Note from BW of Brazil: This has been an ongoing debate that will never cease. Which country, Brazil or the US, is more and which is less racist? Because I have experience in both countries and I publish a blog with a focus on race in Brazil in English, many readers, of course, make the comparison. And as the United States has a history that is far more publicized in terms of racial antagonism, the question is not as easy as one would assume. My view for several years now is that both are absolutely racist, but I argue that Brazil’s style of racism is far more effective.
Why do I say that? Well, in interacting with many African-Americans and Afro-Brazilians over the years, I can say that, in general, persons of visible African descent in Brazil have a less developed understanding of what racism really is. Of course, one could argue that as generations grow further from the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements in the US, the more black Americans are swept into the deceptive “post-racial America” illusion that posits that race is less of an issue now than it was 50 years ago. I would also say that centuries of extensive racial mixing in Brazil make it difficult for people to perceive how interracial unions can exist side by side with racist thought.
When thinking of how many black Brazilians see the issues of race, I’m often reminded of the conversation that US President Theodore Roosevelt had with a Brazilian statesman. The politician opined that the Americans had it all wrong. By segregating black people there, blacks would continue to harbor hostility and rage against the white system, while in Brazil, the race question would disappear, as, through miscegenation, black people themselves would disappear. To be quite honest, the psychological state of both populations is troublesome in many ways, but for me, Brazil’s black people represent where the power structure wants to lead America’s black population. More discussion on this in future posts…
Racism there and here
Here, racism continues as always, almost invisible and silent, except for its victims
By Luiz Henrique Lima
As long as there is racism and racists, I will write against them, denounce them and fight. Similarly, in relation to religious intolerance or other forms of prejudice.
The racist demonstrations in the United States a few days ago (in Charlottesville) inspired both disgust and revolt.
How is it possible that, at this stage in the evolutionary process of mankind, we can still gather thousands of imbeciles with Nazi, swastikas, white hoods, and other allegories and props that evoke the worst in the history of our species?
How is it possible, in the name of freedom of expression and manifestation, to authorize or justify the preaching of hatred and violence, transgressed as the “supremacy” of an ethnic group?
Our country, it must be said, also has many racists. They are not ostentatious and assumed as in the United States, but equally stupid and perverse, and perhaps more dangerous, precisely because of their hypocrisy and dissimulation.
Recently, at the International Literary Fair in Paraty, the testimony of a retired teacher touched all those who heard it, and it was many millions who watched it through social networks.
In reporting, seventy years later, an episode of discrimination to which she was a child victim, Diva Guimarães was moved and wept, revealing how racist attitudes and words hurt and produce long-lasting sufferings.
Not even this episode – that happened inside a religious school! – was the only one in the life of this teacher from Paraná, nor was she the only black Brazilian to suffer from prejudice.
Through the repercussion of her speech and my own experience, I believe that it is very difficult to find a black Brazilian, of any age, profession or economic condition, who has never experienced any similar kind of embarrassment.
Also a few days ago, I became aware of two episodes involving children and discrimination.
The first, in a coastal resort filled with foreign tourists, where a Brazilian mother forbade her children to play with the only black child there.
The other, in the playground of a gated community, where a nanny, allegedly for a joke, spread to her colleagues that the black child playing there was a bad influence on the others!
Neither this mother nor the nanny will ever assume that they are racist or take to the streets with hoods and torches.
But their “jokes” perpetuate a culture of prejudice and their words attack with great psychological violence the integrity and self-esteem of personalities in formation. They are farmers and teachers of hatred, camouflaged like so many others around us.
Here and there, racism is a shame, a cowardice and an abomination.
In the United States, fortunately, the Charlottesville episode in Virginia produced a tremendous reaction from the respectable leaders of that society. Here, racism continues as ever, almost invisible and silent, except for its victims.
It’s necessary to defeat it.
Source: Midia News