Army vet from Texas called ‘dirty little immigrant’ by British men in video

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Protesters gather on College Green in front of the Houses of Parliament as they demonstrate against the EU referendum result on June 28, 2016 in London, England. Up to 50,000 people were expected before the event was cancelled due to safety concerns. Early evening up to 2000 people have still converged on the square and then marched to Parliament to vent their anti-Brexit feelings. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Protesters gather on College Green in front of the Houses of Parliament as they demonstrate against the EU referendum result on June 28, 2016 in London, England.Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

For 18 years, U.S. Army veteran Juan Jasso has called the U.K. his home. So when he was riding the tram in Manchester, England on Tuesday morning, he never expected to be called a “dirty little immigrant.”

A video of three young British men insulting and threatening Jasso, who is a Mexican-American Texas-native from Brownsville, quickly spread, becoming an example of xenophobic sentiments affecting immigrants in the U.K in the days following “Brexit.”

According to The New York Times, the 38-year-old is a lecturer at The Manchester College, a vocational school where he teaches in the sports science department. He is a former rugby coach and was once a signals intelligence analyst for the U.S. Army.

Jasso said he had addressed the three men, whose ages are 20, 18 and 16, at the back of the tram to ask them to watch their language since there were women and children on board.

The video begins with one of the men calling Jasso a “muppet,” saying “get of the tram now, I’ll waste you, I’ll waste anyone. Don’t talk when you’re not even from England, you dirty immigrant.”

“How old are you?” Jasso responds. “What are you, 18, 19? I’ve been here longer than you have.”

“Get back to Africa,” the man says.

“You are extremely ignorant and not very intelligent,” Jasso says. That’s when the men start walking toward Jasso and one of them throws beer on him. That’s when others on the tram step in.

One woman can be heard telling the men “you’re a disgrace. An absolute disgrace. You’re a disgrace to England.”

According to the Greater Manchester Police’s Facebook, the authorities arrested the three man on Tuesday on suspicion of affray.

He told the Times that Manchester is a multicultural and tolerant city and doesn’t think what happened to him is an accurate reflection of the city.

“What happened is not the Britain I know and that I have come to call home,” he said.

Here’s how people on social media have expressed their support of Jasso.


What does Donald Trump have to say about ‘Texit?’

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - JUNE 25: Presumptive Republican nominee for US president Donald Trump visits Trump International Golf Links on June 25, 2016 in Aberdeen, Scotland. The US presidential hopeful was in Scotland for the reopening of the refurbished Open venue golf resort Trump Turnberry which has undergone an eight month refurbishment as part of an investment thought to be worth in the region of two hundred million pounds. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Presumptive Republican nominee for US president Donald Trump visits Trump International Golf Links on June 25, 2016 in Aberdeen, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Not only did the United Kingdom make history this week as the first nation to exit the European Union — but as you might have seen by now, “Brexit” has also inspired the rise of “Texit.”

The U.K.’s decision on Thursday has led some Texans to start campaigning for a Texas secession from the United States, causing many on social media to weigh in. But the idea of a “Texit” has garnered so much attention that its even reached the 2016 presidential candidates, specifically Donald Trump.

On Saturday morning, during a press conference addressing England’s vote in Aberdeen, Scotland, Trump praised the nation for its decision. When a reporter asked him about Texas’ talk of secession, Trump responded by saying “Texas will never do that because Texas loves me.”

In March, former Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz beat out Trump in Texas with 44 percent of the vote to Trump’s 27 percent. But with Cruz out of the running, Trump visited Texas earlier this month to hold three rallies in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston.

Are ‘Brexit’ and ‘Texit’ as similar as their catchy names?
Boats decorated with flags and banners campaigning to leave the EU sail by the British Houses of Parliament in London. Photo by Niklas Hallen/Getty Images

Some Texans have long awaited their chance to secede from the U.S. in a “Texit” — you know you’ve seen those bumper stickers. So will the United Kingdom’s decision Thursday on whether to stay a member of the European Union have any effect on our state’s fate?

In what Slate called the “most important political story in the world,” Great Britain might become the first country to leave the EU. Those who want out argue that the EU has impeded on British sovereignty and diminished its influence. 

And a few Texas groups — like the Texas Nationalist Movement, the Republic of Texas and some Republicans — feel similar sentiments toward the U.S. government. Of the 27 million people that make up Texas, Daniel Miller of the TNM told the Guardian that 260,000 people support the idea of Texas secession. He said the arguments for Brexit and Texit are fundamentally identical.

“You could take ‘Britain’ out and replace it with ‘Texas,’” he said. “You could take ‘EU’ out and replace it with ‘US’. You could take ‘Brussels’ out and replace it with ‘Washington DC’. You could give you guys a nice Texas drawl and no one would know any different. So much of it is exactly the same.”

In this state where people still celebrate its independence from Mexico in 1836, those of TNM have called for Texas to decide whether to remain a part of the U.S. via a referendum. Just a few years ago, after President Obama was re-elected, the White House had to respond to a Texit petition that received more than 125,000 votes — of course, the answer was no.

Texas Standard spoke with Tom Dart, the journalist who interviewed Miller for the Guardian. Dart, a former British reporter and recent Texan, said there are important differences between Texas’ status in the U.S. and Britain’s status in the EU.

“Even if this is a relatively small part of Texas’ population, you could argue they’ve been making increasing amounts of noise in recent years,” Dart said. “They’ve been getting more organized, they’ve been having a bit more traction in the Republican Party of Texas – certainly among the Tea Party wing.”

He said Texas secession isn’t widely supported, though Texas rhetoric has been anti-federal government as of late. Texas Standard notes that “could be a consequence of Gov. Greg Abbott’s statement that he’s sued the federal government 40 times.”

The Dallas Morning News also said there is little parallel between Texit and Brexit. The article brings up the idea that Brexit could actually affect trade with the U.S., “which means Texas has a dog in this hunt.” The U.K. is one of the top countries receiving Texas exports but a “leave” vote might affect U.S. negotiations for a free-trade deal in Europe.

Miller though, like much of the world, is eager to see what happens with Thursday’s vote. While we wait, below is a roundup of tweets under the hashtag #Texit: