Note from BW of Brazil: So what else is new here? Manifestations of racism in Brazil and at a college campus. Calling black people ‘monkeys’? We’ve seen it so often before that it’s nothing shocking here. We also know that for decades, Brazil defended itself against accusations of racism in the society by not only flatly denying its existence, but pointing to segregated societies such as the United States and South Africa to deflect attention from its own potent brand of racism (a fact that we’ve pointed out in numerous previous posts). No, this is nothing new. But what is striking in recent years has been the activism of Afro-Brazilian groups standing strong in the face of such racist manifestations. As they say, “Poder ao povo preto”, or Power to black people! Besides filing this as another case of daily racism in Brazilian society, we also see yet another example exposing the lie that if Afro-Brazilians earn an education, a good job and a good salary, they wouldn’t experience racism…Not that it exists in the first place, right?
“Racism? Not here! Only in the US or in South Africa”
A collective of black male and female students from Unesp in Bauru (SP) released on Monday (27) a letter of repudiation of racist inscriptions found on a wall of the university; authoring offenses as “negras fedem” (blacks stink) and “Juarez macaco” (monkey Juarez) in reference to a professor, will be investigated in an internal inquiry; see the students’ note
From the newsroom of Portal Revista Fórum
In response to racist inscriptions found on a wall of the Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp Paulista State University) in the city of Bauru last week, the collective Negro Kimpa, composed of black male and female students of the university, announced on Monday (27) a letter of repudiation.
In the text, students made irony of those who say there is no racism in Brazil, highlighting the bigoted and violent content of phrases, ranging from “Juarez macaco” (monkey Juarez) in reference to a black professor of the institution, to “negras fedem” (black women stink). The issue of violence directed toward women, in particular, was also highlighted.
“Acts of pure hatred only affirm the importance of groups like Kimpa and Abre-Alas, a feminist collective on the campus, after all, many of the offenses directed themselves in a forceful way toward black women, the most vulnerable group of Brazilian society,” they wrote.
The collective said it will open an internal inquiry to investigate the case. The directors of the Department of Architecture, Arts and Communication of Unesp said in a statement that it decided to open an investigatory process to determine those responsible for the graffiti and, if found, could even be expelled from the university.
Check out the full note of the students.
Last week, an act of extreme racial hatred on the Bauru campus of Unesp made us reflect and produce this note.
We don’t speak of the suspicious glances, nor about our objectification, much less on cultural appropriation. To these forms of violence, cruel and stressful, we, as pretas e pretos brasileiros (black Brazilian men and women), we are accustomed to facing this.
Sad but true.
Last week we saw a myth be put in check. The teachings of the racial democracy were not followed. They forgot that it’s in this country where the races live in harmony. They put aside the supposed unconditional love between black and white people. They didn’t recall the great mark of our lands is miscegenation, a fruit of the union of the people.
Racism? Not here! Only in the US or in South Africa.
Writings of extreme violence and cowardice were made in bathrooms in front of the Department of Social Communication, DCSO, and the Department of Humanities, DCHU, of the Unesp campus of Bauru.
Unesp cheia de macacos fedidos (Unesp full of stinky monkeys), “macaco fedido” (stinking monkey), “negras fedem” (blacks stink), “as negras da unesp” (the black women of unesp), “Juarez macaco (monkey Juarez). More than all this, in the end, the aggressor further questioned us. “O que vai fazer? Um coletivo.” (What are you going to do? A collective).
The answer to the stupid and ignorant question of this racist is simple. We will not make a collective. The Collective Negro Kimpa already exists and one of the reasons is that, bringing up racist acts such as these and destroying o mito da democracia racial (the myth of racial democracy).
Acts of pure hatred only affirm the importance of groups like Kimpa and Abre-Alas, a feminist collective of the campus, after all, many of the offenses directed themselves in a forceful way toward black women, the most vulnerable group of Brazilian society.
We also emphasize the strengthening of NUPE, Núcleo Negro da Unesp para Pesquisa e Extensão (Black Nucleus of Unesp for Research and Extension), a group coordinated by the brilliant professor and great militant Juarez Xavier. NUPE is a knowledge production space on ethnic/racial issues in the country and a large empowerment tool for black men and women to understand the mechanisms of racism in Brazil and how they may fight it.
It was possible, however, to expect something very different from the UNESP community. The university accepted the quota policy, but did not cause any debate about the ethnic/racial issues incisively, let alone thought about policies for this black population that make up the group of students, staff and faculty from Unesp. And the tendency is that these cases will only appear with more force. The greater presence of black men and women in the university, historically a space destined to branquitude (whiteness), generates discomfort. A discomfort is so great that it even comes destroying the racial democracy in Brazil.
Offences such as these will not make us retreat. Everything will be filed, as well as legal action will be taken. Racism is a crime and what was done is under investigation. Through NUPE, we will open an internal inquiry to investigate the case.
Finally, we would like to highlight the cowardly attitude. Offending the comunidade negra (black community) with writings in closed booths is the biggest demonstration possible of fear. Yes, Unesp will ficar preta (turn black). And if you’re uncomfortable, it is because our work is being well done. You can attack us, curse us, offend us. We will not retreat. Not one centimeter. We are ready to face it in all spheres.
Poder ao povo preto (Power to black people)!”
Coletivo Negro Kimpa (Black Kimpa Collective)
Source: Portal Revista Fórum