Note from BW of Brazil: We’ve seen the scenario too many times to be surprised. A given society is divided into “haves” and “have nots”. The divisions are so clear that everyone knows which groups are which and the given “place” of the respective groups. When the group that is defined as the “have nots” begin to gain access to areas of which they are usually excluded, the other group reacts negatively and violently, wondering: “what are they doing here?”, and with more and more inclusion of this group the sentiment becomes “they’re taking over!” In Brazil until only about the last decade,the university setting was almost the exclusive domain of persons who considered themselves to be white. This was and still is the case among university professors where Afro-Brazilians are only 1% of the total. But since the implementation of affirmative action policies Brazil has seen a noticeable change in the presence of non-white students on college and university campuses. To be sure, there is still a long ways to go for Afro-Brazilians to reach parity with whites in many realms of Brazilian society. But it is happening and some people are none too happy about it.
Professor at Unesp says that racist offenses are reaction to the policy of inclusion
By Fernanda Cruz
Racist graffiti done in the men’s room of the Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp) in the city of Bauru, in the interior of the state, are a reaction to the inclusion policy implemented on campus, said Professor of specialized journalism Juarez Xavier de Paula, who was also a victim of the offenses. The university creates tomorrow (30) a commission to investigate the incident.
“My assessment is that it may have been a reaction to the efforts we are making to multiply the presence of other groups [blacks, women and homosexuals] in the university,” Xavier said to Agência Brasil. Over the past two years, he said, the university has invested in the creation of female, black and homosexual collectives, in addition to adopting the program of social and racial quotas.
The student Pedro Borges, a member of the Movimento Negro (Black Movement), agreed that the graffiti are related to the space that has been conquered by these students. “We already knew that these offenses would appear. The tendency is that they appear increasingly to the extent that we occupy this university space, which was not created for us [blacks],” he said.
The racist graffiti appeared in greater numbers last Thursday (23), with insults against black women, the afrodescendente collective and Professor Juarez, who is the coordinator of the Núcleo Negro Unesp para a Pesquisa e Extensão (Black Nucleus for Research and Extension). “They wrote Juarez macaco (monkey Juarez),” he said.
The commission that will investigate the case will consist of two teachers and an administrative server that will get information such as names, dates and times that could lead to the authors of the graffiti. Those responsible, if identified, may receive a verbal warning or even be expelled from the university.
According to Juarez, one of the committee members has raised the possibility of graphological tests to help identify creators of the graffiti. “I don’t know if we will move in that direction, I fear that this may be an invasive action. We rely on the possibility that the student presents himself or anyone involved can give some information. I am very concerned, there has to have this act of character of more punitive action, a crime was committed,” he said.
Some students came to register the police report, but the teacher said he looks forward to the formation of the suit commission so that crimes are reported to the police. Xavier fears that assaults on black students will continue to grow, something that has been observed in recent years.
“Occasionally, there is graffiti in the bathroom, a joke in the hallway. Every time that we could identify it, we sat down, conversed and talked. But this time, what caught our attention was that, besides being massive, it was an intervention throughout the bathroom, was focused on the collective, the black nucleus of the university and the coordinator. In this way we hadn’t yet seen,” he said.
In a statement, the university reiterates that it “repudiates racist graffiti, considering them an act against the democratic rule of law, the Afro-descendant population and the policy of inclusion adopted by Unesp.” The institution said it has a prevention of violence group engaged in community awareness and the promotion of human rights and an educational observatory on human rights.
Source: Agência Brasil