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“Haitians, you steal our jobs!” – Xenophobia and racism flare up again as six Haitian immigrants shot in São Paulo


Haitian immigrants get together in downtown São Paulo

Haitian immigrants get together in downtown São Paulo

Note from BW of Brazil: So when is it that Brazil will take its expressions of anti-Haitian sentiments seriously? The people of Haiti have endured much since becoming the first and only country in the Western Hemisphere in which African slaves successfully defeated its European colonizer early in 19th century. The West has been making the people who share an island with the Dominican Republic ever since. From the US invasion and occupation from 1915-1934, to the French demand for reparations payments in exchange for Haitian independence, to the US backed overthrow of President Aristide in 2004, to the ongoing anti-Haitian prejudice and mass deportation in the Dominican Republic, it seems that everyone likes to kick the Haitian people around. All of these events don’t even take into consideration the horrific earthquake that devastated the country back in 2010. This earthquake would lead thousands of Haitians to seek refuge in various countries, Brazil being one of them. And Brazil seems to have also picked up the mantle of anti-Haitianism as we’ve followed the situation of Haitians arriving in Brazil for the past few years now. So it seems that Brazil wants to really show the world how ugly it can be against people they consider to be “the other.” 

Six Haitian immigrants shot in São Paulo

Courtesy of Carta Capital

Before shooting, the shooter screamed: “Haitians, you steal our jobs!”

Haitian immigrants at the center for refugees at Glicério

Haitian immigrants at the center for refugees at Glicério

Six Haitians were shot in two separate attacks in the Baixada do Glicério, in downtown São Paulo on Saturday August 1st. The injured were admitted to the Hospital Tatuapé, on the east side of the capital. The suspicion is that the crime was motivated by xenophobia.

Haitians, including a woman, were reportedly injured at different times on the same day. Two were shot on Glicério street and four on the steps of the Nossa Senhora da Paz parish. The religious institution houses the Missão Paz (Peace Mission), which welcomes immigrants to the capital.

According to the victims who were on the staircase, the attack came from a gray car with four occupants. Before shooting, one of them screamed: “Haitians, you steal our jobs!”

The injured went to two health units before getting medical attention. “They weren’t tended to because of racism, they were sent home with bullets and pain,” reported the Haitian Patrick Dieudanne, who provided aid to the victims, to the newspaper O Globo.

The staircase of the Paróquia Nossa Senhora da Paz, the point of arrival of many immigrants in São Paulo

The staircase of the Paróquia Nossa Senhora da Paz, the point of arrival of many immigrants in São Paulo

The case was registered as grievous bodily harm at the 8th DP (precinct) in the neighborhood of Brás. The authorship of the crime is still unknown. The Municipal Bureau of Human Rights and Citizenship of São Paulo said in a statement that he is aware of the case through the Policy Coordination for Migrants and that “repudiates that the fact occurred.”

The Secretariat also said that it would follow, independently, the investigation and that the city is committed to “combating all forms of violence and xenophobia in the city.”

Haitians shot in SP. It’s time to talk about xenophobia

by Fábio Santos

None of those who were shot died.

What is striking is the fact that the attack was not reflected in the media as it occurred. If it were in a rich neighborhood of the city, within minutes it would have been stamped on the covers of newspapers and generating various analyzes on cop shows.

Often the attitude of society in not caring about what happens to refugees ends up reinforcing this feeling that they are “not welcome” in our city.

We cannot treat Haitians or any refugees as a problem for the city. Remember that this city was built on the strength of refugees, whether being those who left the Northeast fleeing drought, or Italians and Japanese who fled from crisis and war.

Medical malpractice is as serious as the attitude of those who pulled the trigger of the gun. Now the police are looking for the perpetrators of the attacks and the Municipal Bureau of Human Rights is investigating complaints of neglect.

Source: Carta Capital, Viver SP

3 comments on ““Haitians, you steal our jobs!” – Xenophobia and racism flare up again as six Haitian immigrants shot in São Paulo

  1. qolspony
    July 25, 2016

    Listen. We Black people don’t own these jobs in our respected countries (United States and Brazil). But regardless, we deserve a right to these jobs as we were here when the going was tough. Blacks in American spilled their blood so that we can walk through the front door, only for that front door to be replace by someone else who spit in our faces. I feel for the Haitians. They can’t even get it together in a country own by them. If they only knew how good their position is. Black Brazilians and Americans have to face the fact that the country we in is run and controlled by whites. But I do believe Black Brazilians are a lot closer in running and controlling things than African Americans since we only make 15 percent of the U.S. population. Still, there is no reason to assault your immigrant populations. Just get your politicians to past stronger legislation limiting immigration. American is doing it somewhat.

    • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
      July 25, 2016

      A few things here. You CANNOT point the finger at only Haitians by saying that “They can’t even get it together in a country own by them” until you understand how that country is owned and controlled by American and European forces. Haiti has been at the mercy of the West and international bankers since the revolution.

      Also, saying that “I do believe Black Brazilians are a lot closer in running and controlling things than African Americans since we only make 15 percent of the U.S. population” is a huge simplification of the issue.

      Having African ancestry and being black are not the same thing. Millions of persons of African ancestry in Brazil don’t identify with being black which makes it difficult to take things forward politically. Now if that 80-85% of persons suddenly became racially/politically conscious that would be another story.

  2. qolspony
    July 25, 2016

    African Americans have been the nicest people to the Haitians. We got the U.S. government to seek support to the island, which everyone else looked on. We respect them for their independence. And they should respect us for the civil rights movement. Haitians unlike African Americans open up businesses across American and they are pretty successful business people. We can learn a lot from them in this area. And they can learn a lot from us for our dedication to the black cause. But if they continue to look down at us for not taking SLAVE Wage work, we will turn our backs on them. And what would they have? Shoot! As I read here, not even the people who closely resembles you likes you (Dominicans and Black Brazilians). That’s sad.

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This entry was posted on August 10, 2015 by in Haitians, racism, São Paulo, xenophobia and tagged , , , .
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