Note from BW of Brazil: Much of the content on this blog focuses on the challenges of identity and the reign of Eurocentric standards of beauty throughout Brazil. Many articles have documented what appears to an obvious preference of Afro-Brazilian men for white women. But as ALL Brazilians live under a “dictatorship of whiteness”, it is not possible that Afro-Brazilian women aren’t also affected by this standard. In a post from last year for example, one woman involved in the sexual tourism industry openly declared her desire to a attract a white man to limpar a família (clean or lighten the family).
This is not an isolated case.
One Angolan friend of mine who spent a few years in Rio de Janeiro filming a documentary shared his opinion that many black women there didn’t really even care what attributes a man possessed in considering romantic interests, as long as he was white, with blond hair and blue eyes. This filmmaker was amazed at the number of beautiful black women he found in Rio romantically involved with the most basic looking white men. Impossible? A generalization? Possibly. But also consider the opinion of some black women that it seems that black men require more qualifications from them if they want to be in a relationship while at the same time, many black men will accept a white woman lacking the social equity that he himself has. And that is not a generalization but rather a finding of sociologist Edward Telles who studied the fact (1) and many other facts about Brazil’s social hierarchy according to race. Speaking of the women, one would assume that there were other qualifications beyond whiteness involved, but this perception was interesting nonetheless. The fact is that a large percentage of black Brazilian female singers, actresses, athletes, etc. featured on this blog are involved in relationships with white men as well.
So what’s going on here? Is it pure physical attraction? Could it be that white men give these women more attention? Is it a case of feeling one’s value increase by being able to attract a representative of men that is portrayed throughout the world as the representation of power, good looks and intelligence? Is this partly to due with the opinion of thousands of black women that black men simply don’t seek relationships with black women beyond one night? Or in the case of high profile black women, perhaps their social environments are such that there are far more white men around them than black men.
All of these factors likely do play a role. But in Brazil, where the representation of “white is right” is on display almost everywhere, the myth of the white Prince Charming is also clearly a factor in the minds of girls from a very young age, as today’s post points out very well. (2)
(Note: today’s piece was actually written back in July in anticipation of the Day of the Latin American and Caribbean Black Women, but it’s subject is relevant regardless of the date)
The charming prince? For the end of the romanticizing of the European white man
By Flávia Simas
When I was a child and suffered all kinds of bullying at school because of my hair and my religion (at that time, I was a poor spiritualist in an Evangelical school of the upper middle class, imagine the drama), one of the ways I found to sublimate my suffering was clinging to the figure of the príncipe encantado europeu (charming European prince).
My dear readers will be wondering what this emotion was like, and I explain myself: the first (and most obvious) part has to do with contos de fadas (fairy tales). I could dream and secretly, I was the princess who would one day be rescued by a prince, which of course would have Caucasian features. Today I feel a chill down my spine when I remember that the only references of beauty that I had in my childhood were of white people, and that’s why I fight so much for representation.
The second reason is what I consider more pernicious: in my childhood and much of my adolescence, what I heard most was that no one would want me. I, black, obviously would not get married. Around me, some of my tias solteironas (meaning ‘extremely single aunts’, as they were pejoratively called) would not let me catch sight of another horizon that wasn’t singlehood. There is currently research that shows how the black woman is deprecated by society, occupying a space of invisibility and loneliness. My fear had much foundation.
The light on the horizon, for me, was to resort to the figure of the European man as a salvation. It was an idea I got from nothing. After all, several aunts married Dutchmen, and I had before me not only a new generation of male and female and cousins with dual nationality, but also female Brazilian cousins traveling to Europe and marrying moçoilos (young, lively men) there. The glamour of relatives waiting at the airport reinforced in me the idea that romantic, hetero-normative, monogamous love and generator of social status could indeed happen to me. It just doesn’t happen in Brazil.
Thus, I was growing up hearing that I was ugly at school, and I was always rebutting that I was ugly only in Brazil, because in Europe I was beautiful. My answer was always greeted with ironic jokes and laughter, but I held my ground, with a conviction based on familiar facts that made me believe that I would be “a tal” (the one) in Europe. Funny that this established itself so much in me as a defense mechanism, that to this day I find myself with this argument. Like the last time I was in Brazil and went to cut my hair. The hairdresser wanted to do anything to straighten my cabelo “ruim” (“bad” hair), and when I found myself there I was saying that in Ireland my hair is beautiful.
