‘Get back to Africa’ video highlights rise in racist attacks post Brexit
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“Get back to Africa”. If the teenagers shouting this abuse in a Manchester tram had been a little bit smarter, they would have realized that the man they were insulting had an American accent. Indeed, Juan Jasso is an American who has lived in the United Kingdom for 18 years.
But intelligence was clearly not these teenagers’ strong suit, as we can see in the video filmed by a passenger on Tuesday. It shows the former soldier being verbally abused by the young men, who call him an immigrant and shout at him to “f---ing get off the tram now. Don’t chat sh--- or get deported.”
Jasso stays calm, and asks them, “What are you, 18, 19? I’ve been here longer than you have.” One of the teenagers then flicks beer at him from the bottle he’s carrying. Passengers yell at the teenagers: “You are an absolute disgrace, a disgrace to England”. The teens then get off the tram, all the while continuing to hurl abuse.
Manchester police posted this video online, and were quickly able to identify three suspects, aged 20, 18 and 16, and arrest them on suspicion of disturbing the peace.
British TV station Channel 4 News spoke with Jasso, who is a sports lecturer at a local university, about the atmosphere in the United Kingdom since the referendum on leaving the European Union. He said: "I think there was an undertone there before this Brexit and the voting within the referendum, but I think the result maybe has pushed people to somehow justify now that they think it's ok now to act out in this way, which obviously it's not."
Throughout the United Kingdom, police have reported a 57 percent spike in xenophobic incidents in the days following the referendum compared to the same period a month earlier. David Cameron - who has announced he will step down as prime minister - has condemned this abuse, which has included many incidents of Muslims being taunted with cries of “go back home”. The country’s Polish community has also been repeatedly targeted.