Note from BBT: The more Brazil changes, the more it stays the same. Today’s piece i’m covering not so much because it’s shocking or anything, but because it continues a theme of other articles I’ve posted over the years. It is often said that there within little sneaky jokes, sometimes, if not often times, there something in there of which the person telling the joke really means, even saying it in a joking manner. I’ve heard these sort of jokes myself from white colleagues.
I remember one particular incident while working at a popular grocery story several years ago. In the backroom of the grocery area, I walked past a crate of outdated watermelons that a produce worker was preparing to the throw away. As I walked past with my flattop cart, a white employee, a guy probably 10-15 years older than I, looked and said ‘Yeah, Marques, I know you black guys go crazy at the site of so many watermelons,’ then he started laughing with that irritating laugh of his. Most of us knew this guy had racist tendencies and at that moment he pretty much confirmed what we all already knew.
In another incident from that same store, I was talking to another black stocker on the salesfloor about a scene in 1992 film Eddie Murphy film Boomerang. The guy I was talking to hadn’t seen the film so I began telling him about a scene in which actor Martin Lawrence was describing the racist origins of the game of pool.
In Lawrence’s break down, the white ball, representing the white man, dominates the whole game. On a green table, representing the earth, it knocks the red ball off of the table, the red ball referring to the Native American. He knocks the yellow ball off the table, representing the Asian man. Then, to win the game, he knocks the black ball off of the table, this ball representing the black man.
About 10 feet away from us, there was this white guy named Darren who was listening to the whole break down. After hearing how knocking the black ball/man off the table signified ‘game over’ and signalling the white ball/man’s dominance over the whole earth, Darren smugly said, ‘that’s the name of the game’. As the two of us looked into his eyes, it was obvious what he meant and how he felt.
In the piece below, we have another example of someone saying something that was supposedly a joke. The jokes that were told play on the fact that, similar to other comments in other articles on this blog, the association between black Brazilians, low-skilled labor and slavery remains strong in Brazil’s collective consciousness. So funny. I just can’t stop laughing…
Young woman denounces racism in the Navy: ‘She said I had to wash dishes because I’m black’
Courtesy of Pragmatismo Político
“I don’t like to remember because it makes me cry, it makes me tremble, it makes me want to run away because it hurts, it hurts a lot,” says a young black woman who denounced racism on the part of her colleague in the Navy. Racial aggressions have occurred on more than one occasion
Young woman denounces racism in the Navy had to wash dishes because I’m black
According to information from the G1 website, Marcelle reported that episodes of racism have happened twice, committed by the same person in the pantry of the Naval District, her name being Ticiany, 18 years old.
About a month ago the colleague refused to wash the dishes, saying that Marcelle should do it under the justification that she was black.
“So I told her: ‘today we are going to see who is going to wash the dishes’. She took it and said to me: ‘I’m not going to do the dishes. I said: ‘but I did the dishes the other day. I think it’s your turn to do the dishes. Do I always have to do them every day?” Then she said: “Yes, because you are black. Then she laughed and said she was kidding, that she was joking,” reported Marcelle.
According to the intern, again under the excuse that it was just ‘a joke’ the intern made racist comments again on Thursday (25).
“The intern Ticiany said: ‘there is such a store that is giving a job opening’. I said: ‘well, this place is a little heavy for me, it’s slavery for me. And she said: ‘What’s the matter, you’re black,’ says the young woman.
After the episode Marcelle remembers crying in the bathroom and remembering the traumas of her childhood, where she was “teased” because of her color.
Marcelle also says that remembering the episodes causes her pain and that it hurts a lot.
“I don’t even like to remember because it makes me cry, it makes me tremble, it makes me want to run away because it hurts, it hurts a lot.
The two instances of racism were committed near other people, however, Ticiany, was only given a verbal warning.
In view of this, a friend of Marcelle’s encouraged her to report the cases of racial intolerance at the Racial Crimes Police Station, in the Center. She also created a group to fight the crime inside the Pedro II school.
“I hope this will change someday because as it happened to me today, tomorrow I might have a child and it happen to him too.”
The young woman started her internship in the Navy in February of this year and intends to study pedagogy and join the military.
Source: Pragmatismo Político