Hungarians living in Great Britain don’t fear a rise of racist sentiment following the Brexit vote last Thursday to leave the European Union. Since Friday there have been a number of incidents in the country targeting immigrants, mainly Poles.
The racist incidents are thought to have been fueled by the successful “Leave” campaign. The Guardian reported that a suspected racist graffiti was found on the front entrance of the Polish Social and Cultural Association in Hammersmith, west London, early on Sunday morning.
The incident comes as Cambridgeshire police are investigating reports of racist laminated cards being distributed in Huntingdon on Friday. According to the Cambridge News, a number of cards saying “Leave the EU/No more Polish vermin” in both English and Polish were found outside St Peter’s school by teaching assistants and students, including an 11-year-old Polish child, who reported they made him feel “really sad”.
The Polish ambassador to Britain urged politicians to condemn what had happened.
In a separate incident, police confirmed that an incident of racial abuse took place on a tram in Manchester early this morning, when a young passenger was shouting at fellow passengers he thought were immigrants.
They count on us
Although it seems the number of racist incidents is on the rise, Hungarians living in Britain are not afraid. Those asked by the Budapest Beacon said they saw the incidents on TV but they have never experienced such behavior.
“I work at a multinational company and they assured all of us that they count on and value our work,” one of them said.
Another Hungarian expat confirmed that his friends have been supportive ever since the referendum.
“My British colleagues have always been very nice and they were just as shocked at the results as I was,” he said. “I consider myself lucky. Never since my arrival have I experienced racism of any kind. Madmen are everywhere but these incidents do not represent the whole of the British public.”
They all pointed out that most of these incidents happened in the middle territories of Great Britain, where unemployment is generally higher and anti-migrant sentiments have always been more prevalent.
Applying for citizenship
The Guardian newspaper said many of the reports of incidents seem to show the mistaken belief that EU citizens living in the UK will now be forced to leave the country, with instances reported of a Polish woman being told to get off a bus and “get packing”.
Despite the sentiments, none of the Hungarians are planning to leave Britain. Instead, most of them are considering applying for citizenship to protect them from any possibility of having to leave.