‘These words lead to violence’: MSNBC panel reveal their personal stories of being told to ‘go back to Africa’
Tara Dowdell (MSNBC)

President Donald Trump's "straight-up racist" attacks on Democratic women of color is a call to violence, an MSNBC analyst warned on Sunday.

"It would appear that President Trump is race-baiting today with a series of attacks aimed at the four freshmen congressional women of color known as 'The Squad,'" MSNBC anchor Kendis Gibson reported.

For analysis, Gibson interviewed Democratic strategist Tara Dowdell.

"So, as an African-American, I have been told to go back to Africa many times by people. Almost every Asian American I know has been told to go back to their country. Almost every Latinx American I know has been told to go back to their country and so forth and so on," she explained.

Dowdell said she normally doesn't share personal stories on-air, but was making an exception to explain the danger of Trump's words.

"So, when I was 13 or 14, I went to go — it was Fourth of July, I’ll never forget. I had some sparklers and things like that. And my friend and I went to go to, you know, light our fireworks and sparklers. And on our way there, there was a car full of guys, teenagers, older teenagers than us and they had been drinking," she recalled.

"And they followed us, and we knew when they were following us, we could hear some of the things that they were saying. And then all of a sudden, I hear a beer bottle crash behind me. We had sped up and started walking really fast. And they started throwing beer bottles at us and telling us to go back to Africa. And we ran. We were running for our lives. We don’t know what would have happened if those guys had caught us that day. And they continued to throw things. One of the bottles cut the back of my foot," she continued.

"And so, these words lead to violence," Dowdell said.

"If they had caught us -- which they didn’t, someone called the police, and that’s the only thing that stopped them -- if they had caught us, I don’t know what would have happened, but these aren’t just words. They have real-life consequences for people and I don’t think we should let this just kind of gloss over," she added.

"And I’ve been told to go back to Africa —- I'm from Belize," Gibson noted.

"Let me first say that the story that Tara just told is terrifying and so troubling and, sadly, I think, you know, all too common, and I think that’s why the president’s words hit home so hard today," NBC's Jonathan Allen said.