African actor Marius Makon was involved in an apparent racist incident on Saturday, after a woman in a bar called him a “black piece of shit” before assaulting him with a bottle. The Spanish Immigration and Refugee Support Network has reported the incident to Madrid prosecutors as a hate crime.
According to the report, the attack occurred in an establishment in Móstoles, a city in the Madrid region, at around 7am. The actor, known by his stage name Elton Prince, approached the counter with his friends to order coffee when a woman, accompanied by a man, said to him: “I don’t want black people in this place or in front of me.”
According to Makon’s Facebook post about the incident, he replied: “No Miss, I will only be here for a moment and then I’m leaving. I don’t have any interest in staying near you for long.” The 33-year-old woman, who is from El Salvador, then allegedly replied: “I don’t care, you black piece of shit, get out of here.” He said: “Calm down Miss, I insist, we are in a public place and I don’t understand your anger.”
“Black piece of shit, I’m white. I can kill you and nothing will happen,” she said, before grabbing a beer bottle and smashing it against the actor’s head. She hit him a second time, causing a cut to his head among other injuries, which required medical attention.
The actor was helped by people in the bar and the owners of the establishment called the police. When the authorities arrived they identified the culprits and advised Makon to file a report, which he did at a police station. The woman was detained shortly after and then released once her statement was taken by the police.
In its complaint to Madrid regional authorities and the hate crime special department, the Spanish Immigration and Refugee Support Network said that as well as physically injuring the actor and hurling racist abuse, the woman “was looking to provoke the victim and cause a reaction.”
The organization has called for an “immediate” sentence and is pushing the Móstoles Town Hall and the Madrid regional government of Cristina Cifuentes to “show their condemnation for what happened.” “We will not stop until these types of backward, intolerable and feudal-era assaults are stopped,” the organization published on Facebook.
“Now I am in my house and I look through these images [of his injuries] I do not feel any hate towards the woman,” Makon posted on Facebook. “I want to say that I am not angry with her and I don’t know why. I am sad that she feels such hate, that she lives with hate. It saddens me that she does not enjoy life, that she doesn’t leave a small space in her heart to love.
“What’s funny is that before hitting me with the bottle she said to me, ‘I’m white and we are in Spain. I can kill you and nothing will happen to me.’ The truth is nothing has happened to her,” he added. “After being identified she has gone home, while I have gone to mine with seven stitches. Now the problem is in the hands of the law. The law will decide on the sentence.”
“Racism will never defeat us, love, love, love,” Makon ended on a separate post on Twitter.
The incident comes a week after the Council of Europe released a report urging Spain to create an independent anti-racism body. Spain and the micro-state of San Marino are the only members of the 47-strong Council that still lack an organization specifically designed to tackle racism.
English version by Melissa Kitson.