Note from BW of Brazil: I’m sure some readers will probably glance at the headline and the story and not get why this is a big deal. The incident may have been a reaction to an incident that had recently happened, but the fact is that security harassment of black people is quite common in malls across Brazil. This is why the so-called “rolezinhos” were such a big a deal a few years ago. In a follow up store to the piece from yesterday, protesters gathered at a popular shopping mall in Salvador, Bahia to protest mall security attempting to prevent a 12-year old black child from eating a meal in the mall’s food court after a man step forward and bought a meal for the young boy. Rejection and harassment of black children is common in all sorts of establishments and is normal policy as we’ve seen it in BMW dealerships, pharmacies, Starbucks and other places. You may not see signs that these spaces aren’t meant for black people, but the regular harassment demonstrates the farce that all citizens are treated equally.
Manifestation against racism in mall has debate and rally
Act was response to the case of black boy who was prevented from eating by a security guard
By Roberto Midlej
About 50 people gathered this Saturday (June 16) at Shopping da Bahia to speak out against racism and racial discrimination. The act was a reaction against the episode that happened recently in the establishment, in which a 12-year old black boy, Matheus Santos Silva, was prevented from being served in a restaurant of the food court by security after a customer, Kaique Sofredine, paid for his meal.
(In video above, listen at the 1:24 mark as man tells security that “He (the boy) is gonna eat” and the 2:14 mark showing security attempting to remove boy as woman yells “Don’t do this, no!”
The demonstration began in the food court on the third floor, where a debate was held. The recent case of Leno Sacramento, a black actor of the Olodum Theater Band, who was shot this week by a police officer, was also remembered. “This manifestation is to show that nossos corpos negros importam (our black bodies matter). Black people matter! Every day, our bodies are excluded in these spaces. For these spaces we [blacks] only serve to work, but we don’t serve to consume. They think our bodies were made for the senzala (slave quarters), but we know it’s not like that,” said teacher Amanaiara Miranda to the people attending the meeting.
After other people’s speeches and the reading of poems, the protesters continued walking through the mall, shouting in chorus: “Stop killing us!”, “Our bodies matter!”; “No to media racism!”; “No to institutional racism!”. They also sang the song “População Magoad” of Ilê Aiyê: “Black, black, black masses/ Our honor has to be washed/In the march our honor has to be washed/Wounded population our honor has to be washed.”
There was no reaction from the mall’s security guards, who did not even follow the protesters. Many curious shoppers stopped shopping to observe the act, filmed, and some clapped in approval of the meeting.
The retiree Benedito José de Souza, 81, stressed the importance of the act: “It is very accurate; it’s very valid. The raça negra (black race) is as important as any other. The difference is only in the epidermis. Prejudice is unacceptable, especially in Bahia, where there are many more blacks than whites. “
University professor Ricardo Liper also expressed support: “I think the demonstration should happen and it should be here. This shamelessness needs to end. Brazil is one of the most racist countries in the world. What happened to the boy looks like Mississippi in the 1940s,” he said, referring to the American state known for its history of racism.
Rumor surfaced that the security that prevented the restaurant from serving the food was fired, but the mall ensures that he is kept on staff.
Source: Correio 24 Horas