Note from BW of Brazil: Over the past few months we haven’t posted a lot of stories that report occurrences of explicit racist attacks, insults and aggressions. But this is not because they don’t happen. As with the murder of a black youth every 23 minutes, if necessary, there would be enough incidents of racism, racist assaults/attacks, etc. to post several times per day if this were a blog that only covered racism. But as there is so much to cover from the perspective of race, there are often other interesting stories to feature here. But sometimes cases of racism/racist occurrences are so absurd that it’s necessary to post for our readers to comprehend the everyday experiences of being black in a country where so many people continue to deny the very existence of racism or their own culpability. In my own view, I tend to see racist sentiments being as natural in Brazil as watching futebol and novelas. The reason that we don’t see it in every moment in every region of the country is because it is not always provoked. But at any particular time and place, the way people really feel often comes out, as in the case below that happened in the nation’s capital, Brasília.
Elderly woman arrested after spitting at a black producer and police chief
Taken to the police station for a racial offense and racism against an audiovisual producer (photo) in a supermarket, she also insults a police chief
By Carlos Carone and Tatiane Barbosa
A retired servant of the Ministério das Relações Exteriores (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), 77, will spend was to spend Tuesday night (6/28) in jail accused of the crimes of injúria racial (racial injury/slur) and racism. Terezinha de Oliveira Silva was involved in a confusion in the Super Adega, in Cruzeiro, pulling the hair of audiovisual producer Elizabeth Braga, 38. Annoyed, Elizabeth complained to the woman, who insulted her with the words “negra do cabelo ruim, negra nojenta e mal educada” (black woman with bad hair, disgusting and rude black).
The producer decided to call the police after the Foreign Ministry assistant spat at her feet, as she prepared to go to the cash register. “This lady (Terezinha) approached me in a curious way and asked if I was wearing wig or if my hair was natural. Then she pulled my hair. Respectfully I asked her not to do this, and she had a fit of rage,” said Elizabeth.
Even after verbal attacks, the producer decided to walk away but was again confronted by the woman in the supermarket parking lot. Irritated, the woman said that she didn’t like blacks and spat again at the feet of producer. “After that, I decided to call the police. She even tried to physically assault me saying she was a black belt in karate and asked me to fight. Of course, for respect of her age, I contained myself,” she said.
In a Facebook post, Elizabeth reported occurrence in the establishment. “She called me gentalha (riffraff/troublemaker) and asked the security how they let women like me enter the supermarket. Ah! She even spat twice in my direction. That type of spitting that occurs when one wants to show contempt for someone,” she says (1).
Confusion at police station
After the confusion, police from the Special Commission for the Repression of Crimes of Racial, Religious or sexual orientation Discrimination or against the Elderly and Disabled (Decrin) sought the retiree at home to take her to the Department of Specialized Police (DPE) . However, the uncontrollable Terezinha also didn’t respect the police chief who made the auto de prisão em flagrante, or arrest during or immediately after the crime.
She went on to offend the adjunct police chief who made the report, Maria do Carmo Correa, who is black. “I don’t like black people”, said the woman, who once again spat on the ground. Terezinha ended up being fined twice for the same crime. According to the deputy head of Decrin, Gláucia Cristina da Silva, the retiree will respond to the charge of racism, which establishes a penalty of 1 to 3 years in prison. “As it is non-bailable, she will sleep in Deam and then attend the custody hearing. If the judge understand that she should remain imprisoned, she will go on to the complex of Papuda and will stay there until the trial,” she said.
The chief noted that, unfortunately, such cases are still common, but only recently have assaulted persons started to denounce them (2). “We ask that every victim use the reporting channel of the Civil Police by telephone (number) 197. So we have a valuable tool to touch the investigations,” said Gláucia.
At the police station, a video recorded the moment n which the woman received an order for imprisonment. “But I haven’t committed a crime. So and so comes to report me, they go there, get me at my house and I’m arrested. I didn’t know this was Brazilian police,” she lamented.
Woman arrested for spitting at police chief
Source: Metrópoles, DM
- If we are believe everything that Braga related of the incident, it speaks volumes for the way that white Brazilians continue to harbor a lack of respect for black people. To pull the hair of a person one doesn’t know, as well as spit at and insult the person shows that race relations in Brazil are still very much rooted in a racial hierarchy from a slavery era that lasted over 350 years. The woman’s actions simply mirror what she would later admit: she doesn’t like black people!
- This is a point that this blog has made in numerous previous posts. The fact is that racism in Brazil is nothing new and goes back to the colonization of the country back in the 16th century. What can be defined as new (at least on a wide level) is the courage of the black community to stand up and fight back against such aggression.
Why are Black Brazilians so passive and submissive with Whites? That Black woman should’ve stood her ground and fought back physically.
Well, in the article she says she didn’t want to fight a 77-year old woman!
That’s still no excuse to have someone disrespect you and spit at you. If that 77 year old woman was bold enough to spit at that Black woman, then that Black woman should’ve bold enough to beat her ass. Plain and simple. Its incidents like this that are the reason why Black Brazilians continuously get disrespected by Whites in Brazil.
