‘Where are you from?’ is the most difficult question I get asked far too often. Sometimes this question comes from a place of genuine curiosity, the profound desire to learn about a person’s history and to consequently foster a better understanding. At other times and more recently, this inquiry is based on a negative and resentful attitude towards foreigners. The motive in asking this question has only recently changed with Donald Trump’s election in the USA and Brexit in the UK. In the aftermath of these two political events, it has become much more acceptable to display and express racist and xenophobic views out in the open. No longer are vile, unpalatable and distasteful opinions confined to the fringes of society, hidden away in the dark alley-ways or suppressed. These two events – on both sides of the Atlantic – has emboldened extremists to take over the mainstream. The emboldening of racists and xenophobes is very well documented through crime rates, academic studies and personal experiences of migrants. Around the time of the Brexit referendum, for instance, there was a record increase of 32% in hate crimes based on racial and religious hatred in England and Wales. This was also mirrored by an increase in the number of students who were excluded from schools due to racist incidents. Similar patters were documented in the USA a few months later when President Trump won the presidential election. Rather than standing up to anti-immigrant sentiments, liberals are willing to succumb to their demands. Instead of taking a strong stand for principles and believes of openness and the rights of immigrants, there are efforts being made to amend liberal ideals to appease people with politically incorrect views. Hillary Clinton, for example, claimed that “Europe must curb immigration to stop rightwing populists” in an interview to The Guardian Even more worrying is the fact that anti-immigrant sentiments are affecting government policies; these undesirable views are steering prospective government plans regarding existing immigrants and people who may wish to migrate in the future. In fact, right-wing populists have become so influential, so effective and incredibly successful in implementing their policies to the extent that the modern guardians of liberal democracy are abandoning some of their fundamental principles of open borders and globalisation. Rather than standing up to anti-immigrant sentiments, liberals are willing to succumb to their demands. Instead of taking a strong stand for principles and believes of openness and the rights of immigrants, there are efforts being made to amend liberal ideals to appease people with politically incorrect views. Hillary Clinton, for example, claimed that “Europe must curb immigration to stop rightwing populists” in an interview to The Guardian. Likewise, in How to Stop Brexit and Make Britain Great Again, Nick Clegg wrote that ‘there would be some limits placed on the principle of freedom of movements’. In recent days, the British government and its Interior Minister, Sajid Javid presented an Immigration White Paper to Westminster Parliament, which, if enacted, will make it vehemently excruciating for people to come to Britain to seek employment, join family members and to study. Ironically, these are the same sort of that would have prevented the Interior Minister’s own parents from settling in the UK when they came from Pakistan. All of the above examples illustrate the extent to which mainstream public discourse is being taken over by right-wing extremists in both the UK and the USA. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that the guardians of liberal democracy and the people who have benefited from open border policies are succumbing to the will of extremists. By Muhammed Raza Hussain | Editor at www.NewsLeaf.com | Award-winning writer: Extra Mile Winner of News Quest Young Reporter Scheme and awarded a certificate for Talent for Writing by Young Writers | Twitter @MuhammedRaza786 | Instagram M.Raza.H_ | Facebook page @MRazaHOfficial | Email: email@example.com Published in Daily Times, December 29th 2018.