek refuge in the Appalachian Mountains. Where Japenese-Americans were rounded up and torn from their homes to be placed in internment camps. Where Puerto Rican and Cuban immigrants were treated with inhumane conditions when they sought refuge in the mainland United States. Where Black Americans, descendants of slaves who built the foundations of our country, were considered to be only three-fifths of a human being. 

It echoes America today, where white nationalism still defines our policies. Where systemic racism has led to systemic poverty, and a racist criminal justice infrastructure that has affected the lives Black Americans for centuries. Where “white flight” and Jim Crow, take the modern forms of gerrymandering, mass incarceration, gentrification and deportation. 

Where we are caging migrants in concentration camps at the border, and ripping families apart for profit! Where Black and brown Americans are openly demonized and dehumanized.

And yet, far too many continue to excuse an American system built on profiting off racism and human suffering, here and across the globe.

White nationalism and racism has been here all along: in our churches, in our school hallways, in our neighborhoods, at our State Houses, in our companies, on Capitol Hill and written into our legislation. 

These systems of oppression are as American as apple pie and have followed us all the way to the White House. White nationalism IS the history of our country. Trump may personify this problem today, but white supremacy is part of the fabric of this nation. We must recognize it, root it out and support candidates like AOC, who represent the diversity of this country and who stand up to give voice to the voiceless!

At Brand New Congress we are focused on electing a diverse slate of candidates that truly represent ALL of us. Together we CAN break down the systems that have held millions of Americans back. Together we can push back the tides of racism and hatred.

 

Written By: Zeynab Day,   Communications Director at Brand New Congress