Female street sweeper accuses 60-year old woman of racism in supermarket in the Lago Sul region of the capital city

She insulted a black female garbage collector who used the same bathroom as she
A woman is accused of racism for yelling at a black female street sweeper who used the same bathroom at a supermarket in the Lago Sul region of the Brazilian capital region (Brasília DF). The victim, Francisca Genival, reported that a 60-year old retiree didn’t like that she had used the restroom.
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“She came swearing at me saying that I was a filthy and that it was for this reason that I was working on the street, that my place was really that and that I was nothing more than trash.”

The Military, Civil Police and Fire Department were called to help in the confusion since the accused woman locked herself in the bathroom after realizing the number of police and firemen that were on the scene. To get her to come out of the bathroom took hours of negotiating.

According to the sergeant of the Fire Department, Ivan Souza, she said that she was just correcting some girls who had left a mess in the bathroom. Even the sergeant of the Military Police, Pedro Oliveira, said that the woman made a scene.

“She said she didn’t like this and didn’t want to see the police.”

We will have to wait and see how this case turns out. Unlike other cases where the accused used racial slurs or referred to the victim’s race in some way, Genival didn’t report anything of this nature. On the one hand, it could be argued that the woman connected Genival’s skin color to the low social position associated with her job, which in turn guaranteed the street sweeper’s destiny in life. That may be a stretch to try to prove. But on the other hand, the accused could have simply seen Genival as being dirty because of the nature of her work. In this case, it’s still an offensive, insensitive comment, but not necessarily racism. As we have written on this blog, racism in Brazil is sometimes difficult to prosecute due to flexible interpretation even in situations where the accuser’s case is strong. In many other situations, black Brazilians simply suffer in silence without ever reporting a racist incident. It seems that in this case, Francisca is at the opposite end of both of these situations as she didn’t simply suffer in silence but her case may weak. 

Other recent cases of racism in Brasília DF

Last month, a man was convicted by the Court of the Federal District to pay compensation of R$ 15,000 (about $7,500 in US dollars) for the crime of racism for having offended a black woman. The offense happened on a bus when the offender spat in the face of the woman and called her “a nasty black woman”. Witnesses confirmed the incident.

In May, psychoanalyst Heverton Octacílio Campos Menezes, 62, was charged with racism by the civil police for insulting a movie ticket vender in a mall. The man was a repeat offender. From 1994 to 2009 nine incidents of this nature were registered against Menezes.

Source: R7
About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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