Mayor of Elk Grove who came to the U.S. as a refugee, issues social media statement on Trump's 'go back' racist comments

In response to President Donald Trump's attacks on four female members of the U.S, Congress, the Mayor of Elk Grove took to social media today in a statement of solidarity against the racist attacks. 

Mayor Steve Ly, who is a refugee from Laos, posted the following on Instagram today.

Statement from Mayor Steve Ly

“Go back to where you came from...”

Regardless of how many times it is heard, this statement is still shocking and equally disappointing. When spoken, its intent is to hurt, demean, and make others feel like they don’t belong.

When I was elected Mayor, I received a similar note that brought back traumatic memories of my childhood in America. Instead of letting this negative message destroy me, I drew strength from it. It gave me the power and courage to stand up to bullies and ignorant people, and share my story as a refugee.  As refugees, my father and countless others like him fought with and for America, a country they had not even stepped foot in. They fought for democracy and against tyranny. They fought for a country that is committed to the democratic ideals of expression and freedom. 

I came to this great country as a refugee because my father rescued and recovered American pilots shot down during the Vietnam War. Like every refugee, there was no choice:  stay and die or flee and maybe, maybe live. 

I am a proud citizen of the United States of America, and I am never “going back to where I came from.” America is my home. It is where I, and many like me, belong. We belong. We matter. We make a difference. We are Americans, and we’ve earned our right to be in this great nation. 

Regardless of your political philosophies or public policies, I ask you to denounce divisive and harmful rhetoric. Speak against ignorance and hate, and those who should know better, but continue to perpetuate divisiveness. Let’s call it for what it is. “Go home to where you came from” is a racist statement. Stand with me and millions of Americans who believe in creating the American story that fosters inclusion and embraces diversity. 


The entire Instagram post can be be viewed below. 


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D.J. Blutarsky said...

He speaks!

Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

Although I have not voted for Mr. Ly since 2012, it is good to see him to use his life experience constructively and not for parochial purposes. Well stated.

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