Note from BBT: You know I have to go here every now and then, so when I haven’t talked about it in a while, you can be sure that it’s not because there’s nothing to talk about, but simply that I haven’t gotten to it yet. If you haven’t figured it out yet, once again I speak of the ongoing palmitagem or swirling vs. black or Afrocentric love debate.
There’s been a number of developments that I could have discussed since my last discussion of this topic, including a number of black Brazilians weighing on popular African-American scholar Umar Johnson’s revisiting of the issue and the latest of Afro-Brazilian celebrities getting roasted for being ‘‘down with the swirl’’ or ‘’palmitando’’ as some black Brazilians would call it.
One of the names I would see from time to time get roasted up every now and then was the singer Mumuzinho, who got married a few years ago. As fate would have it, as I started writing today’s piece a few days ago, media platforms all began reporting that the singer’s two-year marriage was coming to an end. Although Mumuzinho was a target of accusations of being a palmiteiro, does this automatically mean he was in fact a palmiteiro?
In fact, I can’t really answer that question. It is a question for the person involved in the relationship. And only if that person is willing to do some serious self-analysis and reflection will they be able to say if they truly love their partners or if there were other motives for the interest and pursuit of said partner.
Some readers will remember when I reported on the ballerina, Ingrid Silva maybe a year and a half ago. Her story is incredible. But when I shared the fact that Silva had announced her pregnancy via her social profile account, one of my readers sent me a photo of the man she was pregnant by. It’s funny, the discussing of palmitagem always heats up when another black celebrity is discovered in a relationship with a white man or woman, but I didn’t actually see anyone discussing Silva. But apparently, that was the case as Silva felt the need to respond the criticism of her relationship.
Jun 15 @ingridsilva I am not obligated to anything only to what I want. These attacks also came from black people like me which is even more absurd and women which is sadder. What made me upset was questioning the lineage and ancestry of a 6-month-old child! And seriously, that?
Jun 15 — My daughter will always know her roots and history. This is very important for her formation as a human being. I don’t want to be a part of this. This is 2021! I hate this term “palmitagem”, it’s ridiculous.
Anyway, how fitting is it that as I was preparing yesterday’s story of the increase of black Brazilians choosing to find love among other black people that I would come across the posts of a popular social influencer on Instagram. As I’ve followed a number of black Brazilian media outlets for years, I’ve noted that there does seem to be a resistance of discussing the issue beyond the politically correct approach.
For example, back in April, one of the top black Brazilian websites, Mundo Negro, brought forth the fact that Dr. Umar Johnson again appeared on a popular American radio program and expressed his disapproval of interracial unions. After translating posting some of Johnson’s comments in Portuguese, the site made sure that its readers knew that the opinions expressed by Johnson were his own and then ended the article by asking readers to weigh in on what they thought. Was Johnson radical? Was he being balanced? Was he generalizing?
From what I’ve noticed in many Afro-Brazilian media platforms, most seem to sit on the fence on the issue as they probably know that most black Brazilians continue to see Johnson’s anti-interracial views as being ‘’reverse racist’’ or ‘’too radical’’ and, as social influencers, wouldn’t want to be associated with such views as Brazilian society as a whole deem such views as being racist.
This perspective always blows me away when we consider that Brazil’s openly stated goal starting in at least the late 19th century was the disappearance of the black population through interracial unions. Popular rapper Emicida hit the nail on the head when he said that Brazil applauds miscegenation only when it lightens the general skin tone of the nation’s people. Of course, Emicida is another Afro-Brazilian celebrity who has been called out for his own participation in the whitening process, but that’s another story and it doesn’t make what he said wrong.
