The Court of Justice of the Federal District and Territories (TJDFT) made the defendant Isabela Bueno de Sousa, 49, for racial slur. The woman is accused of using banana images (emoji) to answer a colleague from a black profession in a WhatsApp group.
The case took place on January 11 this year. To G1, also lawyer Thayrane Evangelista, 31, who filed the lawsuit, said she sent a “random figure”, a GIF, to the group and was responded with images of bananas. Not understanding, she said she questioned the comment. Isabela, the accused, wrote that it was a “thought reserve” and who thought “high” (see conversation above).
O G1 tries to contact the woman accused of the crime.
Lawyer Isabela Bueno de Sousa was denounced for racial insult, in DF — Photo: Reproduction
The case was investigated by the Civil Police and, based on the investigation, the Public Ministry of the Federal District and Territories (MPDFT) filed a complaint against the lawyer, which was accepted by the Courts last Thursday (19). In the document, prosecutors explained the racist reference when using the fruit.
“Banana are historically used as racial offenses as they are metaphorically used to relate black people to monkey primates, reinforcing the stereotype of social subordination in this population segment, clearly being an offense to the honor that makes reference to color and race of the victim”, considered the MP.
In addition, the MPDFT highlighted that the accused did not respond with bananas to other members of the group. The minimum indemnity amount in the process is R$ 6 thousand.
Conversation in a WhatsApp group that resulted in the complaint against a DF lawyer for racial insult — Photo: Personal archive
According to the complaint, Isabela, “acting with a free and conscious will”, offended Thayrane’s dignity and decorum, “by using elements related to her race and color”.
The case reports that lawyers debated the presidency of the Brazilian Bar Association in the Federal District (OAB-DF), when Isabela responded to the victim with images of bananas (see image at the top of the article). The group has 256 members.
Feeling offended, Thayrane replied that she did not understand the reason for the bananas directed at her, and the accused replied “reserve of thought. I thought out loud sorry [desculpa, em inglês]“.
Lawyer Thayrane Evangelista denounced her professional colleague for racial insult, in DF — Photo: Personal archive
After being offended, Thayrane even sent the group the penalty of racial injury. In turn, Isabela said:
“Banana is my favorite fruit, but it represents people without personality. I find it easy to understand.”
Then Thayrane referred the case to the Public Ministry and called the Civil Police. The report also awaits a position from the OAB-DF on the case.
Upon receiving the complaint, Judge Wellington da Silva Medeiros denied Isabela’s request to keep the process confidential.
According to the magistrate, “any difficulties suffered by the defendant do not result directly from the existence of this criminal action, but from the act itself, in theory, practiced by it, which was previously disclosed in the local press, including because it involved other people in communication application group”.
Thayrane said he has suffered “various types of racism” throughout life, but had never denounced. “Since I was a lawyer, within a group of lawyers, I decided to seek my rights. Several members had the same understanding as me, even the court, which made her a defendant,” she said.
The victim said that, now, he will wait for the process to proceed, to see if the Court of Justice will exonerate or convict Isabela. “For now, it was an assertive decision. We have a code of ethics that we must follow, which was noted by the judge,” he said.
Racism and Racial Injury
According to Brazilian law, the crime of racism it is applied when the discriminatory offense is against a group or collectivity. For example, preventing blacks from having access to a private commercial establishment.
Already based on the Penal Code, racial slur refers to an offense to dignity or decorum, using a derogatory word referring to race and color with the intention of offending the victim’s honor.
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