Featuring an all-black team of journalists, Rede Record television network produces special series on Afro-Brazilians for the Month of Black Consciousness
The special series entitled “No Vacancy for Racism” will be shown by the ‘Jornal da Record’ program until Friday, November 22nd. Aired during the Month of Black Consciousness, Record presents all black journalists for the report
With the growing discussion on the subject of racism and the position of the black population in Brazilian society, one of Brazil’s top three TV networks, Rede Record will broadcast a special
Monday, November 18th, the ‘Jornal da Record’ news journal will presente a series of special reports entitled “Sem Vaga para o Racismo”, meaning ‘No Vacancy for Racism’. Spread out over five episodes, the presentation will combine live footage from the streets along with a meeting setting featuring eight black journalists discussing each particular episode.
Professionals for the series were chosen from two of the station’s affiliates in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, and Brasília, the nation’s capital. The journalists come from four cities: Salvdor, Florianóplis, São Paulo and Brasília. They are: Tarsilla Alvarindo (Salvador), Amanda Santos (Florianópolis), Fagner Coelho (Salvador), Mariana Bispo (São Paulo), Clóris Akonteh (editor in São Paulo), Salcy Lima (São Paulo), Luiz Fara Monteiro (Brasília) and Rodrigo Cardozo (Florianópolis) attended the meeting.
The journalists themselves were responsible for developing the content of the series based on research on the various topics. Given the series a personal touch, besides research and interviews with people in the streets, the journalists also discussed their own experiences, from prejudice and various problems encountered to stories of success overcoming obstacles.
Each of the five segments in the series approached the experiences of black Brazilians with a different subject, airing from November 18th to November 22.
This episode uses data from the IBGE agency that reports 64.3% of the unemployed in Brazil are black, meaning preto (black) or pado (brown). This percentage breaks down to 8.2 million Brazilians in which nearly two of every three, unemployed people in the country are preto or pardo. The segment also points out that pretos and pardos are those who end up working in jobs that require little qualification or education, and as such, pay less money.
The black woman
In Brazil’s job Market, black women earn the lowest salary and trails black men, white women and white men in terms of monthly earnings. While black women are also the least likely to hold down management and/or executive positions, this segment also presented black women who have managed to ascend in the job market.
According to the latest data, there are more than 8 million university students in Brazil of which almost 600,000 are considered black, which is only 7% of the total. This part of the report I take issue with. Why? Brazilian universities are divided between private universities and public universities, with 83% of all students attending private universities.
The problem with these numbers harks back to an issue of playing with and interpreting numbers that I pointed out a few days ago. In the Rede Record report, only 7% of university students are black, but back recently, it was big news when it was reported that, for the first time, black students became the majority, 50.3%, in Brazil’s public universities.
As 83% of all university students attend private schools, the only way that black students could represent such a small ttal would be if they were massively under-represented in the private sector. But this isn’t case. Blacks (often classified as pretos and pardos) make up 46.6% of all private school students while 53.4% are white. So, if black people make up 50.3% of students in public schools and 46.6% in private schools, how can they only make up a 7% total between private and public universities?
The answer lies in the manipulation of the numbers. When reports want to show that the presence of black Brazilians is increasing in certain genres, they use the total figure of trhe combined preto and pardo population. But when they want to show that black representation is low in a given area, they use only the preto population, which is estimated to be about 9.3% of country’s population.
The point that I will re-iterate here is that all pardos, brown or mixed people, should not be considered black and by combining the preto and ALL pardos as part of the black population is very deceptive. But this leads to a sort of catch 22 situation. Using pretos and pardos as representative of the black population leads one to believe that the majority of Brazilians are black. But when people visit college campuses and don’t see more than half of the student body being black, it leads to the question of who should really be classified as black.
It’s misleading to proclaim Brazil to be 54-55% black by using blacks and browns as representative of the black population, then turn around and say Brazilian universities are only 7% black by using only the preto population to make the case.
The numbers of non-white Brazilins entering Brazilian universities has increased dramaticlly in a decade and a half, but because this population was so small on college campuses from the start, but depending on how looks at it, the numbers of blacks, browns and whites could be more more accurate that one thinks. The problem comes in when we try include ALL pardos as part of the black population.
How to change the situation
In this segment, the discussion centers around increasing the accessibility,and entrance of Afro-Brazilians into the job market. One manner suggested for reaching this goal is for potential employers to implemente the practice of “blind hiring” in order to eliminate racista criteria during the hiring process.
Black people are competent
In this segment, we meet numerous black Brazilians who have managed to succeed in their chosen career paths and didn’t let the existence of racism bog down their goals even when it often presented obstacles in attaining their goals. One of the principal beliefs in Brazil’s job market is that black employees are not as capable as white workers. Success stories show that blacks are just capable as anyone else is simply given the opportunity.
Stories of racism
Expressing the necessity for the mainstream media in exposing the ways that prejudice undermines the advancement of black people, Luiz Fara Monteiro, one of the journalists featured in the series, shared a few incidents discussed during the meeting of the journalists of the type of racism that prospective employees have to deal with on a regular basis when seeking employment.
“We talked about the black candidate who was approved in a pre-interview by phone, but when he arrived at the reception he was immediately dismissed because of the color of his skin. ‘We dont hire pretos or pardos,’ the receptionist told him on his Facebook profile. Although Brazilians like to say that prejudice is often subtle, the fact is, blatant racism is far more common than people like to admit (see a few examples here, here and here).
“We told of an episode of black doctors who, when receiving patients in their offices, heard questions about whether they were really doctors or nurses,” explained Monteiro, who works in the ntion’s capital. “And of the black executive who received the determination of leveraging sales by 40% in a sector that grew only 11%. And even fulfilling 39% of the goal, he didnt receive the promotion and recognition he desired,” detailed the reporter. “We also included examples of blacks who have broken barriers and are very respected in their functions.”
With information from Comunique-se and Portal dos Jornalistas