Note from BW of Brazil: Along with many other popular beliefs about racism and racial inequality in Brazil is the idea that as Afro-Brazilians attain more education, discrimination against them will decrease. This is but one of many popular beliefs/defenses against the deeply ingrained system of institutional racism when people are confronted with the facts that disprove the myths. People who put accept these types of excuses are clearly not aware of how blacks are more prone to be affected by unemployment, blatant forms of discrimination in hiring for jobs, and inequality in employment benefits. Besides these facts, educated, middle-class black Brazilians have long put this myth to rest by affirming their experiences with subtle or blatant forms of racism, the numbers continue to prove this idea to be a fallacy.
Dieese highlights Brazilian racism in the labor market
by Marcos Aurélio Ruy
The Departamento Intersindical de Estatística e Estudos Socioeconômicos (Dieese or Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies) announced on Wednesday (13) the Pesquisa de Emprego e Desemprego (PED or Research of Employment and Unemployment with the theme Os Negros no Trabalho (Blacks on the Job). This is the 13th consecutive year that the PED analyzes issues relating to the development of the world of work in the country. “The dynamics of the labor market expresses prevailing patterns of racial relations that present themselves in Brazilian society,” says an excerpt from the presentation of the study.
In the presentation it was explained that this is an ongoing research, ie, done every day, through which about 600 thousand people are interviewed. As this survey refers to the 2011-2012 biennium, it gives a total of approximately 1.2 million respondents, which in itself shows the extent of the situation of citizens in the Brazilian labor market.
“Os Negros no Trabalho” debunks the myth that this portion of the population receives less pay due to having less education. The study found just the opposite, because the higher the education the more the wage gap between blacks and non-blacks grows.
During the period evaluated, it was shown that with increasing years of education, income disparities among Brazilians of different colors grows. In the manufacturing industry, income inequality per hour between blacks and whites was 18.4% for those who didn’t complete elementary school and 40.1% for those with higher education. In the trade sector, the indices were 19.7% for those who did not complete primary school and 39.1% for those with college degrees. In construction, where the presence of blacks is much higher than that of whites, the wage difference recorded was 15.6% without for those who didn’t complete primary school and 24.4% for those who graduated from college.
The report also proved that black workers have less education. Between 2011 and 2012, 27.3% of employed blacks had not completed elementary school and only 11.8% had a college degree. For non-blacks the rates were 17.8% and 23.4 % respectively. Another fundamental data refers to the wage gap between blacks and whites. Among the seven metropolitan areas surveyed, Salvador had the highest disparity. Bahia’s capital city leads this ranking where blacks receive 40.14 % less than whites, followed by São Paulo (38.95%) and last comes Fortaleza (state of Ceará in the northeast) where blacks earn 24.34% less. In all of the research, the black Brazilian earns 36.11% less salary than whites in the country.
The Dieese research highlights the concealment of Brazilian racism. Even with abolition blacks fill lower-paying positions in the labor market; the former slaves were thrown to their fate, abandoned by the state. This reality is reflected in research in the sense in which, “the racial question interferes to designate places for black workers in the productive structure, likely being translated by situations of discrimination undetermined by objective criteria of production, which lead to disadvantages for Afro-Brazilians,” concludes those responsible for the report.
One week from the commemoration of the Day of Black Consciousness – coming Wednesday (20), the research data shows the racism trait of Brazilian society – that comes from colonial Brazil – where entrepreneurs hired employees based on physical appearance, taking less account of the ability to work presented by the candidate. With this criterion, with a European standard of appearance, blacks remain in less prestigious jobs of less income. This study can subsidize the interested sectors of the labor movement in the struggle for equal rights for all Brazilians.
Source: Central dos Trabalhadores