In the midst of this debate, some social influencers are starting to clearly draw lines in the sand or at the minimum, push the discussion forward. As I mentioned in a previous, Alan Soares, one of the founders of the Black Money Movement has recently been posting comments that have been critical of palmitagem, clearly understanding that, without black love, black families and black children, a movement calling on black people to circulate black money within the community cannot survive.
alan.soares – We are back to normal programming. I once heard an old Rastafari man say, ‘These blacks are a bunch of idiots, they get rich and marry white women who would never look them in the face, have white kids, and their firstborns continue being oppressors.’
What do you think about Rasta’s opinion?
Let’s think about racism in Brazil, a country that always defended the idea of “Racial democracy” where people lived in harmony, romanticize interracial love and preach an idea that love has no color. If money has color, poverty has color, violence has color… why should only love be colorless?
I have news for you, if you have money and your children are born white, there is a great chance that they will be the owners of tomorrow’s system of oppression? So if you’ve made it this far, comment, put out your point of view and invite other friends to debate the issue.
*blackmoney *buyblack *blackmoney movement *blacklove
But even as there is a growing number of black Brazilian seeing widespread swirling as a danger to the black community, getting support for any sort of widespread support for Pan-Africanist ideologies will be a hard sell in a Brazil where mixing has been going on for so long. In an upcoming post, I will share a recent conversation that I had that re-iterated that.
For now, I wanted to share some comments posted on the IG account of the Revista Ébano Brasil page. Revista Ébano Brasil translates as Ebony Magazine Brazil, so I would imagine that the founders were influenced in some way by the classic African-American magazine of the same name. Anyway, recently, one of the key figures behind the page, Luana Safire, started a conversation on the issue of palmitagem and as usual, there were those who supported was she wrote and others who took offense to it. Check it out below.
luanasafire: INTERRACIAL LOVE EXISTS, and you need to respect this too. Stop questioning people’s interracial relationships, and understand that there is a RECREATIONAL RACISM that affects Afrocentric behavior and relationships as well. RACISM that brought guidelines such as the “Solitude of the black woman”. But before any approach to the topic, remember that true LOVE is interest-free, and the PALMITEIROS have no love for their partner. What he/she really has is interest. PALMITEIROS use white people as a social passport, to feel more accepted. And that’s where there are a lot of unhappy blacks out there…
revistaebanobrasil: We need to understand that people of different nationalities and races can love each other, yes.
But let’s get to the facts, shall we? A large part of the population has neither current nor ancestral racial knowledge, so they reproduce and buy what the media shows. How old were you when you have a black doll? How old and how many times have you seen a black protagonist of Brazilian soap operas and films, without being slaves or bandits? And a black family in margarine and biscuit/cookie commercials?
If the biggest reference and black idol in boys’ soccer is Pelé, who was in a relationship with the Rainha dos baixinhos (Queen of the Shorties) (popular children’s television host Xuxa Meneghel), who was blonde, and sported as a trophy, what did the black boys want?
If the media has always placed black women as the ones who are only good for scrubbing toilets, serving white people who are incapable of having a family, how can we fight each other over one of the greatest weapons of racism, which is the rivalry and the extermination of black people, through the “let’s make the family lighter” ideal?
I think we need to get out of the bubble and better understand what happened before, for all of this to get this far.
But soon I’m going to make a video explaining my point of view on this. But I want all people to find a love that cares and respects you. Here I reinforce amor preto, black love, to break the formula of racism that affects black women.
Black women are not a piece of meat. They are women who also have dignity and deserve to be valued, loved and respected. But she also needs to understand that there is a trap of racism, so that they can be alone, and submit to the interests of those who know that the foundation of the pillar of society is black women… WHITE MEN.
Let’s reflect… White men had their wives, but they wanted the black ones. Brazil is the result of the rape of black women. So, whose main interest is the black woman’s loneliness? THE RACISTS! They want black women to serve their domestic and sexual interests.
Remember that RACISM is a man’s work, not a white woman’s.
