Note from BW of Brazil: Brazilian-styled racism has shown its ugly face for years centuries. Seriously, anyone who continues to believe that all Brazilians are perceived and treated as equals is either in serious denial, out of touch with reality or flat out lying. Between countless books, articles and every day news stories, there is simply no way to seriously argue that in Brazil “racism doesn’t exist”. But the past few months in particular have provided a number of intriguing examples of how blackness, Africanness and African ancestry is seen in the Brazilian mind. What’s perhaps more dangerous than this denial is the fact that such open displays of racism continue to be explained away, denied or pushed under the carpet with worthless apologies. These types of reactions ensure that such behavior will simply continue to go unchecked. After all, admitting the depths that racist thoughts occupy in the Brazilian psyche would mean shattering a national discourse of denial that has existed for at least 80 years. After all, racism is only a thing of the United States, right?
Ten reasons showing that in Brazil, blacks are still is seen as objects
I decided to write this list to explain the different ways of how racism operates in Brazilian society.
By Marcos Ferreira
The legacy of colonial Brazil is still so alive that people not affected by racism believe they have possession to control when and where a black person should or should not not talk about the oppression he/she experiences.
- Do you work here?
The presence of black people not connected to servitude in reclaimed environments is synonymous with suspicion.
- Humor for whom to laugh?
“Now in the TeleCine King Kong, a monkey that after going to the city and getting famous he gets a blond. Who does he think he is? A futebol player?” – Danilo Gentili (full story here)
Brazilians believe that art and humor is passable to reinforce negative stereotypes and oppression of blacks (and if we complain we are censors)
- They want to be valued?
When a black person in Brazilian society decides to wear his/her own hair it is questioned, viewed as sloppy and even dirty because the black aesthetic in Brazil is marginalized (full story of above photo here).
- Somos todos Maju…Somos todos Aranha….Somos todos iguais (?!)
“I think that I’m an African descendant because I like to get beaten”, says Dunga (National Futebol Team coach) about his critics. (see the full story here)
We are all Maju … We are all Aranha… .We are all equal (?!) (1)
Blacks are still seen as tools of work, strength and extreme resistance, a slave era stigma which reiterates the idea that the black body is automatically less sensitive as a human being
- Nothing against him/her, but ….
Brazilians believe that black people are unable to hold positions of high responsibility and hierarchy. The efficiency of blacks in these conditions is always questionable;
“(She) only got the job at Jornal Nacional because of quotas, filthy black” – “White (clear) weather? (That’s a) lie you black” – “(She) only got the job at Jornal Nacional because of quotas, black monkey” – “What are 100 miilion blacks on the moon? A total eclipse” – “In the middle of 2015 we still have blacks on TV” – “It was only her coming here that the weather got dry equal to charcoal into ashes” (see the story here)
“- Nothing against him/her, but I was never attended by a black doctor”
- Aiii but you complain so much!
“Serious @LasombraRibeiro let’s forget this…How many bananas do you want to let this story go?” – Danilo Gentili (see the story here)
In Brazil, when a black person points out racism he is labeled a vitimista (one who plays the victim), crier, etc.
- Ahh, but it had to be…(a black)
“Not even competency (that) Joaquim Barbosa can allege that he has or one day had. Because we all know he was chosen by the simple fact that he’s black. And only that.”
The nature/character of black people is always assimilated to the color of their skin, regardless of their social status; “- Ah but it had to be a black”, “- cool car, he must be a footballer”
- Racismo à brasileira (Brazilian-styled racism)
Senegal denounces racism in the of “The Africano” skit on the Pânico program on the Bandeirantes TV network
“Brazil is an extremely racist and negrophobic country” – “Brazil, a racist country? See how they laugh at Africa!” “The world see the racism in Brazil, except the Brazilians themselves” (see the above story here)
Racism in Brazil is interpreted as culture, so the racist in Brazil is not seen as a criminal but as any citizen, because culture is not a crime, therefore, racism is a crime that no one commits
- In Brazil, talking about Buddhism is tradition, following the Hare Krishna movement is culture but believing in Ogun is being the son of the devil,”
“Girl (who was) victim of religious intolerance says that it will difficult to forget being hit with a stone – Child (follows) Candomble and was assaulted leaving from worship. Grandmother began campaign on the internet and received support from friends” (see full story here)
Religions of any culture are more easily accepted and respected than religions of African origin, and this is because it is a legacy of blacks who were enslaved for centuries in Brazil, and to arriving here, were taught to extricate themselves from all their origins and customs. At the same time, society was shaped to believe that all that was of African origin was not worthy of respect quite like blacks.
