"But I was, honestly, stunned when you yelled at us from down the block, 'Go back to China!'
I hesitated for a second and then sprinted to confront you. That must have startled you. You pulled out your iPhone in front of the Equinox and threatened to call the cops. It was comical, in retrospect. You might have been charged instead, especially after I walked away and you screamed, 'Go back to your fucking country.'
'I was born in this country!' I yelled back.
It felt silly. But how else to prove I belonged?'"
From the October 9, 2016, New York Times story: An Open Letter to the Woman Who Told My Family to Go Back to China. By Michael Luo.
Of course this sort of shit happened here in New York. As diverse as this city this, these types of ignorant people definitely exist. And growing up here, I've had my fair share of these encounters.
This even just recently happened to my sister and brother-in-law, who live right across the George Washington Bridge in Bergen County, New Jersey. They have a neighbor who harasses people of color in their area. She often screams "Go back to your country!" not only to my brother-in-law, but to neighborhood children who are minorities as well. It's absolutely deplorable.
With different races, ethnicities, religions, and Americans gaining more legal and societal rights in our current times, there will inevitably be those racists who think their own happiness is being negatively affected by it. But another person's growth does not equate to something being stolen from you and your life. There's nothing American about blaming others for your unhappiness.