'Go back to where you came from' is a racist insult that our producer experienced firsthand

"It was a low blow"

The Chad Hartman Show
July 16, 2019 - 3:40 pm
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Sheletta Brundidge was a teenage girl working her first job in fast-food when an angry white customer told her, "Go back to where you came from." 

She was only 16 years-old, but it was an experience she never forgot. 

"It just made me take a long look at myself. That's heavy when you're 16 years-old,"  Brundidge, a producer, on-air personality and podcast host at 830 WCCO said Tuesday on The Chad Hartman show.  

The phrase has a long history in American racism, one that long predates the current occupant of the White House, who used it Sunday in a racist tweet attacking four democratic congresswomen, including Minnesota congressional representative Ilham Omar—who responded by calling for his impeachment. 

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Brundidge's encounter with the phrase began because a white man was upset that she gave him the wrong sized fries. His first response was to tell her to go work at a fast food resturant in a black neighborhood. Then he added, "Better yet, go back to where you came from."

She recalls it as her first direct experience with racism.  

"I watched my mother and father work very hard to get to where they were to save up, to buy a house, to move our family out of the inner city out into the suburbs for better schools and for an opportunity like this. I'm on my first job, I'm very prideful of what I'm doing. And it was just insulting. It was a low blow.

Watch her tell the full story above or listen here: 

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