Black Women of Brazil

The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

“I would detest being attended by a black doctor or lawyer”: University professor provokes anger with comments made in classroom


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Note from BW of Brazil: As Brazilian society is permeated with racist ideologies, it should come as no surprise that the college campus is also a site where one comes across racist sentiments. As a matter of fact, it is partially due to a system of affirmative action initiated over a decade ago to increase access of Afro-Brazilian students that has forced the nation to deal with the racial question that it has long denied even existed. On college campuses, we’ve seen displays of allegiance to Hitler, examples in the belief of the “place” of blacks in Brazilian society (here and here) and even firebombing of the dormitories of African immigrants. We’ve also seen professors express the idea that Afro-Brazilian presence in college is strange even when they consistently prove they are capable of the competing at the college level. Today we provide yet another example of how college professors are simply an example of how many in the society at large continue to feel. 

UFES students denounce professor for prejudice inside the classroom

Students were outraged by comments made against blacks and affirmative action students made in the classroom

by Iara Diniz

Professor’s statements were heard during class at Goiabeiras Campus

Economics professor at the center of controversy due to statements

Economics professor at the center of controversy due to statements

“I would detest being served by a black doctor or lawyer.” The phrase was attributed to a professor of economics and was uttered during a class debate on Monday afternoon (3) at the Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES). During the discussion, most students left the room, outraged with the professor’s attitude.

The debate which angered the university students was during a class of Introdução à Economia Política (Introduction to Political Economy) in the course of the second period of Social Sciences. One student raised a question about quotas in the university, which would have triggered the discussion.

“He said that the cotistas (quota students) could not keep up with the classes like other students and because of this he had to use a more accessible language and lower the level of his classes so that everyone could understand it,” said a 19-year old student.

The discussion got even stronger when, according to students, the professor made prejudicial statements. “He said that blacks and poor had no access to culture, making it clear that they have not reached the cultural level of whites. Then he said: ‘Quota students diminish the quality of the university. I would detest being seen by a black doctor or lawyer,” angrily reported a 19-year old student.

After the professor’s comment, the student, who is a cotista, left the class outraged and offended. “I am poor and a cotista and felt offended. Another student came out crying. As much as I debated, he is the authority here,” he said.

After the discussion, students sought the professor of the Department of Social Sciences, Andréa Mongim, which has a group of studies on quotas for help. “It is absurd that we have professors with this conception. It’s this kind of prejudice that leads to the evasion of many cotistas from the university, and not a lack of capacity,” she said.

Students posted flyers around the school denouncing the 'racist professor': "I would detest being attended by a black doctor or lawyer"

Students posted flyers around the school denouncing the ‘racist professor’: “I would detest being attended by a black doctor or lawyer”

Students spread posters around the university under the title “Professor Racista” (Racist Professor). They also turned to social media to denounce and repudiate the professor’s attitude. An administrative complaint was drafted by the student group and forwarded to the Ombudsman of UFES.

The professor was sought for comments but he did not take or return the calls.

Other side

Ombudsman received no complaint

The ombudsman of UFES, Ricardo Behr, said that up to 6pm Monday (3), while at the institution, no complaint had been registered. He ensured that all manifestations are analyzed by him accurately. He explained that the function of the Ombudsman is to ensure rights to students and people who work at the university. After the complaint, he seeks to talk to people and resolve the problem with an agreement between the parties, depending on the severity of the complaint. If something is of high relevance, the manifestation is forwarded to the director of the teaching center, which opens up an inquiry to examine the case. This director selects some people to form a committee, which has a certain time to analyze the situation. In the case that  the director finds that the situation was serious he forwards it directly to the dean, who will open an administrative inquiry.

Judge denounces and calls professor a Nazi

Professor said in class that quota students decrease the level of the university

Report by Vinícius Rangel

Judge Willian Silva made a criminal denouncement against professor

Judge Willian Silva made a criminal denouncement against professor

Outraged by the statements of Professor Manoel Luiz Malaguti against black affirmative action students of the Federal University of Espírito Santo (Ufes), Judge William Silva, of the Tribunal de Justiça do Espírito Santo (TJES or Court of Espírito Santo), he presented a criminal representation to federal prosecutors against the professor.

Malaguti said that he needed to reduce the level of his classes to reach black quota students.

“The subject making a statement like this is as if he is adopting the philosophy of Hitler. He is a Nazi, he could not be in a college,” defended the judge, in an interview with TV Justiça. In the representation, he emphasizes that Malaguti adopted “an obviously biased discourse in relation to black students.”

“I feel with dignity and decorum offended in my condition as a black judge from a poor family, a lawyer for several years before entering the career of the judiciary and today the first black judge from Espírito Santo,” said the representative, according to the notice from TJES.

The Center for Law and Economic Sciences (CCJE), where professor Malaguti is part of the faculty, opened an inquiry to investigate his actions during class on Monday.

