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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, August 16, 2019

"Go Back" and "Too Bad"

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's character and record of dishonestyThe update  -- recently published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. Earlier this month, he told several Democratic congresswomen to "go back" to their countries.

Joe Davidson at WP:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) cites words similar to Trump’s in a previously issued document explaining employment harassment based on national origin:

“Ethnic slurs and other verbal or physical conduct because of nationality are illegal if they are severe or pervasive and create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment, interfere with work performance, or negatively affect job opportunities. Examples of potentially unlawful conduct include insults, taunting, or ethnic epithets, such as making fun of a person’s foreign accent or comments like, ‘Go back to where you came from,’ whether made by supervisors or by co-workers.”

When Trump tweeted that Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” he used the kind of racially offensive language that has led to hefty fines, as EEOC employment discrimination cases have shown.

The congresswomen can’t complain to the EEOC because Trump isn’t their boss — he has no authority over the legislative branch and the congresswomen, though he sets the tone for the government and appoints the head of the EEOC.
Private sector employees have successfully taken action against those who make or tolerate similar comments. A Federal Insider review of EEOC documents shows the agency has won lawsuit settlements on behalf of employees in at least a dozen cases over the past decade, in part because a supervisor or colleague said “go back” to an employee in a bigoted context.