“The place of blacks is not in Mackenzie. It’s in the prison”: Racist graffiti causes outrage among students at University of Mackenzie in São Paulo

'The place of blacks is not at MacKenzie, it's in the prison' - Racist graffiti found at Mackenzie Presbyterian University in São Paulo
‘The place of blacks is not at MacKenzie, it’s in the prison’ – Racist graffiti found at Mackenzie Presbyterian University in São Paulo

Note from BW of Brazil: What’s to say here? Just another example of a contradictory Brazil in everyone wants to believe that “somos todos iguais” (we are all equal) while a large percentage of the population continuously shows their disagreement with this utopianistic slogan. How much more evidence do we need? Besides the regular episodes of racism we see in one place or another, there is also a strong sentiment against the presence of Afro-Brazilians or Africans in the country’s finest colleges and universities. We see it in the subtle and not so subtle comments made to black Brazilians. Blatantly racist comments against students, blatantly racist comments and displays against black professors, as well as murder, cruel treatment and terrorist acts against African immigrant students. And for those keeping score, this is yet another example of “the place” Brazil believes black people belong.

Racist graffiti causes outrage among students at University of Mackenzie in São Paulo

by Thiago de Araújo

Pichação racista causa revolta entre alunos da Universidade Mackenzie em São Paulo (3)

With 145 years of history the University of Presbiteriana Mackenzie (1) in SP saw itself involveda in another episode of racism. This Tuesday (6th), graffiti in one of the restrooms of the institutes Law School presented the following phrases. “Lugar de negro não é no Mackenzie. É no presidio”, meaning, ‘the place of blacks is not in Mackenzie. It’s in the prison.’

The case was denounced by students on social networks and soon went viral. Student Tamires Gomes Sampaio, director of the Centro Acadêmico João Mendes Jr., of McKenzie’s Law program and second vice-president of the União Nacional dos Estudantes (UNE), lamented that the criminal and racist act represents that “that goes through the head of many that permeate Mack (McKenzie).”

Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie (Mackenzie Presbyterian University)
Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie (Mackenzie Presbyterian University)

“Blacks were historically segregated in Brazil, since the abolition of slavery, we were systematically thrown to the peripheries; our customs, religion, struggle, leisure, everything that came from us was criminalized. It was determined a role and a place for blacks, and the  poor thing that would try to supersede the limit in which we were placed (…). It’s not by chance that we experience a genocide of the black population in our country. A carne mais barata do mercado e a mais marcada pelo Estado é a negra (The cheapest meat of the market and most marked by the State is black) (…) I will say again: elite, white racist can cry and write on the walls as much as they wish, BUT there will be blacks in the university, YES.”

Student of the university’s journalism program, Michelli Oliveira, was another who criticized the racist attitude, whose authorship is still unknown. “The time of slavery already ended and we have the same rights as the children of the middle and upper class parents of this country. We are not going to only clean your houses and tend to your gates, we are going to sit at the same table with you and will be bosses like you,” she wrote.

The Centro Acadêmico João Mendes Jr. also divulged a note of repudiation of the episode.

In a contact with this report for Brasil Post, a Mackenzie spokesperson revealed that the episode “is being investigated” and that more information will be provided. The directors of the university’s School of Law released a note in which “any act, action or manifestation of a racist nature” is repudiated.

This episode isn’t the first of a racist nature involving Universidade Mackenzie. In 2011, a professor denounced a student for racism at the institution. More recently, in August of 2015, another racist graffiti inscription in a restroom said that “the Mack should not accept blacks nor northeasterners.”

Violations of human rights are not exclusive to Mackenzie, as there have been several of them investigated in other universities in the state of São Paulo in the CPI dos Trotes, concluded last March in the Legislative Assembly (Alesp).

Source: Brasil Post


  1. Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie (Mackenzie Presbyterian University) is a private university in São Paulo, Brazil. The Mackenzie Presbyterian University is an institution of higher learning that has strong tradition and history in Brazil. It has campuses for undergraduate and postgraduate studies in São Paulo (Campus Higienópolis), Campinas, Barueri (Campus Alphaville), Brasilia, Recife and Rio de Janeiro. Founded in 1870 as the American School, Mackenzie is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Brazil. The university is regarded nationally and internationally as a center of excellence having graduated numerous important names in Brazilian history. Apart from its main campus in São Paulo, Mackenzie University has campuses in the city of Barueri as well as in Brasília, Campinas,Recife, and Rio de Janeiro for postgraduate and continuing education. The nickname “Mackenzista” is often used to refer to present or former students of Mackenzie. Source
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1 Comment

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