“If the allegations are proven, the result of the inquiry will be forwarded to the rectory to open an administrative inquiry,” explains a note of communication from UFES. The inquiry commission has 90 days to investigate the case.

The professor has already responded to four administrative processes from 2010 to 2014. The punishments ranged from fines to disciplinary suspension for 30 days, according to UFES. The reasons that prompted the opening of the four processes were not revealed. The Centro de Ciências Humanas e Naturais (CCHN or Center for Humanities and Natural Sciences) that houses the Social Sciences course, will wait until the end of the investigation to position itself.

“If it in fact occurred, it’s really very serious. We repudiate any form of discrimination. We’ll wait,” said Professor Renato Rodrigues Neto, director of CCHN.

He explained that, in accordance with what is determined from the investigation, punishment for professor Malaguti can range from a verbal warning to dismissal.

Source: Gazeta Online, Gazeta Online (2)

15 comments on ““I would detest being attended by a black doctor or lawyer”: University professor provokes anger with comments made in classroom

  1. Malcolm X
    November 7, 2014

    Whites want to keep a system in place in Brazil that only favors them! Afro-Brazilians need to stand up and fight for equality. Afro-Brazilians need to look to Black South Africans and African-Americans who defeated their white oppressors as role models! Equality can be achieved if Afro-Brazilians are willing to fight!

    • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
      November 7, 2014

      Appreciate the comment. But remember we’re all in the same boat. African-Americans NEVER defeated their white oppressors and neither did Black South Africans. In both situations people have been massively deceived as the both group continue to be overtly oppressed today! I would argue that even though African-Americans and black South Africans had well-known leaders, these two groups are in essence in the same situation as Afro-Brazilians who never had a real movement and well-known leader.

      • Malcolm X
        November 8, 2014

        What do you mean that African-Americans haven’t defeated their white oppressors? In the United States, because of the Civil Rights Movement, racist whites are punished for engaging in racism. Look at what happened with Basketball Team Owner Donald Sterling. He engaged in racism against African-Americans and for that, he was punished and no longer owns the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association in the United States. Are whites punished in Brazil for engaging in racism? NO! Whites need to learn that there are consequences for being racist. In the United States, many whites have lost their jobs and have been condemned for supporting white racism and white supremacy.

      • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
        November 8, 2014

        Are you serious? I don’t want to get into a debate here because I already see that you believe the hype. But please, do some research. The Civil Rights Movement was one of the biggest scams in history.

        Ask yourself:

        1) What is the situation of the black community?
        2) How many businesses do blacks own in their own community?
        3) How many banks do blacks own?
        4) How many sports teams do blacks own?
        5) How many major media outlets do blacks own?
        6) What is the situation under Obama vs. Bush?
        7) Why do so many whites routinely get away with killing blacks?
        8) Why are the schools in black communities so bad?
        9) How many black senators do you have that represent the black community?

        There are too many questions which point to the situation being the same as it was 50 years ago. Don’t let black millionaires deceive you because they don’t represent the community or its interests.

        The Donald Sterling situation was also a sham. I challenge you to research it and find the truth. And I don’t mean at THE ROOT or THE GRIO.

        When you honestly respond to these questions then we can have a real conversation. Until then, you have been deceived….

      • jcoleknowsbest
        November 8, 2014

        You are absolutely right.. I can stand when black people who are not afro-brasilian suddenly have all the answers.. especially considering that a black person is shot in the U.S. by the police every 28 hours.. So I wish black non-brasilians would stop with the self righteous bullshit.. We are literally in the same boat as brasilians..

  2. Malcolm X
    November 7, 2014

    Racist whites in the United States spent centuries intimidating African-Americans and denying them equality. Finally, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, African-Americans, under the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr., rose up and fought for Civil Rights and defeated the racist Southern whites in the United States. Because of Martin Luther King Jr. and his efforts, the United States has a Black President named Barack Obama who is married to a beautiful black woman!

    • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
      November 7, 2014

      It’s time people learn the truth. MLK and the whole Civil Rights Movement was in fact a sham used to deceive the masses of African-Americans. Barack Obama is equally a sham. A figure head who is simply a pawn to continue and even strengthen white supremacy with a black face. It doesn’t matter if there is a black president if he does nothing for the people he is expected to represent.

      • Malcolm X
        November 8, 2014

        In the United States, white supremacy is weakening and will be destroyed. Whites are becoming a racial minority in the United States. President Obama won election, not because of whites who greatly oppose him, but because of African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and Asian-Americans. Non-whites are poised to rule the United States! By 2025, whites in America should be a racial minority!

      • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
        November 8, 2014

        Obama is also a sham. Tell me, who has he done more for: Latinos, gays or blacks? He is not your president; he is simply a pawn like any other politician. He has successfully fooled you because he’s black…

  3. Malcolm X
    November 7, 2014

    Black Brazilians should never back down from dealing with white racism!

