Note from BW of Brazil: Sometimes when I consider the impact of indoctrination, social engineering and racism in Brazil, it sometimes looks to me like the perfect crime. Black people in this country have complained about and fought the system of racial exclusion that is modern day Brazil. But it often baffles me that, as much as these people fight, scratch and claw to overcome the enormous obstacles that this nation has put in in their paths over the course of nearly five centuries, how quick those who succeed and even those who didn’t quite get there, automatically turn around and share these achievements with the individuals of the same group that has for so long impeded their access to a better life. I know very well how deep indoctrination can program the human mind, but sometimes I honestly just sit back and wonder…WTF?!?!
How are people so quick to march and demand more representation and access for black Brazilians but then when they achieve this fame, success and wealth a better paycheck, they immediately marry a person whose European features place them at the pinnacle of the society and representatives of the symbolic door that always seems to remain locked. After marrying their would-be adversaries, they produce children who, most of the time, more closely approximate the phenotype of their European partner. As they married based on the concept that “amor não tem cor”, they will undoubtedly pass on this ideology to their less negroid looking child, who, growing up in more privileged (read: white) environments, will most likely choose a partner more similar to the European–looking parent that their black mother or father chose to marry and reproduce with. Often times, said black person is often the first in the family to achieve a college education, advanced knowledge and a truly middle-class lifestyle. Think about that for minute.
These people attain degrees in law, economics, advertising, journalism, anthropology, even medicine and many other fields. But by producing more Euro-looking children and the children following suit, where does that knowledge, education and money that said black person fought so hard to achieve ultimately end up? It’s it really that hard not to see this? Whenever I mention this to educated black people here, I usually get blank stares. Hmmm…I wonder why…
At this point, I have to share a memory that still sits in my memory as clear now as when it actually happened back in November of 2014. November is Brazil’s Month of Black Consciousness and throughout the entire month, there are all sorts events, seminars, presentations, expos, etc. connected to cultura e história negra (black culture and history). A friend of mine from New York who had been putting in a lot of work getting funding for various Afro-Brazilian projects came back to São Paulo to participate in a table discussion sponsored by FLINK (festival of black literature) comparing African-American social advances and the paths being trailed by Afro-Brazilians. At her side was another African-American, a university professor. There were three Afro-Brazilians participating in the table.
After introductions and a few brief speeches by everyone on the panel, one of the Afro-Brazilians, a lawyer and writer for a well-known Afro-Brazilian political website, stirred up the small audience with a fiery speech on racism in Brazil. In his voice was a fire and passion worthy of Malcolm X’s finest. The audience and the two African-Americans at the table applauded his speech, but then, the speaker started talking about the differences in racial classification between the United States and Brazil and he went on to seemingly lament how his children are accepted as white in Brazil but in the US, they would be considered black. The two African-Americans on the panel looked at each other and then my friend from New York waited for him to finish a sentence before asking, “So, you mean to tell me that after all of that fire in your voice denouncing racism, you’re saying that you’re married to a white woman??!?!” He responded in the affirmative and went on take a “So what” stance on the issue. With his almost arrogance in dismissing the issue and his totally not getting why this was even on issue, the two African-Americans both briefly stated their disappointment on what would be a big “No-No” for any African-American leader, removed their mics and promptly left the meeting room.
I stayed and briefly explained that this predominance of the vast majority of prominent Afro-Brazilians being married to whites is a major issue for many African-Americans when they get involved with the debate on racial equality in Brazil. The next day, the same Afro-Brazilian penned a piece on his website demanding an apology for the rudeness on the part of the African-American participants without even explaining the issue that provoked their exit from the panel. I wish I could say I was surprised, but his total disregard and unwillingly to even discuss the issue is typical among many Afro-Brazilians in prominent positions. As this phenomenon is pretty obvious for anyone who just sits back and pays attention (as the piece by Fernando Conceição below demonstrates), it shouldn’t be surprising that more people are speaking about it. Well, it’s about time, but I DO wonder if it’s not too late.
The loneliness of the black intellectual
By Fernando Conceição
At a barbecue last February, I promised colleagues present that I would write a nonchalant article uncommitted on this theme.
I don’t know an intelectual negro ou negra (black male or black female intellectual) that is married and is well with a black male or black female intellectual.
Married or together and productively living well. It doesn’t need to exactly be a couple of black intellectuals, a man and a woman. Even though subject to all the injunctions and common problems of living under the same roof.
It can be presumed intellectuals. We say academics, with some intelligence a bit above average or ordinary people, the subordinate layer where all blacks in Brazil come from.
Even in the world of the stars of show business, sports and TV hosts, this is rare. In the political sphere, can someone point to one? The exception is not worth it.
Why is this? My thesis is that, by historical circumstances motivated by the brutality of slavery, blacks in Brazil cultivate in their ego the instinct of self-destruction. They are prone to conflicting relations of mistrust. Of unease, destructive competition among themselves.
As a result, the black man (or woman) that ascends intellectually finds more comfort and a better social environment beside a mulher branca (ou homem branco) (white woman or white man) with similar qualification. These don’t see themselves, therefore, necessarily as adversaries.
The reciprocal is the same, in every bit as much, with the intellectual black woman: the white man tends to be more understandable, sweeter. More “companion”.
The attorney Paula, the character of actress Sheron Menezzes (from the 2015 Globo novela Babilônia), that lived in the favela (slum), ascends socially and separates from her partner of same color that continues behind the counter at the grocery store.
What we have in Brazil as models of black thinkers, activists, academics, entrepreneurs etc. whether man or woman, all that ascended to a position of better socioeconomic stability brought by investment in science and knowledge, almost without exception have opted for a family with whites.
The black intellectual, man or woman, who didn’t seek or didn’t find this alternative, commonly passes between the loneliness and anxiety.
Do you want to cite them? It wouldn’t be necessary. Just a little effort of memory or look around. Moreover, activists of the Movimento Negro (Black Movement) married with white men/women in general hide their partner in public activities. You will know why!
To the extent that the solidity of the academic knowledge occurs at middle-age, we see these beings in public always affectively alone. In cinemas. In the theaters. In the bars. In the restaurants. In the ballroom. They are always alone.
Are beautiful, interesting, some financially well resolved people, that behind the sphinx smiling should already have been convinced, sadly, of their solitary destiny. Friends or relatives are there to help him. Or then dog or cat pets.
Analyzing census data of the 1980s, the demographer Elza Berquó published an article in the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, which I read at the time, whose title was emblematic: “A solidão da mulher negra” (The loneliness of the black woman).
In summary, Berquó considers the existence of a market of affectivity that, in Brazil, puts the the woman in general at a disadvantage. She forms the majority of the population. Therefore, if there are more women than men in society, the latter has more options to choose from.
Even considering statistically the small number of homosexual men or women, there will always remain more women for men to choose from. I am not making any value judgment, whether it is good or bad. It is a demographic fact.
The census data show that in Brazil, historically it varies around 16% the index of marriages (or unions) between whites and blacks. The majority located in the social stratum of low purchasing power.
Studying the subject, