“Blacks can’t ride in a taxi”: Olympic gold medalist? So what, you’re still a suspect! Rafaela Silva reveals being harassed by police just sitting in a cab



Note from BW of Brazil: In a recent post here, I alerted readers that the Federal Government had voted to send in the Brazilian Army to intervene in a Rio de Janeiro in which almost 7,000 people were killed last year. But the question for black Brazilians is whether or not this means actual safety or an all out war on civilians. Why? Well, regardless how much people like to pretend it’s not true, when one has darker skin and other African characteristics, the treatment in Brazilian society is completely different than if one looks like their ancestors came directly from Europe.

The last time this blog reported athlete Rafael Silva, Brazilians were celebrating Brazil’s first gold medal in the 2016 Olympics hosted in Rio. As I wrote in that post, “You don’t really love the Rafaela Silvas of the world; you only like this one temporarily because she won the gold!”, because, when you’re black and successful, you’re color actually trumps whatever status you have or accomplishments you’ve achieved. Rafaela was recently reminded of this just riding in a cab. Well, as things usually go, at least she was able to get in the cab!

A recent video, gold medal winning champion Rafaela Silva shares her ordeal with the police after catching a cab.

Rafaela Silva reports police abuse: “Blacks can’t ride in a taxi?”

Courtesy of UOL

World judo champion in 2013 and a gold medalist at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Rafaela Silva reported being a victim of prejudice on Thursday (22) in Rio de Janeiro.

Still from video recently published by Rafael Silva

The judoca (judo fighter) says she was stopped by a police officer while ordering a taxi at the airport. According to her, the man just got into the police truck and left after asking the taxi driver if he had “picked her up in the favela (slum).” (see note one)

“At the height of the championship, arriving in Rio de Janeiro, I had to go through embarrassment and find out that blacks cannot ride in taxis now.” Four policemen passed by the car and stared at the taxi I was in,” she began to report in a video published on Instagram.

“I kept messing with my cell phone, pretending it was not even me. They just call the siren and tell the cab driver to get in. They took the taxi driver to one side and the other guy knocked with his gun at the window and called me from the other side. This is with the all of Avenida Brasil looking, thinking that the police had captured a criminal,” she continued.

“The guy looks at my face and asks, ‘what work do you?’. I said I don’t work, I’m an athlete.” You’re the one from the Olympics, right? Where do you live? Jacarepaguá, I’m trying to get home. The taxi driver said that he picked me up at the airport,” said Rafaela.

The policeman said, ‘Oh, okay, you can go there then, I thought you picked her up in the favela (sic).’ Now blacks cannot even ride in a taxi because he must be assaulting, stealing,” concluded the judoca.

And the taxi driver answered … this is the judo one, I picked her up at the airport and the police spoke … ah! I thought you picked her up in the favela.

5 tweets

– Rafaela Silva (@Rafaelasilvaa) February 22, 2018

And the taxi driver responded…is the judo one, I picked her up at the airport and the police spoke … ah! I thought you picked her up in the favela.

– Rafaela Silva (@Rafaelasilvaa) February 22, 2018

All this the middle of Avenida Brasil and everyone looking at me, thinking that the police had caught a criminal, but it was just me, trying to get home

– Rafaela Silva (@Rafaelasilvaa) February 22, 2018

Where is this prejudice going?

Source: UOL Esporte


  1. In other words, just being black and coming from a favela automatically makes one a suspect even when reports show that the average favelado (favela resident) is a law-abiding citizen.
About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.


  1. Wow, this is unreal what she went through. The people in Brasil must understand that this type of behavior must be dealt with fast. It’s no different than what we go thru here in America.

    • No. It is quite different than is America.

      In Brazil blacks and browns are the majority.
      The cops are.majority brown yet it is they who enforce white supremacy.

      In America, most of the cops are.white…..blacks are a numerical minority.

      The people .of Brazil.need a thorough brain washing.

  2. I bet good money that the cops were not white either.

    The problem.with Brazil is the police and army. It is they who enforce white supremacist policies and the majority of them are pardos. – non whites………..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.