After rejection of correspondence, young white male made several racial slurs
An 18 year old woman was a victim of racism in the city of Timóteo (state of Minas Gerais), for rejecting romantic advances from a young man. The woman, Nicole, met Wallace Braga, 21, in a social networking site through the internet and started conversing.
After showing interest in the young woman and not being reciprocated, Braga insulted Nicole with racist abuse. She copied the conversation and said she would go to the police, but the youth continued with insults writing that he would not be punished.
After rejecting Braga’s advances, the conversation went as follows (translation of photo above):
Braga: I have white skin, straight hair and green eyes. You’re nothing more than a dark-eyed, nappy-haired black. Black is all shit.
Nicole: Prejudice can lead to jail, did you know that?
Braga: I’m scared to death of you
There are a few things to note from this brief exchange from the land that everyone insists is not as racist as other countries. First of all, the young man’s advances speak to the belief that racism doesn’t/cannot exist in Brazil because of the relatively high rate of interracial dating, relationships and marriages. But after the young man’s advances were rejected, he immediately went into racist insult mode demeaning the young woman’s race. In Brazil, many social scientists point to a common proverb that speaks to the issue of race, sex and social hierarchy: “White woman for marriage, mulata women for fornication and black women for work.” In this sense, a sexually attractive woman of African ancestry is deemed worthy of sexual activity but not the full involvement of a relationship. While no one can say for sure what this man’s intentions were, he obviously saw the young woman as being inferior because of his being white and her being black. After all, if he saw her as an equal in the social hierarchy, why the need to insult her race? In my view, his words and actions can be summed up this way: “Well, she’s black, but she’s cute. She doesn’t want me? Oh well, she’s just a black chick; I only wanted to (fill in the blank) her anyway.”
The next thing to note here is that the young man clearly recognized that Brazilian society places higher value on persons of “white skin, straight hair and green eyes” as he proudly stated. As we have seen in many examples on this blog, the privileged position of a European phenotype is clearly evident in Brazil and, as one can note from the countless insults, attitudes and confrontations, the premium placed on a more European appearance is not lost on the population, both from the perceived superiority of those who possess this standard of beauty as well as an assumed position of inferiority on the part of those who do not fit this ideal.
The third thing of note here is that the young man seemed to know or at least believe that his actions would probably not be punished, another sense of privilege that those possessing a European phenotype have noted and/or accepted in the maintenance of an unequal society based on race as well as class and the inextricable connection between the two. Many proclaim that racism is punishable by law in Brazil, and while this is legally true, the reality is that 1) many Afro-Brazilians don’t pursue cases of racism due to the belief that nothing will be done in these cases, 2) racism is often hard to prove, 3) accusations of racism are subject to interpretation.
The woman involved in the above case, Nicole, printed the conversations from the internet and presented them to the Civil Police. According to the police chief that handled the case, the police department will initiate an inquiry into the complaint, which at first should fall into racial insults and defamation category.