Note from BW of Brazil: Wait, WHAT?!?!? What the hell is next? Forcing people to work in chains again?!!? In two previous posts of this week, we published articles reminding everyone that May 13th was the 126 year anniversary of the official abolition of slavery in Brazil, the largest holding, longest running slave society in the Americas. One of those posts highlighted the point that although the date should be remembered, it’s NO cause for celebration. Today’s story is an excellent example of why. The original article of which the details of the story didn’t specify but it appeared to have happened on May 13th or the next day. Thus, in essence, we have a black woman, a descendant of slaves, being handcuffed (chained???) and being led to the police station, a modern day “big house” that’s already full of black folks on the very day that her ancestors were supposedly liberated.
OK, let’s get to the facts because she may broken the law, right? Well check it; all of this happened over a coffee valued at US$1.36!! What?!? One dollar and thirty-six cents and a disagreement with a customer led to this??? REALLY?!?! Am I missing something here? I have numerous disputes between employees and customers in stores and NEVER saw it lead to an employee being cuffed and taken to the police station. Why is it that management didn’t just step in and clear up a misunderstanding? If worse came to worse, was there no security who could have stepped in and called the manager? I mean, Military Police?!? Over $1.36?!?
While the original article never mentioned the race of either the employee or the customer, it’s clear from the video that the cashier is black and it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine that the customer was white. Blogs have already discussed the racial element in the incident. A few questions would need to be considered here. One, would the customer have said what she said had the cashier been white? Two, would the cop, who is clearly black as well, have handcuffed the cashier is she had been white? Of course, there’s no way to know the answers to these questions, but considering the brutal manner (related articles below) in which Brazil has been treating black folks in recent months, one could clearly understand how Afro-Brazilians might see it.
Hmmm…One more thing..You don’t suppose these types of incidents have anything to do with the World Cup starting in less than a month, do you? Nah, it couldn’t be!!
Watch the video
Apartheid on May 13 in Ipanema: Black woman working in bakery, arrested and taken to police station handcuffed!
By Marcos Romão
We have already for some time been denouncing on our page SOS Racismo Brasil, the increase of spatial geographic racism in big cities, and in Rio de Janeiro in particular. The great works for the World Cup, besides provoking the mass eviction of thousands of black and the poor people from upper crust areas of the city, has as a result the formation of white ghettos of downtown toward the south side (the ritzy area of the city). We have witnessed in recent years a real ethnic cleansing of the city of Rio de Janeiro, as if the sole purpose was to present to the tourists a white and European Rio de Janeiro, “LIMPOS DE NEGROS” or FREE FROM BLACKS.
Apartheid in Ipanema
In a report by Cleo Guimarães e Isabela Bastos on the blog Gente Boa, on May 14, we have the account of actress Aparecida Petrowsky that went to a bakery in the heart of Ipanema on Joana Angélica street and saw a horrible scene of discrimination on the part of a customer against bakery cashier, which was a black woman followed by scenes of police violence, when a Military Police soldier violently subdued the uniformed employee, handcuffed her and led her to the police station in order that she apologize to the female customer who complained about the price of coffee.
According to the report: “The disagreement began when the customer complained about the price of coffee which was R$3 (US$1.36). She asked for a ‘regular coffee’, and felt disrespected when the worker replied saying that the house only had espresso coffee.” Soon after, according to the report, “a police officer got out and walked toward the cashier, who of course got very nervous.”
The actress went on to say that the Military Police ordered the cashier to stand up and apologize to the customer, in which she refused. “I’m working! I will not apologize nor leave from here. I will not!” Aparecida says that, at that time, the police announced, “It’s contempt of authority,” grabbed her arm and turned her around to handcuff her.
“At this time, everyone was watching everything like a movie. The manager did nothing,” she says. Minutes later, there were already about 50 people at the bakery door. It was then that old customers took the employee’s side. “I want to I go along! I’ve known her for years,” one woman shouted in vain. The cashier was taken, alone and handcuffed in the car.”
What is happening in the south of Rio de Janeiro? Lynchings of minors, racial discrimination in condominiums and now a black woman who has worked at a bakery for 26 years is arrested and prevented from working because, according to the testimony of actress Aparecida, one customer shouted: “It’s absurd to let people like that work here!”
Petrowsky, that had the courage to record and report the incident said it was “disrespectful, an absurdity” and that she “was outraged.”
Chaos in Rio as Military Police forcibly evict slum residents from abandoned business warehouses
17-year old black teen surrounded and beaten to death by mob of 30 people; accused of rape, but there is no evidence of the crime
Price of life lowered a bit more in Brazil: Family mourns, daughter of shooting/dragging victim speaks out
Outrage against “apartheid” continues: Upper crust shopping malls are not the “place” for young, black teens
How Brazil treats its black people: Naked black male found pinned to a post by his neck in Rio