If news reports and social media are to go by, then unfortunately, the United Kingdom is witnessing an overt display of racism and xenophobia after the country's referendum voted to exit from the European Union.
Google Trends displayed a sudden spike in searches for "Brexit racist" and "Brexit Xenophobia" on Friday after the results of the Britain's future with the EU became known, reports The Washington Post.
Seema Malhotra, a senior lawmaker of Indian origin who belongs to the Labour party warned of the same on Saturday, as she mentioned how schoolchildren were "racially abused" in west London and that many in her constituency feel "vulnerable", reports Bloomberg.
Even social media highlighted this unfortunate development establishing a clear link between the result and the rise in racism.
So much hate!!!It's all fun & games until you walking through Leeds and someone shouts "Oi Paki, We Voted Leave, Get out" 😱👊🏽#PostRefRacism— عامر (@Am4r1) June 26, 2016
All politicians, pro and anti-#Brexit, have to immediately address the racism & bigotry that is exhibiting itself up and down the country.— HA Hellyer د. إتش (@hahellyer) June 26, 2016
Racism and islamophobia scenes shown yesterday near a masjid at Birmingham. pic.twitter.com/ycmlIFFT4w— 『Jamal』 (@Jamster_33) June 26, 2016
this referendum, this division, this racism, this bigotry, this disgrace. had enough of it.— carlos (@b0redinbucks) June 25, 2016
Just arrived at a 78% Muslim school. White man stood making victory signs at families walking past. This is the racism we have legitimised.— Dr Karen Bateson (@KarenJBateson) June 24, 2016
My home town of Newcastle. This afternoon. I feel like I am back in the 1980s. pic.twitter.com/8THD1xsn1N— David Olusoga (@DavidOlusoga) June 25, 2016
It's no secret that Britain is currently dealing with an enormous surge in immigration since the past few decades. According to figures published by Reuters, net migration is at 330,000 in 2015. Of those, a net 184,000 came from the EU, which mandates freedom of movement.
Was this referendum then a manifestation of the brewing angst against immigrants, especially those who are reportedly stealing jobs from the local population?
Sarah Childs, a Facebook user has compiled such similar incidents into one post which gives a clear insight into the parochial mindset of some of the locals.
UK which was considered to be one of the most preferred place for immigration is now turning out to be a narrow-minded and xenophobic stricken country.
While several on social media have expressed their shame and embarrassment over the incidents of racism, some even regretted voting to 'Leave' the EU.
However, this rise in bigotry begs the question - Was the referendum based on economic and trade issues or pure racism and xenophobia?