“A racist attack nearly left me without an eye,” actor Marius Makon posted on Twitter. “Racism will never defeat us, love, love and love.”
Makon, who was born in Cameroon and is also known as Elton Prince, was referring to a Saturday assault in Madrid that left him bruised and bloodied.
According to a Facebook post by Makon, the actor and his friends had stepped up to order coffee early Saturday when a couple approached him.
“I don’t want black people in this place or in front of me,” the woman, 33, reportedly said. Makon wrote that he tried to de-escalate the situation, telling her, “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 woman then reportedly called him a “black piece of s---.” When he asked her to calm down, he wrote, she began attacking him with a glass bottle. She hit him twice on the head, Makon said, causing a cut and other injuries that required seven stitches.
“I’m white,” she allegedly said. “I can kill you and nothing will happen.”
The owners of the restaurant intervened and called police. When authorities arrived, they briefly detained the woman but released her after she gave a statement. The Spanish Immigration and Refugee Support Network has urged Madrid prosecutors to investigate the incident as a hate crime.
“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.”
About 1 million people of African origin live in Spain, and many say racism is a near-daily reality. In interviews conducted by the Spanish newspaper El Pais, members of the black community in Spain reported being told such things as “Go back to your … country,” “I don’t rent apartments to people like you,” “If you shower, do you lose your color?” and “Your cousins are monkeys.”
Spain still lacks an anti-discrimination law, and last week, the Council of Europe urged the nation to create an independent anti-racism body. It is one of only two European countries — the other being San Marino — without an agency devoted to tackling racism.