"'Go back to your country' is a taunt immigrant kids hear on the playground," says "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi, an American citizen who was born in India.
President Donald Trump has inspired some celebrities to share their own encounters with racism following his most recent controversy over telling four progressive congresswomen to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."
"They're free to leave if they want," Trump said Monday morning, referring to Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts.
On Tuesday, POTUS took to Twitter to assure his 62 million followers that he doesn't "have a Racist bone in my body!" Yes, he capitalized the R.
Actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani, who was born in Pakistan and moved to the United States for college, tweeted, "I've heard 'Go back to your country' many many times. Most recently was about a month and a half ago in LA. It hurts my feelings every time."
"Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi, an American citizen who was born in India, also weighed in on her experience with racism.
"'Go back to your country' is a taunt immigrant kids hear on the playground, it's a threat I get from unhinged people in my DMs, and it's also something the President of the United States says to strong women of color who oppose him," she tweeted, adding, "It's rooted in centuries of ignorance, violence and white supremacy. This man does not represent us. And in 2020 we will vote him the f--k out."
"The View" host Sunny Hostin, who was born to a Puerto Rican mother and an African-American father, added, "As a person of color, I've heard 'go back to where you came from' many times said by ignorant, hateful, racist people. I never thought I would hear those words from the President of the United States."
And "Star Trek" actor George Takei, who was born in California to Japanese-American parents, tweeted, "One things many minorities hear more than a few times in their lives is, 'Go back to where you came from.' I always responded, 'What, Los Angeles?'"
He added, "Trump just said that the four Congresswomen he has been attacking with racist dogwhistles are 'free to leave' America. We were told during the internment that we were free to 'go back to Japan,' even though most of us were born in America and had never even been there. Enough."