Note from BW of Brazil: In reality, I think the comment included in the title of today’s piece just about says it all. I’ve never heard of a situation in which a currency has any more or less value because of the color of the hand from which it is received. The only way any of this can make any sort of sense is once again when we consider the idea of “race and place” in which some echelons of society don’t believe that certain groups should have access to the same places as other, more privileged groups. I mean, how many more times do we need to see examples of this before we conclude that it is part of the structure of Brazilian society?
For several years now I have called out the “jeito brasileiro” (Brazilian way) of proclaiming “we’re all equal” even in the face of vast racial inequalities. In my view, the attitude seems to be from the privileged races/classes that they agree to maintain the farce that all are equal as long as the “undesirables” agree to stay “in their place”. But if the “undesirables” decide to try to frequent the places deemed “off limits”, the “agreement” is off even though the privileged ones will continue to maintain the farce. We see this play out often times when individuals or groups of Afro-Brazilians frequent certain restaurants, prestigious universities, shopping malls, or country clubs. With such a history, stories such as the one below should come as no surprise.
Women protest against racist attitude of O Boticário in Curitiba
The nurse Juliana Mittelbach reported the case to the Civil Police
By Franciele Petry Schramm
About 50 people gathered on Wednesday (3), in front of the Boticario store (see note one) on Rua XV de Novembro (street), in Curitiba, to protest against the racist attitudes taken by the franchise of the cosmetics company from Curitiba. The mobilization was called by social networks and gathered women who, through pronouncements and songs, repudiated the episode.
On April 24th, the nurse and activist of the Marcha Mundial de Mulheres (World March of Women), Juliana Mittelbach, was a victim of racism while frequenting the shop in the city’s downtown. She went to the store to buy eyeliner, but the vendors were reluctant to attend the militant and denied that the product was available. Minutes after the woman left the store, a friend went back to the location to look for the same cosmetic. Her friend, branca e loira (white and blonde), even took pictures of the three types of pencils that were offered to her.
Juliana denounced the case to the Civil Police and reported the situation on social networks. Thousands of people reacted to the Facebook posting, and hundreds of others responded in solidarity with their comments.
Crime predicted by law
The situation experienced by the nurse falls under Federal Law 7.716/89, which defines crimes resulting from race or color prejudice. The legislation establishes that it is a crime to “refuse or prevent access to a commercial establishment, refusing to serve, tend to or receive a client or buyer.”
In her Facebook posting, Juliana vented. “Very sad that even my money is worth less than a pessoa branca (white person).” The company even got in touch with the woman, portraying itself and offering a basket of products as an apology. The nurse didn’t accept the proposal and indicated the need for another measure: “The best repair is to organize training for your employees and franchisees to combat racist practices.”
Source: Brasil de Fato
- O Boticário is a Brazilian franchise of cosmetics and perfumes headquartered in Curitiba, Paraná in southern Brazil. Its main products are fragrances, creams, and makeup products. Source