There has been a lot of rhetoric in the last few years pushing the idea that "if you don't like America, then leave." This type of rhetoric came up recently when Donald Trump said that certain members of Congress should "go back" to where they came from. Trump recently commented saying that these congresswomen do not love America and "that if they're not happy here, they can leave."
His tweet stated, "We will never be a Socialist or Communist Country. IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE! It is your choice and your choice alone. This is about love for America. Certain people HATE our Country…"
This one tweet caused the phrase "you can leave" to trend on twitter in the USA.
While I cannot speak to the hateful rhetoric of being told to go back to where I came from, you can read people's heartbreaking stories online of being told this phrase. I can, however, speak to being told that if I did not like America, I could leave it.
I am an outspoken, progressive liberal woman and I love my country. I am grateful for the people who lay their lives down protecting it. I am grateful for the freedoms granted to me. I am grateful for those women who came before me who paved the way for the American feminism I know today. I am grateful for the republic form of government the Constitution lays out.
I love my country so much that I want to help improve it.
No one is going to argue that America does not have problems. I look around and see mass shootings, climate change, threats to women's rights, mass incarceration, and many other issues. Everyone has a belief on how to fix these issues. I am as entitled to my own opinion as to any other citizen in the United States. No, I am not happy with America or its issues. I don't think anyone should be happy with America right now. No one is outwardly saying that there is not a problem with gun violence currently. We are all arguing on how to fix this issue.
However, as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put it, "Weak minds and leaders challenge loyalty to our country in order to avoid challenging and debating the policy."
I am not happy about the current administration. I am not happy about the ways that this administration is handling the issues that I care about, just as republicans were presumably not happy with the Obama administration. However, the difference is that the Obama administration did not make such bold, racist claims as the Trump administration is now, such as the phrase "go back to where you came from." This is sparking discourse and this discourse is the reason this topic is being discussed now. I want to solve the issues I am passionate about and stop this racist behavior. I believe America can do better than mass shootings and can do better than racism. My passion for America is only making me shout louder about wanting to fix it.
No one should ever question my love for my country. I don't like what I am seeing, because I know we are better than this. America is not going to stay this way forever and implying that one should leave if one doesn't like it is implying that America will stay this way. Administrations change. Swing voters change their votes. Presidents get impeached. I am staying here to fight for the country that I love because I know we can change for the better.