Note from BW of Brazil: I’m not even gon’ trip on this. I been puttin’ in work for six years here at BW of Brazil and been on the case about racial issues in Brazil for nearly 19 years, so there’s nothing surprising here at all. I post these stories simply to alert readers about the realities of Brazilian society that so many influential, as well as everyday people, want to continue to deny. People sometimes ask, “why are dirtying up Brazil’s image?”, but the fact is, this sort of behavior has been going on for
decades centuries but the nation managed to skate under the racism radar while most attention was on the United States and South Africa. So let’s get real. Brazil doesn’t need me to “dirty up” its image; these sorts of incidents happen every day all over the country, thus if they didn’t regularly happen, there would be nothing to report. And today, we have yet another incident that has gotten national attention, this time at a Burger King location. And once again, using the country’s favorite insult against its black citizens. Tell me again how Brazil doesn’t have these types of issues…
Customer called ‘monkey’ by Burger King employee
By Kauê Vieira
It was a special night for international relations student David Reginaldo de Paula Silva, who after celebrating his birthday, decided to stop at the Burger King for something to eat. Accompanied by a diplomat friend, he chose what he wanted, made the order and waited. Again, it was a special night for the young man.
Upon receiving his order, which came out to be about R$38 reais (US$11.37), the student received the receipt, with his CPF number (ID number) and instead of his name the expression “macaco” (monkey). That’s right, David, a young black man of 24 years, celebrating the birthday next to his friend, had the charm of his night broken by an old known form of racism.
“I placed a normal order. The cashier asked for my CPF, name and wrote it down. And I waited for my number. That’s when I saw the name ‘macaco’ next to the number and I was shocked,” David told G1 news.
The case occurred in the South Zone of São Paulo, at the Burger King unit of Avenida Santo Amaro, in the Moema region.
Haunted by the racist act, David still had to put up with the laughter of the three attendants, including the author of the, we repeat, offense. But trying to stay calm, the young man kept the receipt and tried to concentrate on the hamburger. He was celebrating his birthday.
However, the perversity and psychological action of racial discrimination spoke louder and after two bites he lost his appetite and went home. The night was ruined.
“Then I called my father and he told me to keep the paper. I didn’t make a scandal, I didn’t question the cashier and also didn’t catch his ID. I ate two pieces and lost my appetite. Then I went home,” he revealed.
According to the international relations student’s lawyer, the case will not go unpunished. After registering a boletim de ocorrência (police report) for injúria racial (racial injury/slur), he says that he intends to take Burger King into the civil sphere so that the chain is liable to pay compensation for moral damages.
Burger King, in turn, said that it repudiates any act of racism and is investigating the case to take the appropriate actions.
On Facebook, David manifested himself demanding the extinction of racial prejudice in Brazilian society. “Racial prejudice is a ‘disease’ that must be eliminated from Brazilian society. It is unacceptable that this type of racist attitude can still happen in the XXI century, in 2018.”
The crime of injúria racial was registered at the Delegacia de Crimes Raciais e Delitos de Intolerância (Office of Racial Crimes and Crimes of Intolerance – Decradi), of São Paulo.
Does Racial Injury/Slur lead to jail?
According to article 140, paragraph 3 of the Penal Code, racial injury/slur is related to crimes against honor and that they target a person’s set of intellectual, physical and moral attributes. According to the law, this was the violation committed against the young man. Punishment may range from one to three years imprisonment or a fine.
The crime of racism, foreseen in Law no. 7.716/1989 is characterized when the discriminatory offense is against a group or collectivity. Like the act of preventing blacks from walking freely. In this case, it is 2 to 5 years in prison or payment of a fine.
For the former minister of the Secretariat for the Promotion of Racial Equality (SEPPIR) Nilma Lino Gomes, in addition to impunity, racism in Brazil persists because of the difficulty in recognizing its existence.
“Brazilian racism has a peculiarity: ambiguity. It is a phenomenon that asserts itself through its own negation. The more we deny the existence of racism in Brazil, the more this racism spreads. And this is a feature that challenges us a lot to overcome and unveil it” she said during an interview with EBC.
For the pedagogue, the first black woman to be dean of a federal university, the Racial Equality Statute is a fundamental tool to change this scenario. With more than 65 articles, it was established through Law 12.888, dated July 20, 2010, guaranteeing “the defense of individual and ethnic rights and the fight against discrimination and other forms of ethnic intolerance.”
“Today the statue represents a conquest for Brazil and it is an achievement that was organized, demanded by the social movements, in particular, the movimento negro (black movement). It went through a process of a great discussion in the National Congress, was ratified by the federal government and today we can say that we have, in addition to the Federal Constitution, a national law that guarantees the right to the black Brazilian population,” concludes Nilma Lino Gomes.
Note from Burger King
“Burger King reports that it learned of the case reported at the unit located at the Santo Amaro Avenue store in São Paulo, and is investigating what has happened so that the necessary measures are taken. The company reiterates that it rejects any and all discriminatory acts,” it concludes.