But why exactly am I exposing myself in this way, with another I cause regarding myself? Well, today is Dia da Mulher Negra Latino-Americana e Caribenha (Day of the Latin American and Caribbean Black Women), and this post is my honor to the date – so urgent and necessary – that it still remains forgotten. I understand that my story is not the worst, and that clinging to the saving figure of the homem branco (white man) was (in parts) even beneficial for my self-esteem. The stories of my family are very happy and the most amazing uncle that I had in this life was a Dutch philosopher who made a good contribution to the formation of my character, and I will always be grateful to him for all our conversations and having been a person so humble, cool, bold and bright.
However, being out of the country for six years, and the last of them having been in Europe, changed my view of the facts substantially. I’ll try to list my findings here, and invite other black women to add their own conclusions:
1) This view that in Europe things are “different” is nothing but a romantization, an idealization that has as a backdrop the very notion of superiority of the homem branco europeu (white European man). The European gringo is more celebrated than foreigners from other parts of the world. If the foreigner in question was from some underdeveloped country then… the World Cup gave us the measure of this: the Germans were friendly to us? Yes. But there was a deification that even produced a big rumor on social networks and this is symptomatic of our romanticized view of the savior gringo (3);
2) Racism is endemic in the world. Being black, having black friends, being married to a black person – none of it means an automatic absence of racism. Because the system is racist and teaches us very early and in a very subtle way, that in the hierarchy of life the black is in a subordinate position. I have attended natural hair roles (get-togethers), and lost count of the times in which women vented in these spaces than their European husbands don’t want them to leave their cabelo crespo (curly/kinky hair) natural. This is not a mere coincidence.
3) This ‘preference’ of foreigners for mulheres negras brasileiras (Brazilian black women) reflects in many cases, an intersection between racism and sexism, which results in the exotificação. Here in Ireland we receive many sincere greetings, but also the aggressiveness of certain “compliments” scares me. I even wrote a story about it on my personal blog (http://theafrolatina.blogspot.ie). The exotificação is because it puts the other in an inferiorized position, of dehumanization, and this is racist and very serious.
4) It is my last point, and also what I consider the most important: I was not the only black woman to have the figure of the European savior as a consolation prize for not being loved and appreciated within my own country. This is violence. I “bought” the idea, did I cling to it to survive? Yes. But it is still violent the fact that the solution to the loneliness of the black Brazilian woman is leaving. This devaluation has to end and that is why on this date we are here, willing to talk, willing to fight.
May July 25th reaffirm in us an identity we were denied. May our dark skin reveal a dignified ancestry worthy of pride and not deletion and conformity. May our hair have the form that we want, and not the form of compulsory mimicry. May our blackness be increasingly visible and appreciated for what it is: a symbol of beauty and much resistance.
Source: Ativismo de Sofá
1. Numerous Brazilian social scientists have also confirmed the social phenomenon of black men “marrying up” with white women of lower social status in order to offset their own social disadvantage (race). See for example Cor e mobilidade em Florianópolis, (São Paulo, 1960) by Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Octávio Ianni and A integração do negro na sociedade de classes by Florestan Fernandes (Dominus, 1965)
2. An excellent book on the psychological dynamics on the black Brazilian woman/white European man theme is Gislene Aparecida dos Santos’s Mulher Negra, Homem Branco. Um breve estudo do feminino negro (Pallas 2004).
3. During the 2014 World Cup played in Brazil, a rumor circulated through Facebook that the German team, that would eventually win it all, were donating the hotel where they were staying in Bahia so that the local community could turn it into a school. It was just a hoax, false and untrue rumor that spread through the internet and caused a large number of people to believe it and continue spreading such untrue information. Thousands of people congratulated the Germany team for this supposed act of kindness.
