Note from BBT: Sometimes, I do have to wonder. Is this just the way it is, really, or is there some sort of manipulation going on here? What I mean is that, we know for a fact that police in Brazil kill many more non-white people than white. But my question is, even knowing this fact, it is still true that white Brazilians are also stopped by police and sometimes even killed, just in smaller numbers.
This is also the case in the US, where, people would probably be surprised to know that, in sheer numbers, more whites are killed by police than blacks or Hispanics. But when we see the cases of police violence reported in the media, why do they always seem to involve black men? It makes me wonder if there is some sort of agenda being promoted via the media.
In this latest case of police harassment and violence against black people, another video has been shared via social networks showing a police officer knocking out a black man with one punch. This video was being shared, it seemed, just a day after another video showing cops stopping a black man, guns pointed, for practicing some tricks on a bicycle.
In today’s case, I must point out two things in terms of what the cop did.
One, as most black Brazilians know, it doesn’t take much for a military police officer to shoot or resort to some kind of violence during a stop or when entering a neighborhood.
For years, black Brazilians have been beaten, put in choke holds or shot, often with no apparent justification. With that said, I must ask why the victim in this video felt the need to lung toward or approach the cop. Knowing how black skin alone provokes certain actions by cops, it’s simply not a good idea to make any sudden moves towards cops. I’m not saying he should have been hit, but I could see how the cop could claim he felt threated by the man’s actions and thus claim his action was justified.
Perhaps the brother in this case should have taken the advice of sociologist Neely Fuller, who has given numerous interviews on how black people should deal with being in the prison known as white supremacy: don’t fuss, don’t fight, don’t flee. In the confrontation, the man clearly appears to be ‘fussing’. By lunging toward the officer, he could have been interpreted as intending to ‘fight’. He didn’t flee, but after the first two, he was already on the ground.
In the video you hear people repeating the word ‘racismo’, meaning racism, which it clearly could have been. But as Brazil’s police forces are obviously given the go ahead to approach non-whites in aggressive manners, we must remember not to do anything that might provoke such actions. If a black man can get approached by police, guns drawn, for just practicing on a bike, how should we expect they would react in a case such as the one in the video above?
Two, I must again re-visit the use of the term ‘negão’ in addressing black men. Brazilian Portuguese is full of diminutives and augmentatives, which are subtle ways of making terms more affectionate, more respectful, or even disrespectful, depending on the meaning and intent.
Black men and women have been referred with a number terms based on race or skin color. For example, while the terms preto/preta and negro/negra both mean black, we also have terms such as neguinha, neguinho, pretinha, negão, negrinha, etc.
In years past, these terms seemed to be generally accepted by the population at large, but, with rising racial politics and racial identity, more and more black Brazilians are rejecting these terms and defining them as being racist when uttered by persons they don’t consider to be black. In other words, a black woman being called a ‘pretinha’, ‘little black girl’ by another black woman or even black man can be accepted as a term of affection, as can a black man being called a negão, meaning a ‘straight up’ or ‘big black man’ by other black people. But depending on the situation, these terms are becoming increasingly polarizing along lines of race.
For example, when reporting on this same story, the British news site the Daily Mail translated the term ‘negão’ as ‘n*****’, clearly associating it with the dreaded n-word in the United States. In that example, we see a similar dynamic in which black Americans may refer to each other affectionately with a derivative of the n-word, pronouncing the end of the word with an ‘a’ instead of the hard ‘r’ but still repudiating its use by white Amercians.
Brazil will never be as segregated as American society, but at the same time, this is what makes the discussion over racism more difficult for people to perceive…at least until someone gets literally ko’ed by it.
‘I was a victim of racism’, says man attacked by PM during an approach in SP
Videos posted on social networks show the military policeman insulting Kaio Souza, calling him ‘garbage’ and calling him ‘negão’ before the moment of the aggression
Courtesy of O Dia
A young black man was the victim of a violent approach carried out by the military police on Saturday (29), in Caieiras, in the region of greater São Paulo, claims to have been a victimized by racism. “It was really racism,” said Kaio Souza, 33, on Monday (31). Video shows a military policeman cursing out the self-employed man, calling him ‘trash’, calling him a ‘negão’ and then punching him in the face. After the assault, the victim fell to the ground unconscious.
The police accused, in the record of the occurrence, the young men of being intoxicated and riding two motorcycles. Despite denying the claims, the youth were handcuffed and detained and ended up indicted by the Civil Police for crimes of “drunk driving, resistance and disobedience”.
“It was racism. I was a victim of racism on the part of these policemen,” said Kaio to G1. “My friends and I don’t want this to continue. The treatment that these policemen gave in approaching black people was to treat us like ‘trash’ and say: ‘Hands on your head, negão’. Then he punched me in the face,” said the victim.
In addition to Kaio, two other friends of his, also black, were approached by the two MPs on suspicion of riding two motorcycles with signs of drunkenness, in the Laranjeiras neighborhood.
MP Rodrigo Fernandes de Oliveira, 35, responsible for the assault, was not arrested, but is expected to face charges of “bodily injury resulting from police intervention”. After the videos were released on social networks, the officer ended up being prevented from patrolling the streets for the Military Police.
“His nerves were on edge (…), at the height of being attacked (…), he punched Kaio to keep him away and not have to draw (…) his firearm, avoiding risk to those involved and to third parties, including children who were on the street. He acted to stop the situation that was out of control,” says an excerpt from the police report with the version of officer Rodrigo.
One of Kaio’s friends told the Civil Police that the MPs had even erased images from the cell phone that show the police aggression and that they had been recorded by one of the witnesses. However, other people in the neighborhood registered the truculent approach – the videos are being analyzed for the investigation.
“We are no longer accepting this. We have nothing against MP. We just want justice for what these two policemen did to us,” said Kaio.
Source: O Dia