Note from BW of Brazil: Yet another controversy has arisen in the drama that is race relations in Brazil. It involves a topic that has been a regularly covered subject here: the question of affirmative action and quotas. As has been pointed out in numerous posts throughout the life of this blog, affirmative action/quotas is not the cause of a racism that has existed in Brazil since Africans, Europeans and Amerindians first began con-existing in the nation that would later be christened Brazil (as some would have us believe) but rather the issue has simply brought more open dialogue, debate, affirmation and continued denial of the effects of racism in the society. And as Brazil is a country that is known for its centuries of miscegenation, the results of these racial mixtures can be seen in the faces of its everyday citizens, which became one of the prime arguments for why racial quotas won’t work in Brazil in the same way that it has worked in other societies, simply because it would be difficult to define where blackness ends and where whiteness begin.
As such, controversies such as the one featured in today’s posts are, in fact, not surprising. As we’ve seen, many white, middle-upper class Brazilians have expressed a desire/need to remain atop the racial/social hierarchy (an underlying message of recent anti-President Dilma Rousseff protests) and as people will generally do whatever is necessary to remain or attain this status, deception should be expected. And that is exactly what has been happening. We’ve only featured the incidents of ‘racial fraud’ in order to take advantage of racial quotas on two occasions (see here and here) but over the years there have been numerous other cases, so much so that the courts had to declare that a candidate must look black in order to be considered for affirmative action policies. Apparently about 40 or so people in the state of Espírito Santo didn’t hear about this decision!
Coletivo Negrada denounces 40 cases of fraud in racial quotas
By Iara Diniz
Those approved in UFES by the college entrance exam this year lied in self-declaration of race
Members of the Coletivo (collective) such as as Mirtes Santos and João Victor Santos, have received complaints against white students who entered through the quota system
A list of 40 names of students suspected of fraud in their ethno-racial self-declaration in the vestibular (college entrance exam), was referred to the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) and the Ombudsman of the Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES).
The allegations were made by the Coletivo Negrada, based on social network profiles of those approved. For the representatives, the listed names don’t meet the criteria to benefit from quotas in the selection process of UFES.
“The Facebook photos make it clear that they do not have negro or pardo (brown) features, but declared themselves as such. Many of them we know personally and we know that they are not included in the quotas,” said the Coletivo militant João Victor dos Santos, 21.
Despite the 40 students denounced, other names are being raised by the collective, which has the help of several university students that passed the examinations this year. “We are still receiving many denouncements, including white students that are reporting colleagues and friends who defrauded in their self-declaration. Some even made fake profiles to denounce them without compromising themselves. Most cases are in Engineering, Medicine and Dentistry courses, highly contested at UFES. We have informed the University and the public prosecutor that the list is greater than what we forwarded. There are many cases,” he said.
To receive freshmen of UFES, the Coletivo Negrada prepared a reception for students on Tuesday (1), starting at 8pm at the Cine Metrópole, at the University. “We have partnered with some courses so that freshmen participate in debates and workshops that will be offered. It is an event open to all students, but mainly address issues important to cotistas (quota students) within the university,” said João Victor.
Among the topics of discussion is fraud in racial quotas and the role of the collective in the denouncements of students. “Let’s talk about self-declaration and identidade negra (black identity). We want to welcome the cotistas at the University, make them feel represented by the movement. It’s a way to show that we will continue denouncing and we have the strength to do so,” concluded the activist.
“There is no doubt that there are false declarations”
For the president of Comissão de Igualdade Racial da Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil no Espírito Santo (OAB-ES or Commission of Racial Equality of the Order of Lawyers of Brazil in Espírito Santo), Patrícia Silveira, there is no doubt that there is fraud in the self-declarations. She stressed the importance of an investigation by the university and the public prosecutor. “If it is characterized that there are false statements, these people need to be punished. These are vacancies of students who are really negros, pardos and índios (Indians) being taken. You take the opportunity from someone who is beneficiary of the quotas,” she said.
The lawyer defends the establishment of a commission, as at other universities, to prevent fraud in quotas from happening. “What is being done today, roughly, is to select through photos, phenotypes of people who could be cheating or not. Hence the importance of the commission, which upon receiving the denouncements, would evaluate those that proceed or not because there are cases of pardos who are not so simple to define,” she noted.
The Federal Public Ministry said it is analyzing the representations.
Students may be disconnected from UFES
If fraud in racial self-declarations is confirmed, students who committed irregularities will have their registrations cancelled and will be dismissed from the University, according to UFES.
Through a statement, the central administration of the institution explained that an administrative process was initiated to verify if “from the legal and factual point of view, the facts in the denouncements classified as fraudulent actually took place,” cites the note.
After the legal process, which will be reviewed by the Federal Attorney of the Attorney General by UFES, appropriate action will be taken, which may include the expulsion of students.
“If after due process, in which a full defense and the right to the contradictory of the accused will be guaranteed, violation of Federal Law of Reserve of Vacancies and of the Resolution of the University that establish vacancies a system of reservation of vacancies in the Selection Process of UFES was found, students who have committed irregularities will have their registrations canceled, with the consequent termination from the University,” concluded the note.
Source: Gazeta Online