Oh thank you for touching on this subject! This is such a complex issue, and this same idea about white, European men can be observed in other cultures as well – this dynamic in which you see a marginally attractive to ugly white man, who is not particularly wealthy, with an attractive “brown/black/red/yellow” woman. I saw this a LOT in Europe when I lived there! What fascinated / fascinates me about Brazilian women is how they will do ANYTHING to try to capture and keep these men!! As well, these men are often well beyond their prime, but not old enough to be dying anytime soon to leave an inheritance. I have also seen situations in which these European men were downright abusive to these women, but they were all somehow “better” than a Brazilian man. These Brazilian women did not seem to know or care about the social standing of these men (as far as physical attractiveness or wealth were concerned) as long as they were white. However, I have observed a similar thing with Brazilian men (usually from the middle class to lower class) choosing white women who are downright HAGS from the perspective of the people from those countries!!
I have observed the following things about Brazilian men and women who look for the European saviour, both physically and as an ideal of life:
1. This is not unique to the Black Brazilian community. Here in the northeast, I have seen a lot of white and brown / black women turning to online dating and moving overseas to marry a European man that they met online. A lot of this is due to the fact that in the upperclass, white community, if you are not stunningly beautiful OR if you do not have a well-connected family, your partner choices are quite slim.
If you are an educated brown or black woman, the pickens are even slimmer, as men who are at a similar social level to these women will typically look for a lighter skinned woman.
Also, a LOOOOT of the men here are either gay or on the downlow. I do not know if this is a northeastern thing or if it is a cultural thing, but it seems that the majority of the men I observe in my city are at least dabbling with members of the same sex.
2. In general, Brazilian men are very “macho” and have absolutely no respect for women – particularly in the norhteast. Many of the European saviour women reason that even if the European dude is ugly, has no money, is an alcoholic, and stinks, he is STILL a better catch than a Brazilian guy who will most likely be emotionally stunted (especially if he is upper class), misogynistic towards women, and cheat on her before the honeymoon is over.
3. “White” Brazilians really, really, really, really HATE being Brazilian, and will often do ANYTHING to leave the country or to add “class” to their own family by marrying a gringo/a.
Brown and Black Brazilian women have a better chance of being noticed at all outside of Brazil. But this will come at a price. It will come with a lot of stereotypes and assumptions. She will be exoticised and fetishized to death. She will be objectified and it may even be assumed that she is a whore.
What boggles my mind is that so many Brazilians are still flocking to places like Portugal, Italy, England, and Spain, even though they all hold openly hostile attitudes towards Brazilians. When I was in Europe, I was always talking to Brazilians who lived in a strange haze of self deception – thinking that they had somehow “made” it, and the place offered vastly different and better experiences than they could find at home. Listening to them, I thought Brazil was a truly underdeveloped shithole! I was SHOCKED to find a place FULL of opportunities for people who a willing to take them!
4. It seems that the more money or education a Brazilian person has, the less they want to be Brazilian. This does not seem to be the case for lower middle-class to poor people. But the others seem to carry a deep seated rage that Brazil is not an exact replica of Canada or America. Through their lense, no one is ever murdered in Canada, apartments are cheaper in Paris and Los Angeles, the crowd during rush hour in New York is somehow “different and better than” the crowd during rush hour in Brazilian cities, the buses in Ireland are somehow better than the buses in Brazil, and living in a boring small town in Norway is somehow better than choosing one of the THOUSANDS of safe, small towns scattered around Brazil.! I always have to chuckle at least a little at the ones who think Trinity college in Ireland is at the same level of Harvard, or that Ireland or Spain do not have virtually ALL of the same problems as Brazil!
I was also shocked to find that if you go 1 hour outside of virtually ANY major Brazilian city, you will find private schools, homes without fences, relatively cheap property and housing, low costs of living, and nice neighbors! But, somehow, they have convinced themselves that this does not exists in Brazil, and they need to move to Canada so they can buy a house!!
I think the European/White saviour complex is not only relegated to Black Brazilians. I think that it is a complex class issue as well, and that virtually ALL middle and upper-class people from “latin” countries experience at some time. I am always happy when the people, like the author of this story, finally wake up and see the light!!
