The first Muslim woman to serve in the British cabinet says that her country’s vote to leave the European Union triggered a spike in racist abuse.
“I’ve spent most of the weekend talking to organisations, individuals and activists who work in the area of race hate crime, who monitor hate crime,” says Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a former co-chair of the Conservative Party who served as Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 2012 until 2014. “They have shown some really disturbing early results from people being stopped in the street and saying look, we voted Leave, it’s time for you to leave.”
Baroness Warsi added that “they are saying this to individuals and families who have been here for three, four, five generations.”
It’s not particularly surprising that the Brexit vote appears to have emboldened racists, as Britain’s far right openly appealed to racism and xenophobia during the lead up to this referendum:
Polls indicate that “79 percent of Brits who thought immigration was a ‘force for good’ voted ‘Remain,’ while 80 percent of Brits who thought it was a ‘force for ill’ voted ‘Leave.’”