Note from BW of Brazil: It’s so funny to me that, for decades, Brazilians have insisted that racist absurdities only happen in the United States, even with the vast amount of evidence that racist thought and action happens every day across Brazil. It sometimes happens that similar events will take place in the US as they happen in Brazil, and make headlines at almost the same time. When I read a recent case involving an African-American man at an airport in the US, I thought, “Didn’t something like this just happen to actress Erika Januza?”
In both countries, the mental racial hierarchy that places whiteness on the top while maintaining blackness at the bottom cannot imagine that black people have the financial conditions to be able to purchase, well…anything. Again, everyone proclaims again and again that, “We are all equal“, but repeatedly show that they don’t truly believe this. In shopping malls, in fancy cars, restaurants and airports, this plays out as, “he/she is black, and thus obviously cannot afford to __________.”
As I have documented for more than six years now, Brazil and the United States are more similar than citizens of each country would believe. First, I present exhibit A, in the US. At Ronald Reagan airport in Washington DC, a man named Emmit Walker shared how a blond apparently didn’t believe that a black man could afford to be in the first class section of a flight. The conversation went as follows:
Her: excuse me i believe you may be in the wrong place you need to let us thru. This line is for priority boarding
Me: priority meaning first-class correct?
Her: Yes…now excuse me they will call y’all after we board
Me: *shove first class priority boarding pass in her face* you can relax ma’am I’m in the right spot, been here longer, so you can board after me
Her: *still won’t let It go* he must be military or something, but we paid for our seats so he still should have to wait
Me: nope to big to ever be in anybodies military. I’m just a nigga with money 💰 🤷🏾♂️ Everybody waiting in line: starts to clap lmao 😂
Note from BW of Brazil: Now for those who would insist, “See? That type of thing only happens in the US,” I present exhibit B, which took place in Brazil, probably somewhere in Rio de Janeiro.
Actress da Globo reports racism in store: “Did you see the price?”
Courtesy of Revista Fórum
Erika Januza, who plays the character Raquel who also suffers racism in the Globo TV novela a O Outro Lado do Paraíso
The 32-year-old actress from Minas Gerais, Erika Januza, who is in the Globo TV novel, O Outro Lado do Paraíso, reported on her Twitter profile a case of racism she suffered while shopping. “Today I went to a store, I had already chosen the product and the spoke to me this way: ‘Did you see the price?’ He pointed the price tag at me. Then I said, ‘Yes!’ He: ‘Will you want to pay in four installments?’. I said, ‘No, I’ll pay cash.’ Am I crazy? I think so …”, posted Erika.
In the comments of the microblog, Erika received situations experienced by other black people. “I’ve been through it, I chose the product and the seller thought it expensive, then offering me a cheaper one. I just said, ‘I want this and more of that, ah, and in cash’. When I made the payment, I separated what I chose first for myself and gave the second gift to her. I think she understood,” an Internet user reported.
“I had already ordered wine and the waiter “warned me” that it was expensive. I ordered a more expensive one yet! Ah … I always pay for my purchases in cash! And store stories like that, I have collected some! But racism is mimimi (whining), isn’t it, Brazil?!” another said.
Many followers were outraged and sent several messages to the actress. “And you bought the product from the store? I wouldn’t have bought it. I’d have gone to another store,” said another girl. “Oh, I bought it! I bought it and paid cash! And thanked him!” replied Erika.
The actress still received messages like “there are disgusting people in the world … and there are people who say that this does not happen”, “difficult to live with this type of people!” And “this is very embarrassing. Sad to know that the world is full of people like that.”
Note from BW of Brazil: The moral of the story here is actually a warning. If you’re a black Brazilian traveling to the US, or a black American traveling to Brazil, don’t think that your passport and VISA will automatically override the color of your skin.