The victim of alleged racist abuse on a Manchester tram has spoken about his ordeal saying he feels Brexit may have ‘pushed people’ to justify this behaviour.
The incident occurred yesterday morning when Juan Jasso, a U.S Army veteran, was told to ‘get back to Africa’ reports the Manchester Evening News.
Two men, aged 18 and 20 were arrested in connection with the incident and have been released on bail. A 16-year-old boy is still in custody.
Mr Jasso, a sport lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, said things escalated after he confronted the three passengers for using foul language.
He told Channel 4 News:
It was really early in the morning, there was children about and I could tell from other people’s faces on the tram they didn’t really appreciate the language which they were using.
I thought I would step up and say something, and I didn’t really appreciate it either.
“I consider the UK to be my home” – the American man who was verbally abused on a Manchester tram speaks to Jon Snow.
Mr Jasso said he did not feel threatened by the men, but that it may not be a good idea for other people to challenge trouble makers because: “You don’t know how they’re going to react.”
When asked by John Snow if he thought the attack was anything to do with the Brexit vote he replied:
I think there was an undertone there before, but I think the result maybe has pushed people to justify that they think it’s okay now to act out in this way, which obviously it’s not.
It’s not acceptable in any terms, in any way, shape or form, because obviously people feel threatened by it and people are coming here to contribute.
Mr Jasso said it was only the second incident of its type he had experienced in his 18 years in the UK.
However it is feared the referendum result may have led to a rise in racially motivated attacks as some sources claim a 57 per cent increase in reported hate crimes since Friday.