WOW! Great, great observations! In fact, there are many people and social scientists who would agree with your opinions! The perceptions of Brazilians in Europe; the ‘anything is better than Brazil’ mentality, which I see all around me! The denial of a seeming obsession with whiteness on the part of black Brazilians, male and female. And the white Brazilians who often try to distance themselves from being Brazilian. The attitude of, “I don’t listen to samba; I don’t go to Carnaval; I don’t drink capirinha. I don’t have any mixture in my ancestry”. In fact, John Norvell convered some of these attitudes in his essay “A brancura desconfortável das camadas médias brasileiras”. We know many of the things you wrote exist but it’s funny how so many people deny it.
One other thing is that so many Brazilians seem to believe that the US is the greatest country that ever existed! As I’ve experienced many years in the US, when I try to present some realities about the US, people just look at me like, “What are you talking about?!?!?” All they know of the US is what the Brazilian media presents. And as they often experience the US as tourists, many will never see/accept some of the hard realities about how the United States really is and where it is going!
I couldn’t agree more! I have had several discussions about how Americans tend to be seperated from each other and how it is generally more violent than many places around Brazil. Where I live, many of them seem more interested in shopping in the US but living in Canada or Europe. They are shocked that America has no carteiras dos trabalhos or that you can be shot in the head by a stranger on a highway who doesn’t like the way you drive! They cannot appreciate the unique freedom and opportunities and good quality of life in Brazil, if they would be willing to live somewhere other than a major city, or start a business!
Thank you for that wonderful post! You are spot ON!!
I will make use of my anonymity to give you a REALLY sincere reply.
Don’t get used to. In Brazil we are all liars about racism and we intend to keep it this way.
1) First off: “White” Brazilians really, really, really, really HATE being Brazilian, ” —- absolutely true!!!! It is however not a hate-hate situation. It is more of a hate-love thing. Give you an example. We hate that Brazil is so fucked-up in so many areas (shit security, corruption to the roof) but we take pride on the fact that Brazil won a Fields Medal (the equivalent of the mathematics Nobel prize). I’m not sure also if the fact that you are black didn’t make a difference. I mean, we tend to get more defensive with white European/Americans about our country. Basically we say Brazil is a piece of shit between ourselves but we defend Brazil in front of WHITE people (not always, but enough times). But yes, racially speaking we would like a gringa to clean the blood, That is literally the expression we use. For example, I have a friend who was “barely black” who would marry an Italian, His mother, a mulatta, was REALLY pissed off, as according to her Portuguese Spanish and Italians are unable to clean the blood properly, he should have chosen a more nordic person.
2) “Also, a LOOOOT of the men here are either gay or on the downlow.”
Hmmm. This is definitely something related to “nordeste”. Are you living in Bahia? In any case, gay people still have a really difficult time in Rio (not to say this is nice, just that we are WAY more conservative than Europeans about homosexuals, as far as my experience can tell). Not my experience but who knows what’s happening nowadays..
3) “In general, Brazilian men are very “macho” and have absolutely no respect for women”
Yes, Brazilian are very “macho”.. but you are forgetting the Brazilian men perspective. Most of my friend guys would cheat their women in no time, but finding a good trustful woman in Brazil can also be a nightmare. And yes, “white” Brazilians (myself I’m 20% black but who cares – I look white) ONLY seek white women. Now, for us middle classers, being white is not enough. The woman need to be white (that is a qualification condition) AND be educated AND not be a slut (basically, we check how many guys she slept before us and decide whether if this is a number we can live with or not). So, some of us, will marry European girls for the easy combination: white (check), educated (check), not slut (not a easy check, but easier than Brazil)
4) “What boggles my mind is that so many Brazilians are still flocking to places like Portugal, Italy, England, and Spain”
Well… it’s true. Most of these places treat Brazilians like shit. But to be fair the Brazilians that are treated like shit are in general black or mixed who look more like black. White and “white” Brazilians are more infrequently treated like shit. Why not stay in Brazil? Well, many reasons. Some are just really simple: some of us actually just HATE the heat (I’m amazed nobody mentioned a very obvious reason) . But also, you are being amazingly naive about Brazilian security. Just from what you are saying I can safely assume you are in Brazil less than 10 years, perhaps even less than 6-7 years. You see, many of us in the past tried this whole “there are still safe places in Brazil” only to get our houses robbed in the most remote places, where everyone would say “nothing happens”, before understanding that as far as family is concerned there is no place in Brazil compared to Canada. Sorry.
5) “I always have to chuckle at least a little at the ones who think Trinity college in Ireland is at the same level of Harvard”
Hahah! True. Brazilians are in general very ignorant about world education and think that studying in a whatever federal crappy institution is synonym of status and good education, whereas in reality, most universities in Brazil, if you compare to the best world universities are really a piece of shit. Also, comparing Trinity College with Harvard just shows how completely clueless people are. For the average middle class Brazilian both places were founded and are run by smart whites, and that is enough.
In any case, most of what you said is shockingly truth, I’m amazed a gringa could figure us out so quickly, nice job.
LOLOL! Thanks for the honest reply, White Carlos 🙂 It is great to see the perspective of a “white” Brazilian. Here are my thoughts on what you have written:
1) “Basically we say Brazil is a piece of shit between ourselves but we defend Brazil in front of WHITE people (not always, but enough times).”
As I am African American, perhaps my experience with this has been different, because the “white” folks I meet here are EXTREMELY honest with me with what they think about their country and are generally unwilling to listen AT ALL when I try to point out the positive aspects. Basically, the darker Brazilians that I meet (and usually they are lower class) do have daily struggles, but they do not have a dream to “escape” their country, nor do they seem to view it in the same way one might view – say – Dafur or Yemen, as “white” Brazilians often do.
“His mother, a mulatta, was REALLY pissed off, as according to her Portuguese Spanish and Italians are unable to clean the blood properly”
Though her thought process is kinda sad, it is worth noting that she knows that Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian people are not really considered “white” in the rest of the world.
2) I live Fortaleza, and this is an very sexually fluid place. It is very gay friendly for both men an women, transvestite hookers walk the streets quite proudly, and many (if not most) of the “straight” men I have met like their daliances with members of the oposite sex, so it could just be a regional or local phenomenon.
3) “So, some of us, will marry European girls for the easy combination: white (check), educated (check), not slut (not a easy check, but easier than Brazil)”
What is interesting about this phenomenon as well is that many of these middle class “white” or brown men – many of whom I would deem quite attractive – will settle for ANY white girl! So I see a similar phenomenon as the one I observe with women marrying old/unattractive/non-wealthy white men! I could see a fairly attractive Brazilian man (usually he is not rich) with a white woman who is either only marginally attractive to downright FUGLY! However, the same phenomenon can be observed in African American culture among lower middle class – poor Black men (that they will get with a beat-down white chick). If the Black man has money and gets with a white chick, however, she must also be attractive.
4) ” But to be fair the Brazilians that are treated like shit are in general black or mixed who look more like black. White and “white” Brazilians are more infrequently treated like shit. ”
This comment had me rolling around laughing! I know that in Portugal, many “white” Brazilians try to pass for Portuguese by changing the accent a bit because, as soon as it is discovered that they are Brazilian, all bets are off – regardless of color! So I guess your statement is technically try, as long as you keep your mouth shut.
What is also interesting, though, is that “white” Brazilians who have mixed blood are often less sensitive to the ability of non-Brazilians to detect
‘Blackness / something-other-than-white-ness’ than those of us who did not grow up here. I am always meeting Brazilians who think they are white, and tell them that in my country, they are not white – especially if they have an accent – and that Americans might be less racist toward them if they were Spanish, rather than South American. Again, it is interesting to see many of you who are “white” in Brazil being stripped of this designation when you leave the country. Many of you (those of you of mixed heritage) can pass successfully if you have neutral facial features AND you straighten / cut off / lighten your hair AND (if you are in Portugal) never speak with a Brazilian accent. Those of you who are second or third generation German or Italian – Brazilian with no mixing in the family would not run into the same kinds of issues. If you are NOT in one of these categories, though, do not kid yourself because you are only “white” in Brazil.
5) ” But also, you are being amazingly naive about Brazilian security.”