Be strategic and stop fighting over the trap of racism. ADM @luanasafire #revistaebanobrasil #ebanobrasil
cris_ :My story is a little sad, I am the daughter of a black father and a white mother and I was forbidden by my father to get in relationships with black men (with death threats, he would kill both), even though it was my preference since I was little. I only had the courage to love a black man at the end of my father’s life. I don’t take grievances, I loved my father but this made me err for long years with superficial loves. I can’t explain what to say about my story.
gilberto: Today, in addition to what was mentioned, which I congratulate the writers beautiful, beautiful point of view, I also see the need, in the relationship, for the person, whether white or black, to understand the racial issues that permeate the black person, both must know, I believe. There are marks on the black person that not even he/she, often times, understands. I speak for myself, even though I have come back to know more about various issues of gender, class, and color, and understand myself better, I notice that it is difficult for me to understand many aspects of myself that were shaped mainly by being born and growing up black, in a family of blacks. So, I think, if for me, or for others, it’s difficult, how much more it is for the other person, and for another white person, who often isn’t interested, or “hasn’t had” opportunities to think about these issues.
poliana: Exactly. I am the result of an interracial love that has lasted for over 40 years and I have two brothers who are also the result of the same love. I have also been in an interracial relationship for 16 years and I have two beautiful daughters. Calling my father or me palmiteiros is a pejorative way to reduce two beautiful relationships of affection!
roseme: This, ‘let’s get to know our origins’ is wonderful!
anaf: EXACTLY THERE ARE MANY WHITES THAT LOVE BLACKS, YES!!!!!
ana: I can’t talk about other people’s lives, M., only about mine and the only man with whom I intend to have an interracial relationship is the non-white man. E.g.: indigenous (yes, it happened to me). In my experience, relationships with white men were just a great way to waste time, nothing more. It doesn’t matter how awesome you are (and I have plenty of reasons to think I’m wonderful). Anyway, I’ve become afrocentric recently. Of course, in the combo there must be several predicates, I don’t get a black man just because I’m black, but it’s on the checklist.
o: Yes yes, I myself am the child of an interracial love. Of course, within these relationships there is indeed a rooted racism and such, but there is also love and those who love, care and take care of themselves, change and think of being better
useg If love is free, why this segregation that black can only date black!
revistaebanobrasil: @usegialves Did you read the subtitle? I highly recommend it! So, you will understand that I say that love is free, regardless of race
cam: Look I don’t even know where to start! I, Cam married to a white man, who loves me, respects me and assumes that I am happy and I HATE the term palmitagem. My husband feels bad when our relationship is questioned, when we are looked at by others on the street. As for me, this term hurts me, hurts me and I sometimes feel segregated by other black women since I chose to palmitar. No people, I didn’t choose, I fell in love. But I also fell in love with black men, black and fat men and NONE of them wanted me, NONE of them assumed me, took me home to mother and chose to experience a relationship with me. One of them in high school even met my family, but at school we only dated underground. The other fat black one, didn’t assume me, and swapped me for a standard black woman. In short.
revistaebanobrasil: @cam I understand, but did you read the text in the caption? I say that there is interracial love, and I explain that palmitagem is a game of interests. If you chose to LOVE regardless of race, that’s not palmitagem, it’s love. Palmiteiros use a white person, to feel accepted within the racist society
rafaela: White women also have and have always had racial interests and privileges. How is racism not the result of white women?
leanna: See this @mcthaty? Interracial love does exist.
sofia: wonderful your positioning @luanasafire, we black women are beautiful and we have to raise our self-esteem.
Thiago great analysis on both sides. But @pretitude’s text is surgical…
Note from BBT: As we can see, this remains a highly necessary discussion. Some of the things that people wrote above were really noteworthy, such as the woman who said her own black father forbid her to date black men. I’ve said it before, when you understand how black people are conditioned in Brazil in terms of racial issues, it becomes clear as to why so many people are taking issue with interracial unions. Of course, this has nothing to do with me, but the fact is, black Brazilians will need to honestly look at this issue and decide which way they are going.