Brexit and racism are not the same.

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Afew months on from Brexit, the country has felt the shock, reacted, and now settled down into looking once more ahead and making what we have and where we are work.

The nation was asked in a referendum, and by a margin of 52% to 48% the country has voted to leave the EU. 72% turn out, a margin of some 2 million votes.

Once all the emotions have subsided two things stand out to me; the resilience of the country and the impact on ethnic minorities living here. One of the great things about Britain is the power of our democracy and the strength of the institutions that run our country. The pound fell, purchases from foreign currencies rose. Interest rates went down protecting the market, the stock market fell then rallied. We had a change of government, new leadership, clear and strong direction forward. The country needs to move forward and I feel we are.

What has worried me though is the intolerance that was sometimes revealed felt legitimised in some areas. Reports of hate crime and racist abuse increased, some 500 incidents in the weeks since the referendum result. Polish people especially were singled out for attack with leaflets proudly displaying nazi slogans and signs “no tolerance” gangs of people challenging others to speak English told to ‘go home’.

Even amongst the Chinese community, in the main descendants from Hong Kong- a British colony- international students and law-abiding citizens from the ‘silent community’ were not spared.  Two British Chinese friends were shouted at “you’ll be next” and verbally abused.

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