No, I would say that you are being naive about Brazilian security OR we just have different perspectives. As I come from America – a place where people have guns, mass shootings happen in malls and high schools, there is a good chance you will be raped when you go to college if you are a woman, and a place which has a long history of seial killers and road rage killings (and this is just the tip of the ice-berg!) – the “danger” of Brazil is somewhat light by comparison. Statistically, you are the most vulnerable to homicide here if you are a lower-class Black male between the ages of 15 – 30. You are more vulnerable to child prostitution if you are a poor Black female child. If you are NOT poor and Black (which you have stated that you are not), then your relative “dangers” in life are:
a) being robbed (but NOT being physically hurt or killed during the robbery, if you comply immediately).
b) being upset because politicians (while also regularly participating in “jeitinho” policies in your daily life).
c) being upset that you might not get to fly to London or Miami this year because the dollar is very strong agains the real now.
d) walking in fear all day every day because someone MIGHT try to rob your iPhone.
e) being upset that you become more of a target if you show off the fact that you are rich.
f) being REALLY upset that it doesn’t snow or get cold in the north / northeast (while completely ignoring that this weather can be experienced in the southern regions of the country)
and…well…that’s about it! I would definitely say that there is a mass hysteria among middle and upperclass white Brazilians, who place having their iphone or car stolen (while being allowed to live) at the same level as even the much more frequent, violent, and random crime that happens in the US, France, and London regularly, or the true travesties to humanity that can be experienced in Venezuela, Pakistan, or Ukraine. In Brazil, on the other hand, the crime typically follows the the same pattern and is, thus, HIGHLY avoidable, if you are not poor and Black. Most “white” Brazilians, however, are completely devoid of “street intellegence” and are overly sensitive to the loss of their expensive belongings.
6) ” For the average middle class Brazilian both places were founded and are run by smart whites, and that is enough.”
I also love how white Brazilians often gloss over the fact that the Universities in Brazil were ALSO founded by ‘smart whites”, or that the country was colonized by whites (by Brazilian standards).
Anyway, great discussion!
You know what’s funny. There is movement going on in America. Black men are going to Brasil looking for love. There is this guy on you tube trying to convince African American Men to move to brasil . His name is Charles Tyler and he went to brasil. He said to culture was better and it was a better place for African American Men to find true love. The black love is just as worse in Brasil then it is in the USA. Check him Charles Tyler You tube
There is also a level of fetishism, anti-blackness and colorism that is inherent in his entire video has that I’ve heard few black american men challenge… the entire video is pretty disrespectful and disgusting tbh… I found it very hard to sit through the entire video… White supremacy was the driving force behind that video… IMO..
lolo! I think ur talking about the video about those men who feel “respected” by the prostitutes they meet down here! I think they dont know that the chicks are prostitutes, though, since they are “red bone” and “high yellow” chicks with long hair! The maker of the video clearly knows nothing about true Brazil. All he knows is that when he goes to Rio, his American dollars will buy him the respect and dog-like loyalty of a woman that he clearly doesnt know is prostitute! Its kind of a hilarious and sad video if you actually live in Brazil and understand the truth of the chicks in the video!
I get this article I do however If you want to get married and there is a good white man available then why it’s that a bad thing?
If fact, there are a number of issues you don’t consider by making this comment.
1) Before you ask the “good white man” question, ask why are white men and women placed at the top of social hierarchy?
2) Why do many black people associate marrying white as “marrying up”?
3) Miscegenation was always promoted in Brazil with the explicit purpose of the eventual disappearance of the black race.
4) What values were instilled in the black population that many women and men automatically reject a black partner? You cannot reduce this question to simply the availability of a “good white man” until you deal with the underlying issues of racism and white supremacy at play in the issue from the very beginning!
THAT is the point of the article and many others on the topic on this blog…
I was referring to good as in a good heart, good behavior, actions, etc. White supremacy is terrible however I don’t think black women should wait around for the black man who is not looking her way.
I really do not disagree with most of what you said, either than you really, really, have a completely naive understanding about how security works in Brazil. Note; I did NOT compare with US, I have no idea how this is REALLY there. But no, you cannot compare with western Europe and this list you provided just show how naive you are. But hej, don’t believe me, wait for the next member of your family to be killed or raped and come back to tell me. You can say whatever you want, but I smell a naive gringa from the distance…
About how many “white” Brazilians discover they are only white in Brazil.. well, true to some extent, but by now, really old story, most of use can already tell the probability of becoming a nigger in Europe quite well. Also, no real decent white Brazilian would try to mimic Portuguese accent, we take pride on being descendent only as far as this tells the world we are more white and then black but in real life, we simply despise the Portuguese and can’t stand their stupid accent.
