Thank you for your thoughtful comment, A Njeri, and I’m sorry your experience in many ways mirrors mine. Although I’m a white girl with an accent people think of as quaint because I sound like Sherlock Holmes, I too have been told to go back to where I came from on innumerable occasions.
I also receive regular emails telling me as much, some in all caps with countless spelling mistakes, which always makes it a little difficult to take the sender seriously, especially when they purport to be “true Americans” (whose native language, presumably, is English…).
My comeback — when I bother to engage and I don’t tend to unless it is in a public forum like this one — is always the same: France is America’s oldest ally and America’s symbol, the Statue of Liberty, was a gift from those “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” some folks still regard us as.
I get surprised looks and gasps at times because, apparently, the Frenchness of Lady Liberty isn’t common knowledge.
Much like the EU, the US is a work in progress and if there’s one good thing that comes out of the Trump presidency, I hope it will be that we finally understood the urgent need to live up to the ideals outlined in the Constitution and build a more caring society.
So long as we set partisanship aside and keep talking to one another while insisting on equality for all, we can do it but it takes effort and humility and the ability to listen to those who aren’t us and hold very different opinions.
Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope things get a little easier for you eventually…
PS/Even though immigration has been painful for us both, neither you nor I are refugees, whose plight I cannot even begin to parse because it looks as if history — and what happened to European Jews during WW2 — taught us absolutely nothing. Not that the EU is any kinder to those we refer to as “migrants”, mind you. And yet, the difference between a migrant and us is geographical coordinates at birth, nothing else.