When that thug President of ours tweeted out that elected congressmembers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley should go back where they came from I recalled the many times I and other protesters of American injustice and imperialist war were told to “love it or leave it.”
Often it went along with “get a hair cut” or “get a job,” when in the Sixties protest was stereotyped by much of the media as a hippy thing.
It was stupid, of course.
It should be a reminder for us that Twitter didn’t invent cheap political discourse.
What’s different is having it coming from the mouth of a President and the target being four brilliant courageous Congresswomen of color.
Nixon and LBJ kept their racism, homophobia and anti-semitism inside the Oval Office instead of tweeting it out to the nation.
Although we have some of it on tape.
Diving into the idea of going back where you came from made me think of the great writer, James Baldwin.
I read Another Country by James Baldwin in the late Sixties when I was in high school. It was a novel about an American Black man, a bisexual, who struggles with the alienation he feels about his place in this country.
It’s a love and hate story.
The irony of the thug President telling American citizens (or anyone) to go back where they came from is perfectly captured by the title of Baldwin’s novel.
There is another country because we are two countries: Trump’s and ours.
In Baldwin’s novel, the alienation of his protagonist, Rufus Scott, overtakes him and leads him to suicide.
But that was seventy years ago.
That’s the country the thug President wants us to go back to.
But it’s not going to happen.