Note from BW of Brazil: The case below may not be as simple as it appears, at least in terms of the reasons for why it happened. Of course, as has been thoroughly documented on the blog, cases of blatant racism are definitely not lacking in Brazil. But more details in this case would be necessary to ascertain exactly why it went down the way it did. There are several possibilities. Was it simply a case of racism against a black woman? Was it a possible case of retaliation against a whistle blower? If the latter is the case, would the whistle blower have been treated in another manner had she been white? At this point, there’s no way to know for sure. We DO that Afro-Brazilians of ALL social classes are routinely subjected to racist acts, regardless of their background, but we’ll wait and see if any more details are released in regards to this case.
Black doctor from Salvador, Bahia accuses Health Department of racism
Courtesy of Afropress
A 29 year old doctor, Luamorena Leoni Silva, a graduate from the Federal University of Bahia, is accusing the Municipal Health Secretariat of Salvador of practicing racism. The doctor, who is black and wears her hair in dreadlocks, was told by the directors of the Secretariat that she didn’t have the profile to provide services at the Unidade de Saúde da Família (Family Health Unit) of the Alto das Pombas, a neighborhood in Salvador.
“When you say to a professional he will have to be transferred from their job post because they do not have the profile to work in that place, to work with that population, with that community and also say that that lack of profile is not a technical issue, it’s not because the person doesn’t know how to do that that they were hired for, in my case, not knowing how to pass a medication, knowing how to make an appointment, not knowing how to make a home visit, not knowing how to tend to the population, it’s very vague. I don’t understand how to understand the profile, but as a race issue,” said the doctor.
The case is having major repercussions, including the Physicians’ Union of Bahia (Sindimed), in the Regional Council of Medicine of Bahia (BA – Cremeb) and in the Faculty of Medicine of the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), where Luamorena graduated, which have already expressed their solidarity. Provoked by the complaint, the Health Department opened an administrative proceeding. In the Alto das Pombas community, residents are angry.
According to the doctor, the fact that she made a criticism of the state of operation of the unit where she works may have contributed to the request for her removal, Luamorena said that structural problems such as leaks in the walls and lack of working equipment and drugs are constant.
Soon after the denouncement of the request of dismissal, the population of Alto das Pombas organized a solidarity network to ensure the permanence of the doctor. Luamorena said she will sue all those involved in the attempted dismissal, for the practice of racism, a crime according to Law 7.716/89.