Texas Man in UK for 18 Years Gets Xenophobic Abuse on Tram

And Juan Jasso was also pro-Brexit
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2016 3:41 PM CDT

A 38-year-old American Army vet who supported Brexit has lived in England for nearly two decades—but three young men decided earlier this week to taunt him with racist, anti-immigration comments in a confrontation that's since gone viral, NBC News reports. Juan Jasso—who's been pegged "Super Juan" in local media for his composure as he was verbally abused on a Manchester tram Tuesday by the apparently inebriated trio, ages 16, 18, and 20—was filmed by another passenger on the crowded train after he raised the youths' ire by telling them to watch their language, the Guardian reports. "You're not even from England, you little f---ing immigrant. Get off the f---ing tram now. Get back to Africa," said one of the young men, while another splashed booze on Jasso. Jasso then pointed out he had likely been in the UK longer than one of the youths had been alive, per the New York Times. One commuter yelled after the three perpetrators as they disembarked, "You are an absolute disgrace … to England."

Although it's technically true that Jasso is an immigrant (he came across the pond from Brownsville, Texas, 18 years ago), the Times points out that he doesn't fall under the umbrella of immigrants who usually face the wrath of xenophobes in Europe—he's of Mexican heritage, not Middle Eastern, African, or Eastern European. And his pro-Brexit stance—which he says was impacted somewhat by a military background that pushed a nationalistic stance—has surprised many Britons who've come to defend him after the video made the news. But Jasso notes that he thinks the men, who were arrested for their actions on charges of "affray" (public fighting that disturbs the peace), were an anomaly in the tolerant city of Manchester. "The people who attacked me probably had the same mentality before the Brexit vote," he tells the Times. "My impression is that they were uneducated and ignorant." (Some Brexit reactions railed against xenophobia.)

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