Note from BW of Brazil: In reality, as reports of racism are one of the main focuses of the blog, there’s nothing particularly shocking about this incident. A confrontation, a verbally racist aggression and a police report. What we will point out in this case is yet another incident that shows that in Brazil, it doesn’t matter if one is a light-skinned or dark-skinned African descendant when the subject is racism. From time to time, this blog receives comments of the “they’re not negra” variety, in which someone wishes to use the fallacious argument that lighter skin or less kinky/curly hair texture puts persons of a less “pure” African phenotype into completely different racial/color categories such as “morena” or “mulata”.
Let’s get one thing straight.
While it is absolutely true that in a world that continues to value the European phenotype as the standard of beauty thus bestowing upon some African descendants a certain advantage in some social situations, those advantages are not guaranteed in every situation. As such, the so-called “mixed” person of visible African ancestry is often subjected to the same treatment as his/her darker-skinned brethren. Brazil has long encouraged those of a “less pure” African phenotype to identify themselves with terms such as “mulata” or “morena” as such terms and classifications are thought to be better socially than being “just negra”. It is precisely because such incidents below that this blog consistently uses the terms “negro/negra” or “Afro-Brazilian” to represent the population of Brazilians known as “pretos” and “pardos”, meaning “blacks” and “browns”, as study after study over the years have shown that socio-economically speaking, these two groups are nearly identical. It is for this reason that more and more “mulato/pardo” men and women are starting to understand this deceptive mechanism of the fallacious “racial democracy” ideology and coming to accept a black identity (identidade negra) (see here, here, here or here, for examples).
The woman in the incident below, having lighter skin and long hair, would be easily defined as “mulata”, “morena”, or “parda” although she identified herself as “negra” (as did the woman who verbally assaulted her). Perhaps previous experiences such as the one described below had something to do with her acceptance of this identity.
Security supervisor is the victim of racism in João Pessoa
Incident occurred in a public square, Três Poderes, in the downtown area of the Paraíba capital city
An attitude in a parking lot in the city of João Pessoa led to racist offenses turned into a police case. The victim of the verbal abuse was the supervisor for a security company, Kelly Albuquerque, 30. According to Albuquerque, she was waiting for a car that was backing out of a parking spot, used her turn signal and even honked her horn to let the other car know that she was planning to enter the space.
“I was going to a work meeting, when a parking vacancy became available I stopped my car and signaled that I was entering the vacancy. Suddenly, this woman popped up thinking she was clever and “STOLE” my spot. Seeing the situation I pulled my car up to her. When she got out of her car I asked, “Didn’t you see what I was going to park?” She simply replied, “So what? What about it?” There were various insults that until I didn’t even pay attention to. Until the moment that this lady, trying to belittle me said, “Go away you nega safada (meaning black bitch)!” Not believing what she said, I asked: What did you say? And she said loudly: “Isn’t that right? Besides that nega, do something with your hair!” She repeated over and over again in a rude tone and left as if nothing had happened …”
Kelly says that the woman called her “negra safada”, meaning “black bitch” numerous times during the altercation.
This excerpt was taken from the outburst that security supervisor Kelly Albuquerque posted on her Facebook timeline after being verbally abused by racist words. It happened in front of the Palácio da Redenção, in Praça dos Três Poderes, in João Pessoa, around 3pm last Wednesday, and turned into a police case.
According to police reports recorded in the 2nd District Police Precinct, located in the downtown region of the capital where Albuquerque filed a complaint, she was verbally abused by racist words that had been spoken by the driver who took her parking space.
Two people passing through the square and witnessed the verbal assault helped the supervisor to calm down and decided to call the police. A few minutes later, when the driver returned to the car, the Military Police came to the spot and took the two involved in the episode to the police station.
Supervisory Security is the victim of a crime of racism in João Pessoa
The accused of the offense, who according to her attorney, shall only issue a statement in court, is now being sued for a racial injury/slur according to Article 140 of the Federal Constitution and Kelly Albuquerque commented that she would await the police investigation to sue her aggressor in court.
Below is what the victim posted on her Facebook profile:
“In all my life I’ve never experienced such an embarrassing situation like this. I was going to a meeting, when a parking spot appeared, I stopped my car and signaled to enter the vacancy.
“Suddenly, this woman popped up thinking she was clever and “STOLE” my spot. Seeing the situation I pulled my car up to her. When she got out of her car I asked, ‘Didn’t you see what I was going to park?’ She simply replied, ‘So what? What about it?’ There were various insults that until I didn’t even pay attention to. Until the moment that this lady, trying to belittle me said, ‘Go away you nega safada (meaning black bitch)!” Not believing what she said, I asked: What did you say? And she said loudly: ‘Isn’t that right? Besides that nega, do something with your hair!’ She repeated over and over again in a rude tone and left as if nothing had happened …”
I was in a state of shock by the situation which I had never gone through. When I came across the situation I was in, dozens of people were looking at me, pointing, filming, taking pictures, feeling sorry (for me), I burst into tears.
I’ve never been so humiliated! The witnesses themselves, who watched with indignation called the police and we ended up at the police station! I had never been in a police station and never imagined that one day I would be there as a victim of prejudice because of the color of my skin or strands of my hair. What I can say is that it was a lot of humiliation to go through all of that.
Finding justifications to explain the reason for being there and I have to respond: ‘Just because of my color!’ How my God can there are still people like that? Yes sou negra (I’m black)! And I’m very proud of that. I am a mother, I work, I pay my bills, I have character and values.
Until now I didn’t believe that in the XXI century there are people like that. The woman who that offended me also went to the station, but still hasn’t explained herself. Registering the police report, the investigation follows and she will only speak IN COURT. Only then, will I hear justification to know what made her think that I should cede to her you the space because she had lighter skin than mine.”