Note from BW of Brazil: It is a common theme among activists and also on this blog. Foreigners such as African-American activist Angela Davis, Mozambican writer Paulina Chiziane and African-American filmmaker Spike Lee are among the critics who have criticized the whiteness of Brazil’s airwaves as well as a number of Afro-Brazilians. In the coming days we will provide an excellent reason for why a Brazil of a 51% non-white majority looks as if it were an extension of Europe in South America. But for now, here is a brief analysis of the situation by one of the few well-known Afro-Brazilian journalists.
We are far from a racial democracy on Brazilian TV
By Maria Frô
Racism is so powerful that it criminalizes the victim and victimizes the executioner, from poorly elaborated interventions of professionals in the school when a child is beaten by others and doesn’t receive help to the biased criticism of those who do not overcome racism and, on the reaction of victims, argues that Brazil “is annoyed with its politically correct.” We see a good example of this argument in the animated cartoon of Maurício Ricardo (translated subtitles below video).
Note from BW of Brazil: The video is very typical of the attitude of many white Brazilians who accuse Afro-Brazilians of seeing racism in everything now that this population is more conscious of racism and more likely to stand up to this type of behavior, an about face from widespread passivity of the decades before the 1990s.
Because times change
Black man: As, the 1970s! The cuckolded man killed his woman and didn’t go to jail with a basis in the thesis of “legitimate defense of honor”!
Black man: If the guy would affirm that his wife did marry as a virgin, she could be submitted to a gynecological exam and the marriage annulled!
Black man: And the father had the right to disown his dishonest daughter!
Blond: Daughter…a thief?
Black man: No, dishonest was the daughter that lost her virginity without marrying and ran away from home to live with someone!
Blond: That was being “dishonest”?
Black man: In the law, because Brazilian society of the 1970s they were called sluts, vagabonds and whores.
Blond: But I was speaking of the humor of the 1970s!
Black man: I am speaking of the 1970s! Do you want to go back then to laugh?
“The one who has to overcome racial prejudice are not blacks, victims of this sordid prejudice,” says journalist Luciana Barreto, host of the journal Repórter Brasil in Rio de Janeiro, interviewed on the Ver TV program on TV Brasil, hosted by the professor Lalo Filho.
Luciana makes pertinent criticisms mainly at the monopolized media that instead of fighting racism gives still greater voice to racists.
“When I was a kid and saw TV and saw myself excluded from Brazilian TV, as well as the poor child seeing themselves excluded from the market, see themselves excluded from everything, see themselves excluded from the presence of the country at home because they are working, see themselves excluded from a quality education, because he studies in shabby schools without a quality education (..)”
Imagine what it is to be a poor black child in Brazil…
Imagine the role that television would have in the construction of a positive identity for this poor black child in Brazil. Poor, black, indigenous, northeasterner.
Imagine what role television would have on the construction of this positive identity.
Imagine the potential that Brazil would have of growth with young people who had early on a construction of a positive identity.
But what we see today is a Brazil, is a television, is a public concession that excludes the majority of Brazilian children. This is what we see today in Brazil and the exclusion has serious risks to society, we are seeing here.”
Luciana touches on the center point of how the TV is harmful in the formation of the identity of black and white Brazilian children, incapable of representing the diversity of the Brazilian population, incapable of creating positive representations of the black population, making difficult the creation of a positive identity for black children, black women and black youth.
The Repórter Brasil host argues that Brazilian television denies, distorts and devalues the figure of blacks in Brazil while it should celebrate black culture as an integral part of the identity of the country.
The journalist talks about her own experience as a journalist and reveals that the lack of black references occupying important positions on television made her disbelieve that that a career as a host was appropriate for her.
“We are especially hurting the identity of black women that can’t see themselves being represented in any position that requires a high level of education,” she explains.
The journalist believes that the acceptance of black culture and diversity as an essential pillar in the country’s identity is a key element for growth of Brazil as a whole.
Luciana reflects on the potential that the TV, it is worth remembering, a public concession, has in constructing a positive identity, but refuses to do so.
Your personal statement should convince parliamentarians, governments, educators of how to democratize Brazilian communication, how constructing a real communication in the country is vital for the proper development of full citizenship, not just for blacks, but for everyone because Brazilian society without overcoming racism will continue backward regardless of how many steps the country progresses economically.
It’s worth listening to each of Luciana’s arguments.
Source: Portal Portal Fórum
1. Didi and Mussum were characters of the popular Brazilian comedy group and television series Os Trapalhões that ran from 1977 to 1993 on the Globo TV network. Antônio Carlos Bernardes Gomes, known as Mussum on the series, was the black member of the quartet. The term “tição”, loosely meaning “soot” means black smoke, is a term used to describe a dirty or very dark-skinned person. During the slavery era the term “crioulo” referred to Africans born in Brazil. “Urubu” means vulture and “macaco” means monkey. For some, usage of term crioulo can be very pejorative depending on its usage, while urubu and macaco are very offensive insults with the latter being the most common racist insult used against Afro-Brazilians. Although tição has been commonly used for many years, it is increasingly seen as an insult in modern times.