If that Black would’ve stood her ground against that White woman and whooped her ass, i GUARANTEE you that White woman would’ve backed down. Do you Black Brazilian honestly think being passive to White Supremacist is going to help you fight them? Even Black Americans are in the same system of White Supremacy as Brazilians, don’t seem to tolerate as much disrespect as Black Brazilians. At least Black Americans will physically fight back against and shoot back at their White Supremacist. But for some reason, Black Brazilians feel like taking the passive route is the key to winning their fight of oppression.
@Mike – OH PLEASES! Now why in the HELL should this Black woman get her ass thrown in jail for some crusty,old, nothing white lady?! Smart people choose their battles wisely. As I’ve said before, Black people cannot be completely thrown off of their game because they were called a name!
Also, you would REEAAALLLYY need to study more so that you can understand the differences between Brazil and the USA. This situation was not worth getting into a physical altercation for. Here are some situations that would have warranted a physical altercation and a possible jail sentence:
1. Old white lady waves a knife, gun, or pepper spray/other weapon in your face
2. Old white lady tries to burn down your house
3. Old white lady tries to physically harm your child (or other family member)
4. Old white lady tries to hit you
…ummm….yeah, that’s it!
Anyway, I am glad the altercation was caught on film. It shows that Black Brazilians are NOT being passive! They are putting these people on blast and waking up other Black Brazilians in the process.
While we may WANT to go from 1 to 100 overnight, that just is not how the world has EVER functioned. Systemic change happens by consistant pressure being held in the right places for what is usually a long stretch of time, and that is EXACTLY what is happening in Brazil.
In addition, Black Americans do not ONLY fight back physically as you seem to be suggesting!! We also write articles using our own media, take video of injustices so that other Black people all over the world know what is going on and to collect evidence, get an education and move into the upper echelons of society, write books to educate other Black people about our history, make educational films, participate in society in some capacity OTHER than “poor person who cain’t do anything with his/her life, no matter how hard he/she tries!”
This woman did EXACTLY what I myself would have done. Though I would have been irritated by the woman, it absolutely is not the kind of situation that would make me lose sleep at night after MAYBE being irritated for an hour. I might even file a charge against her for her blatant racism, just so that she would be irritated for some time after the incident, but that’s about it. We REALLY have to stop giving our power away to non-entities like this crusty old biatch!
Bamabrasileira, you’re not making any sense whatsoever.
Its called DEFENDING YOURSELF for christssakes.This is EXACTLY problem with Black Brazilians. Slavery did mental and emotional damage to alot African/Black people but i think it did the MOST damage to Black Brazilians. You mean to tell me that you’re scared to go to jail over defending yourself form a White supremacist? I understand that racism is a crime in Brazil and that you can go to jail for it. But tell me Bamabrasileira, how many White Brazilians actually go to jail for being racist? I read alot of stories on this blog about these types of incidents but there is never a follow up or an update of what happened to the racist White suspect. Needless to say, i think most of these White Brazilians are gave a slap on the wrist and nothing more. And if this IS the case, why not physically defend yourself and fight back against these White people who feel necessary to put their hands on you.
What city do you live in? In certain cities in America, Black people react differently to situations. In my homecity Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles and other major cities no black person would not have stood for this type of disrespect by anyone especially a White person. If i see you on the street and punch you in the face, your natural reaction is going to be to fight back. Its a natural human response. If we as Black want to properly fight White Supremacy we must acknowledge alot of things, but the first thing we must acknowledge is SELF-RESPECT. And we must start off by letting not only White people but other races as well know that we as Global Black/African people WILL NOT be disrespected. Not physically, not mentally, or emotionally.
Lastly, you listed 4 reasons that would’ve warranted a physical altercation. In number 4 you said “Old white lady tries to hit you”. With number 1 you said if “Old white lady has some sort of weapon”. If you read the story thoroughly(which i doubt you did) you could see where the old lady spit at and pulled the Black woman’s hair. Guess what genius? That type of behavior does classify as physically assault. Even further, the old lady also claimed she knew karate and challenged the Black woman to a fight. If the old lady did in fact know karate and fought the Black woman, the Black woman would’ve had every right to defend herself because she would’ve had an unfair advantage. The old lady would’ve been in really using her hands and feet as weapons. The Karate itself would’ve been a deadly weapon.
As a person who practices various martial arts, i know what I’m talking about.
Ok the next time a 77 year old white lady pulls your hair,you go ahead and punch her in the face and karate chop her in the gut, rather than calling the police and having her old ass arrested and sent to jail….um….yeah…good luck with that….
At least i won’t get my ass whooped. LOL.
To much emphasis is placed on old white ladies getting their last minute of notice. I should know. I am an old black woman. Who quite often have to step back a little before speaking to a white person. I have to think mentally been there done that, and ignorance will never understand the free will remaining to me/ does not necessitate my hurling insults at white people. So moving on there are still things that I hope to understand and know about life before this life is done and it does not resides in ignorant behavior because I can get away with it???