For many in the UK, the fallout from last week's shocking Brexit vote was immediate. Despite opponents' insistence that leaving the European Union would mark a devastating moment in international history, many voters seemed convinced that such an exit would be an empowering move towards independence. As the global dialogue surrounding the vote has quickly proven, that is not the case.
In fact, the post-Brexit world seems to have emboldened bigots and xenophobes, who have united behind the vote as a way of justifying racism. For example, the hate crimes division of Wales charity Victim Support has received "over 60" reports of hate crimes and related incidents in Wales alone, TIME reports. Those witnessing this shift have started sharing their stories using the hashtag #PostBrexitRacism and detailing the daunting reality of life after Brexit:
Many fear that the widespread examples of #PostBrexitRacism are ruining the UK's image in the eyes of its international allies, something that's very hard to argue against given the sheer volume of reports:
"I do think that yesterday's vote speaks to the ongoing changes and challenges that are raised by globalization," President Barack Obama told a Stanford University audience on Friday of Brexit's importance to the U.S. "But while the U.K.'s relationship with the E.U. will change, one thing that will not change is the special relationship that exists between our two nations. That will endure. The E.U. will remain one of our indispensable partners."
A petition calling for a second Brexit vote has been crashing the UK government's website, far surpassing the 100,000 signatures needed for a government response. At the time of this writing, the petition had amassed nearly four million signatures. The petition argues that a new rule should be implemented that would allow a second vote, with petitioners asserting that any vote that's less than 60 percent and based on a turnout under 75 percent should be promptly reconsidered.