Note BW of Brazil: Ya see, THIS is how Brazilian styled racism works on a day to day basis. I’ve written time and time again that racism sometimes takes on explicit tones while other times it is of the subtle variety in which someone could actually deny any racist intent. In the case below, whoever put together the montage of the two groups of women NEVER actually mentioned anything about the issue of race. As such, accusations of racism can easily be dismissed with the phrase that says: “You people see racism in everything! This photo has nothing to do with race, it’s all about futebol fans!”
But this is the key here.
Mentioning the issue of race is not necessary here (in a country that denies its racism so much) because it is generally known, even when many won’t admit it, that Brazilians see white women as being the most attractive of all women. And the really sad thing is that there’s no guarantee that whoever posted the photo was white. Yeah, I said it. Anyone who knows the situation in Brazil knows that while many Afro-Brazilian men will hide behind the overly used cliche that “love has no color“, it’s often time pretty obvious what type of women they actually prefer.
I have another example which also makes use of the WhatsApp application. I am part of various WhatsApp groups, most of which deal with black Brazilian issues. But I am also a part of a group of men that all a part of a family in São Paulo. The men are cousins, brothers and uncles ranging in age from early 30s to mid-50s. None of the men in the group are considered white.
In the group, the men post whatever types of photos or videos that they find entertaining. The photos may show graphic photos of people after they’ve been killed or been in some sort of accident, animals doing all sorts of things, sports clips women, lots and lots of photos and videos of women. The photos and videos of women usually feature the women in regular photos and videos but the vast majority are R to XXX rated featuring women in various levels of nudity to explicit porn clips.
What I note is that whenever the men post a beautiful woman, she is ALWAYS white, be she blond or brunette. Whenever they post a photo meant to be humorous, such as a woman with missing teeth, bald, very much overweight, extremely thin or in situations of poverty, 90-95% of the time, the woman is black. There are 15 men in the group, all of whom are married with children and ALL but one have wives who are either light-skinned or white.
Often times, when I read debates in social networks about why so many black men seem to prefer white women, people will respond that the majority of black and/or brown men are married to black or brown women or that the favelas are loaded with black couples. My analysis of this particular WhatsApp group tells me that, the women men marry aren’t necessarily the woman they would prefer, but the woman they could get. Not saying this is always the case, but I think it does speak to the overall preference for whiteness.
This photo circulated by WhatsApp is yet another absurd episode of racism in Brazil
Edna Matos and her daughter, Dandara Matos, had a photo used in a montage. Edna didn’t remain silent.
By Amauri Terto with additional info courtesy of Correio 24 Horas
Director of the Federal Institute of Bahia, in Santo Antônio de Jesus, Edna Matos, 53, is another victim of racism in Brazil. This time, via social networks.
Not only she but also her daughter, Dandara Matos, 27, who holds a master’s degree in African studies at the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa in Portugal.
Black fans from Bahia (in the northeast), mother and daughter had a photo inserted in a montage shared in WhatsApp groups. Below the pair, a picture of five white fans of the Grêmio team appears. The Grêmio team is from the southern city of Porto Alegre (see note one).
In the caption, the following phrase: “Ainda tem gente que acha que time é tudo igual” (There are still people who think that teams are all equal).
In an interview with Veja magazine’s website, Edna said that she learned of the montage through a complaint from the city of Salvador.
After understanding the meaning of the message, she felt angry and frustrated. “It was not the first time, but it always feels like it, it hurts like that. Especially because my daughter was also a victim,” she said.
On Sunday, August 27th, Edna vented through her Facebook profile.
“Yes, really, the teams and their fans are not equal, they have some that are notable for the frequent racist, violent and stupid attitudes of some of its members and others that stand out for their love, passion, respect for their clubs and for the people. It’s one of those that we are proud to be part of, because it carries with it the beauty of the colors of both its mantle and the skin of its fans,” she wrote.
Edna became aware of the fact and demonstrated Sunday (27) through social networks. “It is circulating in the social networks a montage made of a photo of me with another one that has some white girls dressed in the shirt of the Grêmio (team), that I don’t reproduce here because I do not give Ibope(ratings) to prejudice. The caption that accompanies the montage is the title of this post and suggests that only the Gremistas are beautiful. I could make a text about Brazilian racism and its ills, but I prefer to talk about the image below and what it represents. (…) In it, it is me and my daughter, in one of our many moments of happiness. We are NEGRAS, MULHERES e BELAS (BLACK, WOMEN, and BEAUTIES) (in this order of importance). Powerful! Women that have it all, as they say here in Bahia, including the stadium that at that time was ours alone,” wrote Edna.
Edna’s professional and black activist, Edna rejected the idea that the montage referred only to aesthetic issues. According to her, there was, in fact, the manifestation of racism, regional prejudice, and machismo.
“There is no question of beauty, whoever thinks that is not seeing or does not want to see. There is embedded the idea that one race is more beautiful than the other, that the Northeastern is ugly, poor, inferior and black, in its great majority … and also the machismo, as if the woman served only to adorn the fans and not to cheer for a team,” she told the site.
Edna also said that the repercussions of her post on social networks have been positive. She has received solidarity from people all over the country, including gremistas.
“A lot of people thanked me for not keeping silent. I am a militant, I have responsibility with my students and I would never remain silent,” she said.
Two days before Edna expressed herself, the City of Salvador had entered into the discussion. “Racism is not funny, it’s a crime. Denounce it,” the city administration posted on its Facebook page, noting that sharing a racist message is also a crime and making available to the population the Observatory of Racial Discrimination’s telephone number: (71) 3202-2700. The author of the joke is unknown.
- The other point that can’t be dismissed here is the regional aspect. For many Brazilians, the southern states have the most beautiful women in the country. The south also has the largest white population of all of Brazil’s regions while the northeast is primarily non-white.