- This is a reference to the Brazilian habit of creating ridiculous online campaigns and artificial displays of solidarity when an Afro-Brazilian is the victim of racism or racist sentiments. Slogans usually proclaim “we are all” this or “we are all” that without actually truly opening a dialogue on general racism in Brazilian society. Intriguing how this denial of mistreatment of black people under the rhetoric of “we are all equal” is playing out similarly in the United States, where there is an attempt do replace the “Black Lives Matter” slogan with “All Lives Matter” in response to an alarming number of African-Americans being murdered by police in that country. Interestingly, similar to widespread acceptance of the “we are all equal” catchphrase among Afro-Brazilians, if we are to believe reports, two-thirds of African-Americans also prefer the slogan “All Lives Matter”. This latest example of the attempt to direct the national discourse around the issue of race provides us with yet another example of how, in many ways, regardless of differences in their respective histories, Brazil and the United States have numerous similarities. This includes the desire of people, in general, wanting to live in a world in which everyone is in fact treated equally although many show no desire to put in any effort to make this a reality.
Pick an item connected to the artist and the TV station, call for a total and complete boycott of the program and all companies that advertise on the program. Also go to the station to protest. They will cancel the show immediately.
Hogwash. Black women in Brazil want to date white men just as much as black men want to date white women. The only difference is that they are not as lucky or unlucky depending how you see.
I remember when I was young going to a Baile Funk in Rio and I can tell you that ALL, I mean ALL black girls/women there would prefer white guys. They were not that much available in a baile funk, but the few that were, were kings. The guy could be ugly as hell, but a long blond hair is all he needed. In general, no black woman is interested or seeking a black prince in Brazil. If there are any, they are a VAST minority. So, stop this bullshit, please.
Thank you for your comment. First, allow me to say, we freely admit that this obsession with whiteness exists among black men and black women in Brazil. A few articles have pointed this out. See here specifically: http://wp.me/p1XDuf-6om
Also here: http://wp.me/p1XDuf-67W
Here speaks of how this adoration of whiteness begins in childhood: http://wp.me/p1XDuf-3S4
And here, only through a comment of someone featured in the article: http://wp.me/p1XDuf-4Z0
Here’s the point. A number of dissertations of spoken on the solitude of black women and this long term solitude is supported by the statistics. We base the articles on the fact that it’s mostly black women who have pushed this issue to the forefront. As written in a previous piece, it seems as if black men have made their choice; as if they’re saying, “Hey, we’re not complaining. What’s the problem?”
Coincidentally, this conversation is happening in numerous social media networks. Yesterday, I came across this comment in one of the debates.
This woman’s name is Simone:
“não dá pra lidar com hipóteses do que as mulheres negras fariam se pudessem escolher, porque elas não podem. E talvez nunca possam. Temos estatísticas, teses, vivências e observações cotidianas nos mostrando que tanto os brancos quanto os negros preferem na maioria dos casos (não todos óbvio) as mulheres brancas. Temos fatos reais que mostram que a mulher negra sobra.
Agora, o que eu faria se pudesse escolher? Ah, o que eu faria….”
“Quanto a mulheres cariocas sonharem com um gringo, não conheço nenhuma assim, mesmo minha família sendo toda de lá. Mas acho que deve ser verdade sim. Não para todas, claro. Mas muitas veem exemplos de estrangeiros que conhecem negras brasileiras, namoram, apresentam para os amigos, família, propõe casamento e tal. Considerando as que escapam do turismo sexual que muitos fazem aqui no Brasil e cujo foco maior a meu ver são as famosas “mulatas”, existem muitas história de brasileira x gringo que preenche o ideal de relacionamento que muitas buscaram aqui e não acharam. E as que assistem às “love histories” começam a sonhar com isso também.”
Poli: Simone also wrote the following:
“eu sou médica, conheço homens negros advogados, engenheiros, enfermeiros, farmacêuticos, biomédicos e posso te dizer que estás redondamente enganado. Eles não nem olham para as mulheres negras “ascendidas” socialmente que frequentam os mesmos lugares que eles. Essa é a realidade que eu conheço. Se existe outra, me apresente. Cansei de homem negão chegar em mim e me pedir pra apresentar a amiga loira que estava comigo. Cansei. Nunca um chegou querendo conhecer a mim.”
Thanks. But these are isolated stories and I don’t think they reflect what’s really going on. the only think we agree is that obsession with whiteness is everywhere. I mean, I could use my story as the truth. Should I?
Light skinned black (very light, consider I’m 20% black) trying to find my place in Brazil and love. Any love. My only “defect” is that my hair is Afro. Really afro, and that gives ,me way in a second, so I decided to embrace my blackness…
But black women, HATE, I mean, HATE black men, specially if they are almost white, like me.
The only exception are black American women, who, if you’re lucky, normally they already understand all these things. Otherwise, you either have to deal with a dumb girl with zero studies/brain or a educated girl who wants nothing but a white guy.
You also must not forget the inclusion of, basically, a slave’s quarter (which they call “dependencia de empregada”) in houses and apartments that are older than 10-15 years. I am still fascinated and saddened by these rooms when I go into a home that has one. They are always dark and small – often windowless. It’s as though there was special effort to make it as unappealling and as shitty as possible – regardless of how beautiful the rest of the house or apartment is.
However, I do find an odd bit of solace when I see many of them leave the country and get their wakeup call that they are also Black! I have seen my fair share of “white” Brazilian take some abuse when he/she is not at home. Predictably, they are always surprised when they are on the receiving end of racist attacks..