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Racial hatred is still very much alive in Brazil

On more than one occasion President Jair Bolsonarohas been criticised for his racist speeches not only against black people but also against the indigenous, women and the LGBT community.


Osvaldo Cardosa


Still fresh in our memories is the moment that Bolsonaro was convicted in the Federal Court of Rio de Janeiro for stating that the quilombolas (Afro-Brazili

ans) are “good for nothing”, not even for procreation.

The Federal Public Attorney’s Office imposed a fine on the former army officer and demanded that he pay 300,000 reals ($75,000) in compensation to the quilombolas communities. In the end, however, he was only ordered to pay 50,000 reals ($12,500) to the Fund for the Defence of Diffuse Rights.

Other examples demonstrate the overt racism of the

exmilitary officer, for example, when he was asked what he would do if his son married a black woman, he responded that his son “had been raised properly”.

Recently, Bolsonaro won the prize ‘racist of the year’ awarded by Survival International, a global movement which defends indigenous rights.

About ten Brazilian indigenous leaders protested outside of the Brazilian Embassy in London against the government’s actions and the far-right president’s statements that attack thier communities.

In light of these events, political commentators warn about what to expect in a society in which a convicted racist is elected.

In October, the only two black coaches in the first division of Brazilian football joined forces to protest against racism in football.

Fluminense, managed by Marcão, won 2-0 against Bahía, managed by Roger Machado, in the legendary Maracaná football stadium but the most notable thing about that day was the identical t-shirts worn by the trainers in supoprt of a campaign against racism.

They both wore black t-shirts from the Observatory of Racial Discrimination in Football, with a design on the front of an open hand signalling a ‘stop’ to racism.

After the match and when asked, Machado established his position on prejudice in football and society.

“Denying it and staying silent is condoning racism. My position as a black man in the football elite confirms it. The worst prejudice that I have experienced was not an insult. There is racism when I go to a restaurant and I am the only black person there. I was the only black person at my university graduation. This is proof to me that it still exists”, the 44 year old trainer reaffirmed.

“If there isn’t discrimination in Brazil why do black people leave school earlier than white people? Why are black people paid less?… there are various forms of discrimination”, he stated.

According to a survey carried out by the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion (IBOPE), requested by the São Paulo Nossa Network, seven in 10 people belive that racism has either stayed at the same level or risen over the last 10 years in the Brazilian capital.

The study showed that for roughly 70% of those interviewed, shopping centres and supermarkets are the places where the difference in treatment between black people and white people is most noticeable.

“Three quarters of the population believe that racist and discriminatory comments or jokes encourage racism. This is a depiction of how the use of social media needs to be much more responsible”, Carolina La Terza points out, project advisor for the São Paulo Nossa Network, cited in the Rede Brazil Atual portal.

The workplace is also an enviornment in which racism is present. 60% of those asked noticed differences in the treatement between balck people and white people.

The Ministry of Work recognises that this prejudice is due to appearance, difference in salary and the absence of black people in managerial positions.

“We have had an important step forward regarding the admission of young black people into university, but we have identified that thre is still an invisible barrier in respect of access to the to job market, including qualified professionals that cannot progress in their careers”, Elisiane Santos confirmed, public attorney for working relations. (PL)

(Translated by Corrine Harries – Email: – Photos: PxHere & Pixabay



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