A BMW. A black man, a white man. Both locked their keys in the car and try to pry the door open. Is there a difference in how they are perceived by onlookers?



Note from BW of Brazil: I’m sure you’ve seen videos of this kind before. You know the kind of “what would you do if…?” or “is there a difference between how a man or woman, black or white is treated in similar situations?” In the United States, ABC News ran a regular series entitled “What Would You Do?” while Brazil’s Globo TV occasionally featured a segment called “Vai Fazer O Quê?”, also meaning ‘what would you do?’ on its news journal Fantástico. Since then there have numerous imitations of the format on other networks in both countries. So, ok, the concept isn’t new. Several months ago, this blog even featured a video of the sort that sought to see how people would react to two lost little girls featured on the Record TV network.

Tiago Fonseca and Leonardo Medina recorded a a staged event to see if there were differences between how people react to the same situation, one with a white man, the other black

With this in mind, we know that the question of racism is one that Brazilian society as a whole simply cannot face in a serious manner. By now, this should be a surprise to no one. But even so, in recent years, everyday black Brazilians having been find inventive ways to hold the mirror up the society and make it accept and admit its racist beliefs (see here, here and here), which was the objective of this latest example of an old saying: “branco correndo é atleta negro correndo é ladrão” (a white man running is an athlete, a black man running is a thief). Here is how the video was described:

YouTuber who was arrested shows the reality of racism in Brazil

In first part of video, Leonardo Medina is shown attempting open the door of a white BMW using a wire

By Equipe Tecmundo with information from G1’s Luciane Cordeiro

Last week, a member of the Boom Channel on You Tube was arrested in the state of Paraná when recording a clip in which it simulated a very complicated situation. In the recording, a black man was seen in the city’s downtown trying to open the door of a car with a wire. As it raised suspicion on the part of people who were passing by, soon the actor was immobilized and the Military Police arrived on the scene to arrest him.

In second part of video, Tiago Fonseca is shown attempting open the door of the same car

What was not known until now is how it was being recorded on the Boom Video Channel. Now a new video released by Boom shows that the black man was not the only one who would have been seen trying to open the door of the BMW X1. The video was a “social test” to see how people react to the same situations with different agents.

Within a few minutes, several men approach Fonseca asking what he’s doing

Shortly before a white man was also trying to do the same thing with the car and was stopped only by a man who wanted to know what was going on – and quickly convinced that “it was no big deal.”

Not believing Fonseca’s story, the men wrestle him to the ground

When it came time for the black man trying to open the car, in less than three minutes a group of people surrounded the guy and started asking questions.

The men keep Fonseca pinned to the ground until police arrive on the scene

Even with him saying the car was his and that he had documents in the car – and showing no hints of attempting to flee or violence – he was soon tackled to the ground and the Military Police were called. The actor was taken to the police station by the Military Police (MP) for disturbing work and provocation of turmoil.

Military Police arrive, handcuff Fonseca and continue interrogating in regards to ownership of the car

The group released the video that culminated in the arrest of one of the members on Monday (14) and Wednesday (16), it had been watched by over 880,000 people.

Even finding the registration in the car, Military Police run Fonseca down to the police station

In production, two actors, Tiago Fonseca and Leonardo Medina – who is also director of Marketing of the channel, wear the same clothes and go to Apucarana and Maringa streets to see if residents have different behaviors when they see a white man and a black man trying open the door of a BMW with a wire.

The same scene is repeated by actor Tiago Fonseca, who is black. But in his case, the attempt to open the car lasted just over two minutes. Some people walked up, asked what was going on and didn’t believe the story.

In the police report released by the MP the day after the situation, the police reported that the call center received several calls reporting that an individual tried to steal a vehicle on Avenida Curitiba and that for this reason, was being detained by other people.

The actor and director of marketing of the channel said that on the day of the video members chose not to reveal what the story was about to the police in order not to hinder the divulging of video. In the meantime, the car registration was presented.

“We planned the pegadinha (staged event) after the racist attacks directed at a reporter and actresses of Globo TV. We wanted to know how people would react, if there is still racism in society. Many people say they are against it, but in situations like this attitudes are very different. Racism is veiled,” said Leonardo Medina.

The car used in the recording was purchased by the actor, but on the day of his detention in Apucarana, transfer to his name had not yet been completed. According to Leonardo Medina, all documentation was regularized this week.

Note from BW of Brazil: The details of the video in reality speak speak for themselves. Put bluntly, because of beliefs associated with black Brazilians, it is quite obvious that this black guy could not possibly own a BMW. How else do explain that the white guy spent so much time trying to pry the door open and hardly anyone even considered that he could be breaking into the car? Well, because it is naturalized that white men are supposed to have expensive cars. I would LOVE to know what reasoning those who would argue that this isn’t a case of racism would utilize in such an argument. By the way, if you’re interested in seeing all the details of the video, it’s posted on You Tube with full English subtitles. Check it out here. But always remember, here in Brazil, “we are all equal.”

Source: Tec MundoG1

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

1 Comment

  1. So disgraceful… its never going away. Here in America I have two spare keys for my car because I’m always worried about “someone” thinking that I’m breaking in, when really, I just locked my OWN keys in my OWN car. Its amazing how fearful white people can be of us and our blackness.

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