#MoveMojito: Rayne Burse Opens About Her Confrontation With Angry Racist

Rayne Burse is a Black woman whose encounter with a racist white woman while walking her dog Mojito went viral on all social media.

When Miss Rayne Burse decided to walk her dog Mojito a couple of days after moving to a new area in South Miami, little did she know that the morning was going to be a very eventful one. What could possibly go wrong? After all, she had walked Mojito with her fiancé along the same route several times. Well, so many things could, as she found out after a horrifying encounter with a racist white woman we later learned to be Maria Dorrbecker. The encounter resulted in the viral video, viral hashtag #MoveMojito and the whole new brand.

blackmattersus.com
What do you think you did that provoked the woman?
Rayne Burse
I still really have no clue because where Mojito and I were, wasn’t her property. It was behind her house, so she could definitely see me from her backyard. But we weren’t in her backyard; we were close to the creek, actually pretty much on the edge of the creek. And because I was on the phone and she came at us from absolutely nowhere, I just happened to see her out of the corner of my eye. I thought maybe was coming to tell me to move. This was before she admitted that it wasn’t actually her property. So I was just waiting to see, either she was coming to tell me to move or she was coming to tell me something else. I didn’t know exactly what brought her outside.
blackmattersus.com
A lot of people admire the courage you showed the old racist woman, with some of them calling you a hero. Do you receive letters of admiration from people as a result of how you stood up for yourself?
Rayne Burse
Yeah. I’ve actually received a lot of positive reactions on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and on pretty much every social network. I’ve just gotten an outpour of positivity and well-wishes. Some people wrote me saying, “I really admire you because I’ve been in a similar situation and I didn’t think to report, or, someone really assaulted me and the cops took their side.” There are a lot of cases of people suffering from the same interaction that I had with this woman and they never ended up getting justice. A lot of people were like “I’m really glad that you got justice, I’m glad that the law worked on your side.” It’s been really nice. And the few negative comments I received, other people from the internet just dragged the trolls, telling them they couldn’t bring this kind of stuff on my wall. It’s been really cool.
blackmattersus.com
We understand that you are a fashion model. When did you start your modeling career?
Rayne Burse
When I was 16, I had my first fashion show for a local designer back home in Vegas. He had just graduated and he put on a fashion show in his backyard. It was really elaborate and the designs were nice. But at the moment I’m still looking for an agency.
blackmattersus.com
So what do you do right now?
Rayne Burse
I do personal projects right now. I used to work for a store, but it closed about a month ago and then we moved, so I’m in the process of looking for another job in the area we’re in now. Before, we were in North Miami, but now we’re all the way in South Miami.
blackmattersus.com
Those #moveMojito t-shirts you are selling are really cool. Who designed them?
Rayne Burse
It’s my brother. He has a company called Innovative Minds Create, and they make t-shirts. A few people saw my #moveMojito t-shirt on the net and said they would like to have some. So we decided to get it trademarked and then we moved forward to making the t-shirts. And actually, we’ve made a few sales already.
blackmattersus.com
It is great that now we can smile looking at this hashtag but I bet you didn’t feel that way at the time. Do you think Dorrbecker confronted you just because of your skin color?
Rayne Burse
Through her rhetoric and what she was trying to say, and the fact that that was the first time that my fiancé wasn’t with me, I’m pretty sure. We had only been there a week the day that incident happened, and we had walked Mojito back there several times – at least 6 or 7 times – before I actually happened to go there by myself. And she just came outside and started antagonizing me.
blackmattersus.com
And is it common? Do you often face racial discrimination?
Rayne Burse
I’ve personally never really faced it. I grew up in Vegas so it was a really new experience. People on the Internet have said racist things to me of course, but that doesn’t really matter because those same people probably wouldn’t say it to my face. But this was the first time someone had been openly racist. She was basically saying, “I don’t want you in my area!” The Mayor of South Miami actually helped to explain what she meant because there’s an area on the other side south of Miami that had a heavy black population and was lower income. So that’s where she was saying that I was from, when in reality I lived like five doors down.
blackmattersus.com
With this being your first experience, how do you feel about it?
Rayne Burse
It was an eye opener, because I’m very vocal about systematic racism, police brutality and stuff like that. For the last 4 or 5 years, I’ve been very vocal about it. So actually having it happen to me is still kind of hard to believe because I’ve spoken about it so much on behalf of other people, and to finally be faced with it myself was almost unbelievable. Sometimes you worry so much for other people, you don’t really ever consider if it’s going to happen to you. You don’t think about it. I’ve been very privileged. Like I said, this is the first time something like this has ever happened to me but I know plenty of people who aren’t that lucky. There are friends of mine who get profiled all the time and the cops mess with them for no reason, so to be honest, I think I’ve just been pretty lucky in life.
blackmattersus.com
Do you think the story could have gone another way if you didn’t have the camera?
Rayne Burse
Yes. That was exactly what I was expecting because before I started recording, there were like 3 or 4 times when I actively tried to walk away. The first time I was walking away, I was still on the phone with my mum. I took a few steps away and she was still talking and not really making any sense. Then I stopped walking and that’s when I turned around and saw her hiking up her towel and jogging at me. She was saying she was going to call the police, and I didn’t know what she was going to tell them. She was following me back to my house which we weren’t that far from. So at that point, I told my mum that I’d call her back, and that was when I started recording, because she was making an active choice to pursue me. She grabbed her towel so that it wouldn’t fall and started jogging after me. I thought that hopefully if I pulled out my camera she might see that she was being recorded. I thought it might deter her and she would just go home. But that seemed to just irritate her more. There are 2 videos. In the first one, before the confrontation, she admitted that this wasn’t her property and she said something about building a fence when what she actually wanted to say was that they were going to build a wall because she’s a crazy racist republican.
blackmattersus.com
So, what did the police say when they arrived?
Rayne Burse
Luckily, we had both called them, but I was still trying to get information to them when they pulled up. So I was lucky I got to give my side of the story. I gave them my statement and I showed them the video. When they pulled up, they were extremely neutral and very professional because they were technically responding to her call first. They took my statement, and after watching the video, they understood that she had assaulted me and there was proof. They asked if I wanted to press charges. I didn’t want to bother them with that, so I said its fine. After they got her statement, they came back and one cop was like, “Are you sure you don’t want to press charges?” I asked what she was saying, and he replied, “Well, she was saying that we can’t arrest her because nothing like this has ever happened and she’s never been arrested before.” I thought she had learnt her lesson because I hit her, so I didn’t need to take it as far as pressing charges, but at that point, I realized according to what she was saying, that this was the first time that anyone had actually reacted and stood up for themselves.
blackmattersus.com
Thanks for sharing it with us. Do you have any parting words or advice for our readers?
Rayne Burse
My advice is to record, if anyone starts to act funky towards you, if you ever feel threatened, you do have the right to record for your safety. No one should ever make you feel uncomfortable especially in a public space. They have no right. We need to remember that we do in most cases have a right to record so we should take advantage of that and hopefully, more people will learn to not be so brazen and hopefully just knock off their behavior altogether.


















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