Businesswoman ordered to pay more than US$6,000 for calling a security guard “monkey” and “stinking black”

Empresária pagará R$ 15 mil por racismo a vigilante em Muriaé

Note from BW of Brazil: What can be said except another day another case of racism. As has been repeatedly documented on this blog, referring to Afro-Brazilians with the racially charged term monkey (macaco/macaca) is an almost knee jerk reaction throughout the country. It doesn’t take much; a simple argument or confrontation is enough for a white Brazilian to remind an afrodescendente (African descendant) of their designated “place” in society. In the beginning, this case looked like it was coming down a situation of “he said, she said” until witnesses stepped forward. The judgement will surely not change the social hierarchy in Brazil, but maybe the defendant will think twice next time….but I doubt it…

Emergency Room entrance of the Hospital São Paulo - Casa de Caridade de Muriaé in Muriaé, Minas Gerais
Emergency Room entrance of the Hospital São Paulo – Casa de Caridade de Muriaé in Muriaé, Minas Gerais

Businesswoman will pay R$15,000 for racism against a security guard in Muriaé

from the newsroom of Acessa

A businesswoman was ordered to pay R$15,000 (about US$6,263) in compensation for moral damages to a security guard at a hospital in Muriaé, Minas Gerais, whom she insulted by making offensive references to the worker’s skin color. The decision came from the 11th Câmara Cível do Tribunal de Justiça de Minas Gerais (TJMG or Civil Chamber of the Court of Minas Gerais), which maintains the judgment handed down by the judicial district.

The victim said that he was working as a guard at the emergency room of the Hospital São Paulo when a child who had just been bitten by a dog arrived, accompanied by his aunt. The minor was already being tended to when a couple of business people also arrived at the hospital identifying themselves as the child’s parents. The guard told the couple that they would need to tell the child’s aunt that they had arrived so that there was an exchange because the rules of the establishment did not allow the presence of more than one accompanying person per patient.

Muriaé, Minas Gerais in southeast Brazil
Muriaé, Minas Gerais in southeast Brazil

According to the guard, the defendants then started acting in rude and uncontrollable manner, insisting on going to the child, invading the restricted area, punching and kicking the entrance door. They also began to utter insults at the worker, calling him a “macaco (monkey)” and “negro fedorento (stinking black)” among other verbal aggressions as well as profanity. Military officers who were tending to an event in the hospital tried to calm them down, without success, and placed the couple under arrest, caught in the act of crimes of slander, disobedience and resistance.

Stating that he felt humiliated and embarrassed by the offenses, the man sued the couple, seeking compensation for moral damages. He alleged that the defendants expressed a derogatory value judgment with respect to his color, and had insulted him, offended his honor and reputation in front of several people in his own workplace.

Nervous and distressed

In their defense, the child’s parents said they were at an event when they were told by their daughter, who was crying on the phone, that their son, only 8 years old, had been bitten by a pit bull and was in the ER. They said they in fact they went nervous and distressed to the hospital because they didn’t know the state of the child’s health and had been told that the boy was crying a lot calling his parents. They argued that the employee prevented them from seeing the boy in an imperative and arrogant tone, even with their insistent requests and it was they who were the parents that suggested the exchange of accompaniment because they wanted to be with the child at the time.

Among other details, the couple also stated that at no time did they act rudely and that the employee refused to make the switch of chaperones. They said they did not verbally or physically assault the guard who allowed them to enter into the operating room and that they were there when they were handcuffed by police.

In First Instants court, the child’s mother was ordered to pay the guard R$15,000 for moral damages, since the request of security in relation to the father of the child was dismissed.

Before sentencing, both parties appealed: the guard asked for an increase in the amount of damages and the woman asked for her acquittal arguing that what occurred was just a mere discussion between the parties and that there was no moral damage.

In analyzing the case, the federal judge rapporteur, Mariza Porto and found that the racial slur was more than proven by the guard’s testimony and by the accounts of witnesses. Moreover, the criminal process of the proceedings corroborated the offense suffered by the hospital security guard.

In the evaluation of the federal judge, the guard “only exercised his statutory duty of maintaining the standard of the hospital and the maintenance of the order of the establishment,” and that the sentence which condemned the businesswoman was correct.

Considering appropriate the amount of damages in the First Instance court, the rapporteur upheld the sentence, followed up in her decision, by the justices Paulo Balbino Paul and Marcos Lincoln.

With information from the Court of Minas Gerais

Source: Acessa

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


  1. Afro – Brazilians end up dealing with it because they don’t know their history at all. They actually have internalized the feelings of inferiority and in turn encourage the white feelings of superiority.

    No white would dare talk that way to any black in the US – they would get beaten if not killed on the spot.

    Afro-Brazilians have to learn from their Afro American counterparts. Learn their history and to reject the inferior/superior paradigm all together.

    I guess they need a civil rights movement. A Brazilan malcom X or King.

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