Note from BW of Brazil: Another day, another example of the ‘racial democracy’….Not! In the story below we learn about the experience of a model whose released a video about her experience with a racist attitude. The video went viral and received widespread support which lead to others stepping forward and speaking of their own experiences. Let’s hope that stories such as these encourage more people to step forward and speak out against the illness of racism.
After a video with 1 million views, model who suffered racism on a bus in the Federal District listens to stories of other victims
Young women told stories of discrimination even at school, according Nayce Samara
TV Brasil report on Nayce Samara
The courage of the model in reporting a case of injúria racial (racial injury/slur) she suffered on the bus going back home, in Ceilândia (of the Distrito Federal – DF or Federal District), stimulated the courage in other victims. Among the people that generated more than one million views of her Facebook video, many cases of racism that they really faced, either in isolated episodes or daily.
Nayce Samara, 22, received the messages in her profile on the social network. In most, denouncements are from girls younger than she, and who have also been insulted because of their cabelo crespo (kinky/curly hair).
“I have received many messages of support, and thousands of people who told similar cases they’ve suffered. There were insults against young people and adolescents because of their hair and skin color.
Outraged with the case of a racial slur on the bus in the DF, Nayce told her story in a video with wide reach on Facebook
In addition to sharing their own stories, many young people also sought guidance from Nayce on what to do to face racism. Some victims are afraid to take denouncement forward, and found in the model an example and words of motivation.
“I heard the story of a 13 year old girl who asked me for advice because she suffers from racism at school. Only that she’s afraid to talk to the police because she said her father is an ex-convict. Many don’t say anything because they are afraid of how their parents will react, and because there isn’t much conversation at home to orient these girls that, yes they do have beautiful hair (1). Racism is a crime and they can report it.”
In the case of the bus, Nayce says that when she came home after working as a model in the Setor Hoteleiro Norte de Brasília, on Tuesday (29), two ladies sitting next to her on the bus said she “was even beautiful, but with that macumbeira (2) scarf to cover her cabelo ruim (bad hair), she was ugly.”
This, however, was not the first time Nayce suffered with comments like these. Even after the complaint, some of the messages that the girl receives on Facebook are offenses. Therefore, the model aims to become more active in the fight against prejudice.
“I posted this story on Facebook because I wanted to tell my story to my friends and my family. I never would have thought that it would have such an effect, but as it has gone so far, I will take the opportunity to support the Movimento Negro (black movement). My whole life I have suffered from it, and I always had an urge to post it, but before I wrote smaller texts and shared videos. Now I will engage myself more in this fight at the side of the groups.”
Also on Facebook, another resident of the Federal District was also the target of racist abuse. In April of this year, journalist Cristiane Damacena began to suffer attacks with the posting of her photo in her profile. She was called “macaca” (monkey) and “escrava” (slave) and suffered ridicule because of her skin color. The case was investigated by the 26th Precinct of the Civil Police (Samambaia).
In 2015, the Núcleo de Enfrentamento à Discriminação (Center for Confronting Discrimination) of the MPDFT (Public Ministry of the Federal District and Territories) has offered 71 allegations of racial insults and racism in different regions of the DF. One such case happened in Vicente Pires (DF), in July of this year, in which a man said to the owner of a restaurant and to her daughter that “blacks can’t have a restaurant” and that he “odeia a raça negra” (hates the black race).
The crime of racism happens when the discriminatory conduct is directed toward a particular group or community. The racial slur is to offend the honor of someone with the use of elements relating to race, color, ethnicity, religion or origin. For the official website of MPDFT, the prosecutor Thiago Pierobom explains that the cases happen even at work.
“When there are conflicts involving black people, the offender wishes to remind the offended of their place in the racist culture: of inferiority. It’s not possible to tolerate such acts of racial discrimination.”
Nayce Samara is one more victim of racism in the Federal District. The 22 year old works as a model, and last Tuesday (29), was prejudice by two ladies who were on the same bus in Ceilândia (DF)
As this isn’t the first time that she suffered this type of racial prejudice, Nayce decided that she couldn’t remain silent anymore and posted a message against racism.
“In reference to my ‘cabelo ruim’ (bad hair), to my ‘cabelo duro’ (hard hair) as they also say, bad is your prejudice. Bad is your prejudiced dressed as a joke that you think is funny and it’s not. Definitely it’s not. Racism isn’t cool, it’s not funny and never will be.”
- Samara’s recollection of what other girls/women have experienced provides an example of the second issue that makes fighting racism difficult in Brazil. First, there are still many black families that don’t discuss the issue of race in the home and second, many people who are victims of racist incidents still have fear of talking about it as if they in fact are the ones responsible for the experience.
- A term that many Brazilians use in a pejorative manner to refer to persons who are followers of Afro-Brazilian religions whether they actually are or not. The comment speaks to the continued rejection, negative stereotypes and religious intolerance that adherents to the Candomblé continue to experience.