Also, how can you tell people are being honest with you? As default, as a “white” Brazilian I would ALWAYS lie to your face and so would all my friends. How do you think racism in Brazil works? That’s the system honey, you are not in control, WE ARE.
Oh honey – I am not naive…I am simply a Black women living in Brazil. Let’s just say that the rules are different for a confident Black woman walking the streets of Brazil, making contact with the people of her neighborhood, who inherently understands that her bling should stay at home (just as she would leave it at home in Toronto or Manchester if she were in a neighborhood where people steal things at high rates). I am not perceived as a rich white girl looking down on Black people, though the folks here are generally surprised when I tell them that I am American rather than a Baiana. I understand very well about the dynamics of racism here and how what you look like makes you vulnerable or not. I am also used to living in big cities around the world, so I do not have the same extreme negative perceptions of Brazilian danger as white Brazilians who have not lived in places with high rates of random and varied violence. I can do nothing BUT compare Brazil to these places!
“Brazilian I would ALWAYS lie to your face and so would all my friends. How do you think racism in Brazil works? That’s the system honey, you are not in control, WE ARE.”
If ALL these white Brazilians are just excellent actors who are lying to me and bashing their own country, even when I try to show them the nice things about their country, then I would say that the racism is internalized. I also do not feel that it is directed at me because they pay me a LOT of money to teach them to speak my native language. Also, you have described “the system” according to white people. I am letting you know that Black Brazil also has a “system” that seems to benefit me. All I know is that talking to the flanelinhas in the neighborhoods that I frequent and letting the Black men of the streets know who I am seems to be working quite well for me and my family and friends.
I would agree, though – “white” Brazilians are “in control” overall, which is why I typically sell my services to them!
The author is only suggesting that black women not deify white men or develop a savior complex about them just because they are white (which is what women of color often desperately do when dating and tryng to keep white men). She is suggesting that white men be viewed with same rigor as all others. i.e. if you don’t accept being abused by a black man, then don’t accept it from a white man. If u do not date broke-ass niggas, then do not give a pass to a broke-ass cracka solely because he is white and is willing to screw you! Do not unconsciously look for his whiteness to negate your blackness.
Amen. That’s how I read it.
This is an interesting discussion. I think that in Brazil there is a history, since slavery, of black women trying to advance their lives by getting with white men. (Sometimes marrying sometimes not). I really cannot blame them. If the way to improve your life, as a slave, was latch onto a white man and get freed, then I would have done it too. I believe that some of that behavior just has been a “tradition” and even though “any old white man” today would not be such a “savior” as he would have been 300 years ago, the society hasn’t questioned it. I also know from Brazilian friends that there are more women than men in Brazil, so there are uneven number of partners for black women if they only date within their race. Also what does “date within your race” mean in Brazil when there are so many different labels? Considering a lot of young black males are also killed or in jail this creates further imbalance. I’ve also been reading this blog, and people say that some Black Brazilian men don’t want anything to do with Black brazilian women. This is also true of some in the U.S. and quite sad. I think that black brazilian women may just get tired of dealing with black men and just decide to date anybody. I know that is the case in the U.S. too. Why should she be alone if she can find a man, no matter what color he is? I agree that it is not smart today to fetishize a white man for his skin color, but do not think that they should be rejected if they are genuinely interested and treat a woman well. (And this goes for Asian men and any other non-Black men in my opinion).
This is hardly gender restricted. There is no such thing as black women doing this. Is black people doing this.
Historically, I believe it was gender restricted (300 years ago) because white women had virtually no power either. It wouldn’t have benefitted any black men back then to get involved with white women publicly, since they didn’t have much power or money–it all belonged to their fathers or husbands. White men were in charge of everybody and so there would have been some benefit for black women to involve themselves publicly with white men.
What’s the name of the documentary your angolan friend made?
Whats the name of your friends documentary?