The adopted black child of a white Brazilian couple was kicked out of a BMW dealership in Rio de Janeiro, Globo’s G1 reported Wednesday.
The couple, Ronald Munk and Priscilla Celeste, were looking for a new beamer when a salesman saw the child wandering around nearby and asked the child to leave. The news sent mild shockwaves in the Brazilian press as the country still struggles with rampaging racial inequality.
The salesman told the couple, according to Priscilla’s account with G1: “You can’t stay in here. This isn’t a place for you. You have to leave.” The salesman then told Priscilla that poor children often come into the car lot asking for money. When they told him that the boy was their son, his “mouth fell open in embarrassment,” the couple said.
BMW Group in Brazil sent a note to the couple saying they were sorry for the mishap. Seven days later, the BMW dealership where the couple was shopping for a new car sent an email apologizing, calling it a misunderstanding. For her part, Priscilla created an account on Facebook called “Prejudice is Not a Misunderstanding. It’s a Crime.”
Ronald told G1 that nothing like this has happened before with his 7 year old son. The boy asked why he was asked to leave, “when the store has a room with a TV playing cartoons for children,” G1 reported. Priscilla said that she thinks her son understood why he was kicked out of the dealership.