  4. Dude
    November 7, 2014

    Funny thing is that this guy wouldn’t be considered white in MANY parts of the world. Maybe someone should just make him spend a year in Russia and see if he learn his lesson.

  5. Jules
    November 8, 2014

    What is the real issue here? The issue is once again not being in your place. The title of lawyer and doctor are not in his mind fitting for Blacks, they are once again out of their place. Did he say he would detest being attended to by a black waiter, store clerk, shoe shine person, servant. No, he said he would detest being attended to by a black person in the educated class, a person who has advanced studies and is in a noble profession. For him and many like him, how dare Blacks have ambition or wants to enter notable professions, what he truly hates is Black advancement, respectability, earning power and wealth, that is what he truly hates. A lawyer or doctor does not fit in the already appointed slots for Blacks to neatly slip into when it comes to employment; serve me, but not in a serving position where you are superior to me. Serve me by bringing me my dinner, not by healing my ailment with letters behind your name. You cannot possibly be as smart as me, or have completed the rigors of medical and law school when I haven’t done the same – this is the real issue.

    What should black ppl in Brazil do? keep reaching for the stars, become a part of the educated class. Enter professions that are universally transferable, so you are open to employment anywhere in the world should the system in Brazil curb your advancement. Feel no shame or let anybody tell you that reaching for the top is not your place or wishful thinking. Success is the best revenge!

  6. bamabrasileira
    November 9, 2014

    It is difficult to truly compare the US to Brazil. I would say that Brazilians are more oppressed because they make up more than half the country, and yet, they seem to have almost absolutely no voice where it matters most. This seems to be changing though, as more Brazilians empower themselves to speak out.

    In the US, on the other hand, Blacks make up only about 13% of the population. While there is a lot of poverty in the Black community there, due to the covert white supremecy that is still practiced there, if you actually spend time there walking around (rather than just reading negative and racist newspaper articles about Black people, or lumping us all together, rather than accepting that we are a diverse population) you will see a very different picture indeed. What you do not see enough of in the media there (but, which actually exists there -unlike in Brazil) is middle class and rich Black people, Black politicians, Black people living in nice neighborhoods, Black authors who are widely read and respected, Black entertainers and sports heroes (of course), the vilification of destructive language toward Black people (though, of course, some people still use it from time to time), Black film stars, tv shows staring black people, notable Black film directors (who have a strong audience and actually make money off their films), Black doctors/lawyers/business owners/CEOs/, popular Black talk show and radio show hosts, Black news reporters etc. Hardly any of these things, however, can be observed in Brazil., despite the fact that half the population considers themselves Black. A lot of people claim that Affirmative Actiion “failed” in North America, so Brazil should not adopt the policies. But the millions of us who have benefitted from Affirmative Action policies – many of which we never even know about – would say otherwise.

    I do think, however, the situation in Brazil is changing, as Blacks in Brazil begin to own their collective power. I keep laughing my ass off about the election, because no one wants to publically admit that the country is RACIALLY divided (as opposed to simply being divided by class), and that PT – the party with policies geared specifically toward the marginalized people of society – won that election with a confidence of 53% of the vote (almost mirroring the percentage of self-identified Blacks in the country).

    I would also not necessarily consider Obama a “pawn”. What we are witnessing with him is a phenomenon that those of us Blacks who have been the first to move into traditionally white spaces know all too well, but which is necessary. Anytime you have Black people being the “first” to do anything notable, there will be resistance and sabotage from the dominant society, until our presence becomes normalized in those spaces. Obama is being hazed as many “first” Blacks before him have been hazed when setting the precedent of “Black people in white spaces”. Black Americans have known this would happen, which is why he still retains an 85% approval rating among Black voters. White media will not broadly boast his accomplishments, but the fact is that his policies (though they have been rigorously resisted by the white supremecist Republican party) have brought the country out of recession, moved the job market back into positive net growth, provided health care for millions of Americans who did not have it, via the Affordable Care Act (though Republicans are will try to destroy it). He has also opened the door for Black members ofthe opposing political party to move into more substantial positions of political governance. However, he has been a necessary figure to open the door for other Blacks to go for the gold politically, and is an example for what is possible for us.

    Also, anyone who does not think the Civil Rights Movement provided the stage for Black people to acheive more within the society, well, I would encourage you to talk to Blacks who were alive before the movement, as they will tell you otherwise. Progress still must be made, of course, but, in reality, if you are not a poor Black person in the USA – as many of us are not – you will see a very different story.

  7. bamabrasileira
    November 9, 2014

    Also, I am SO happy to see the Black community of Brazil putting this racist, horse-faced “professor” on blast for his racism! I hope to continue to see this type of community reporting, since the national media often does not cover these types of stories!

    • Brazilian
      November 10, 2014

      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      😀

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This entry was posted on November 6, 2014 by in Espírito Santo, Vitória and tagged , , , , .
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