Note from BW of Brazil: The time has come. This morning, millions of Brazilians will head to the polls to make their choice for the next president of Brazil. The choice falls between the PSL candidate, and leader in vote intentions according to most polls, Jair Bolsonaro and his PT opponent, Fernando Haddad. Even considering some of Bolsonaro’s most outlandish comments in respect to the black population, racism and slavery, Bolsonaro still leads in voting intentions of the black population. The possibility of a Bolsonaro victory has lead to a number of prominent black voices to speak out.
In recent days, Brazil’s first Supreme Court President, Joaquim Barbosa, who also flirted with the idea of running for president back in April before deciding against it for “strictly personal reasons” tweeted that “voting is making a rational choice” and that or for the first time in 32 years of exercising the right to vote, a candidate inspires fear in him (speaking of Bolsonaro) and for this reason, he would vote for Fernando Haddad.
Douglas Belchior is a teacher, a leader within the Movimento Negro (black movement) and also ran for state congressman for the state of São Paulo in this year’s elections. Speaking on a possible Bolsonaro victory and what it could mean for the black population, Belchior said:
“It is obvious that at times like these, when the values of fascism spread or become more explicit in society, the trend is that those who have always suffered from inequalities and injustices and violence suffer even more. The picture that is drawn in Brazil, with the possible victory of Bolsonaro, is very serious for the people,” he said.
Considering the policies endorsed by the PSL candidate, Belchior continued:
“What we realize is that every political agenda, every program defended by Bolsonaro, is first and foremost an anti-black program. An anti-black people’s rights program when it denies our existence, the existence of racism in Brazil, our political organization, the need for affirmative policies directed to this population, and when in the more general spectrum, it advocates the reduction of the State in social care”.
Two weeks ago, Hélio Santos, an economics professor and president of the Instituto Brasileiro da Diversidade (Brazilian Institute of Diversity) penned the piece below, saying that not voting for Bolsonaro is a question of self-love for the black population.
Polls open at 8am and close at 5pm.
Don’t vote for Bolsonaro: For blacks, a question of self-love
By Hélio Santos
The words of captain Jair Bolsonaro, candidate of the PSL, on the program Roda Viva (TV Cultura on 7/30/2018), AGAINST the affirmative policies for blacks (dubbed quotas by the media), were endorsed in 2012 by the STF (Supreme Court) unanimously. All the studies – and there are several – confirm that this is one of the policies that most reduced the Brazilian inequality; our greatest evil. I have been a professor for over 40 years and I can say that our Public University has improved because it has gained more diversity, which enriches the environment and facilitates general development. I know that several political illiterates before they finish reading the text will say that it is mimimi (whining) or fake. Many are blind in good faith, but not all.
At the time, Bolsonaro hinted that it was “dividing the country between blacks and whites.” He said worse things like “the black is not better” and that “there is no historical debt” and finally “pass the soap” on the blacks determining that they should study. As for dividing the country, the captain demonstrates a brutal ignorance (unforgivable for those who want to preside over Brazil) over a myriad of data that have exposed this division already placed into society. “The black is not better”; a truth. But cannot be the worst either, because those who come as slaves and not immigrants have already come out at a great disadvantage. As for “historical debt”, it’s punctuated over 354 years of slavery. It scary that a former army officer is so illiterate in Brazil. Some time before (April 3/2017), in the Club Hebraica in Rio, the PSL candidate referred to the quilombolas as if they were animals. Because of this affirmation there was even a denunciation of racism to the STF in which Bolsonaro barely escaped.
Two questions I need to ask and would like the attention of all, but in particular the pretos (blacks) and pardos (browns):
With such serious problems to be faced in Brazilian Education, does it not seem strange the captain’s focus on REMOVING RIGHTS of the blacks that the STF itself assured?
Treating black people in this way seems reasonable to someone who plans to be president of a country of a MAIORIA NEGRA (BLACK MAJORITY) (54% according to the IBGE)?
The first thing Brazilian society should know, and in particular the black population, is that Captain Bolsonaro is a dog that barks and bites. He and his followers only don’t threaten (growl); they come with action with fearlessness. As an example, look at the absurdity of the destruction of the plaque that honors a black woman brutally shot in Rio: Marielle Franco.
I bring to black women and black men and other ethnic groups who don’t agree with RACISM a PROPOSAL-CONCEPT: DISAPPROVE OF VOTING.
Those who voted or who know of any acquintance who voted in Bolsonaro in the first round must DISAPPROVE OF VOTING. That is: to change your vote in favor of a Brazil without hatred. For those black voters who are your acquaintances, I suggest clarifying them with the truth. For those who cannot vote for the PT, although the Second Round is a new cluster of sectors and no longer just one party – I ask you to cancel your vote. I have never been a PT supporter, but never before will I exercise my right to vote with more determination: I will vote for Professor Fernando Haddad, who at the moment embodies the possibility of not diving into a Brazil that will be particularly more hostile to us blacks.
What we cannot do in any way is to strengthen our tormentor, who for truth’s sake does not hide his contempt for us – he and his followers, who are already out of control. After all, the black population cannot be confused with an immense squadron of kamicazes. We love life.
Source: Brasil de Carne e Osso