Note from BW of Brazil: An episode from last week involving the black weather girl on Brazil’s top TV network and it’s subsequent fall out is a perfect example of how Brazil likes to pretend to be against racism while actually doing nothing to fight it. This year, Globo celebrated it’s 50th year on the air and even though the network remains number among the nation’s national TV networks, a rising consciousness among citizens are seeing through the network’s methods of manipulation, twisting of public opinion and the maintenance of the status quo. To have an idea of how the network has mastered the art of manipulation, one should take a look at the 1993 BBC documentary Beyond Citizen Kane. According to Wikipedia, “Globo’s president and founder Roberto Marinho was criticized and compared to the fictional newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane, created by Orson Welles for the 1941 film Citizen Kane. According to the documentary, Marinho’s media group engages in manipulation of news to influence public opinion.”
Globo rejected the documentary’s view and went to court to stop a screening of the film in Rio de Janeiro in 1994. Military Police confiscated advertisements of the film and it was never aired on Brazilian television or released in movie theaters. But due to its content, the film became highly bootlegged and today is widely available on You Tube (Source). With this latest incident involving racism and a typically Globo way of of approaching, or rather, maneuvering around the topic. For those who have followed the network’s tactics over the years, this latest incident was very obvious and a shallow attempt of getting around a topic that it has never clearly approached. The people at the Facebook page Anarquistas ensinam (anarchists teach) clearly let it known how they felt about this latest piece of propaganda. Below is what recently appeared on the page in regards to Jornal Nacional’s ‘support’ of the weathergirl Maria Júlia Coutinho.
From the Anarquistas ensinam (anarchists teach) page
The #RedeGoebbels (Goebbels network) is racist and of the right. Ali Kamel, head of journalism, is a Nazi scoundrel. Jornal Nacional and Globo are experiencing a crisis, much of which is the fault of the internet. The JN network support team works 24 hours didn’t denounce and deleted the racist comments as it should do. All indicates that a good part of profiles were fakes. A well-articulated campaign went viral immediately connecting TV and internet. There is a systematic movement to remove the anti-capitalist content of the struggles against racism and homophobia. Babylon is capable of anything except getting off our backs.
And still they want to at the same time that they defend the extermination of black people, appropriating their pain when it is most convenient. They are not and we are not all Maju! It’s worth it including us of the left: supporting is not being. Empathy cannot rhyme with deletion!
#VaiSeFuderWillianBonner (Go fuck yourself William Bonner)
#GloboRacista (Racist Globo)
Note from BW of Brazil: For our position on the whole charade, see a previous post. Below is how Djamila Ribeiro saw it.
Brazil: where racists are only surprised by the racism of others
By Djamila Ribeiro
You can’t have selective indignation, be revolted with what happened to the journalist but remain silent when it’s with the doorman, the boy from the periphery
Maria Júlia Coutinho, weather reporter from Jornal Nacional, was the target of racists on social networks
As was widely reported during the week, Maria Júlia Coutinho, affectionately called Maju, the “weather girl” on Jornal Nacional, was the target of racist comments on social networks. Quickly campaigns to support her were created, people demonstrating against the episode and the hashtag Somos todas Maju (We are all Maju) led the trend topics of Twitter.
Obviously I sympathize with Maju, as a black woman that positions herself, I know what it is to receive offenses on social networks from clueless people. But what intrigues me is the lack of criticality of many people who stood in solidarity.
When I saw some people in my network of friends get surprised with the offense, my desire was to say: darlings, it’s the same thing you did to me at school, remember? Remember boys that you ran from me at the time of the festa junina (1) saying categorically: “I will not dance with a neguinha.” I almost wrote to a colleague who was disgusted if he remembered that he was surprised to learn that I was doing a Masters in political philosophy and spoke other languages when he met me and still said he was surprised, “wow, you are really intelligent, even if you were blonde you would be a phenomenon.”
To those that say “in the middle of the XXI century and it still happens” lack knowledge of the history of Brazil, that this country was founded on racism, it’s structural. I’m surprised at the surprise of those people. As I always say, you do not need to read Franz Fanon, just turn on the TV. In a country with a 52% black population, why are those same people not surprised by the absence of black people on TV? Why not create a campaign called Por uma TV menos eurocêntrica (For a less Eurocentric TV), for example?
Is whoever works in education and was outraged working with law 10.639? It is a 2003 law amending the Law of Education guidelines and bases of education and forces the inclusion of the teaching of the history of Africa and Afro-Brazilians in school.
Do they disrupt the classroom when a student makes racist offenses to another or says this is a joke and does nothing? Does whoever is an employer hire black professionals? It is urgent that white people discuss racism by the bias of branquitude (whiteness), that they question themselves. That they reflect and ask themselves: how many times have I contributed to the low esteem of my black friend making jokes about her hair? How many times did I try to destroy the dream of a black person for thinking that the daughter of my black maid could not go to college with my son and indeed serve future generations? How many times have I naturalized that black women were to serve me rather to understand that they are pushed to such jobs because of racism and structural machismo?
Without these questions it’s pointless to show indignation. Campaigns that don’t stir up the structures and don’t question privileges are already abundant. It’s no use rebelling with offenses that Maju suffered thinking that these are isolated things that only happen sometimes when racism is a reality to which many turn a blind eye.
It’s no use bothering with these offenses and being against quotas, being a fan of the brainless of (comedian/late night talk show host Danilo) Gentilli, calling militants victim players when they point out racism; or being in favor of reducing the age of criminal responsibility when you know that this will only incarcerate young blacks because one judges that rich young whites or of the middle class are those from good families who made a mistake.
It’s no use having selective indignation, become revolted with what happened to the journalist, but remain silent when it’s with the doorman, the boy from the periphery.
In Brazil even whoever stands against certain racist attitudes doesn’t know or pretends not to know how racism works. Racism is a system of oppression that denies rights and goes beyond offenses. As (anthropologist) Kabengele Munanga said: “Racism is a perfect crime in Brazil because whoever commits it thinks that the blame is on the victims themselves, moreover destroying the conscience of Brazilian citizens about race. In that sense it’s a perfect crime.”
All solidarity with Maju and all outrage pertaining to the hypocrisy. Yes, Brazil is racist and racial hatred against the black population has existed since the first slave ship arrived here.
Source: Carta Capital
1. Festa Junina, also known as festa de São João for their part in celebrating the nativity of St. John the Baptist, are the annual Brazilian celebrations historically related to European Midsummer that take place in the beginning of the Brazilian winter. These festivities, which were introduced by the Portuguese during the colonial period (1500-1822), are celebrated during the month of June nationwide both in Brazil and Portugal. The feast is mainly celebrated on the eves of the Catholic solemnities of Saint Anthony, Saint John the Baptist, and Saint Peter. Source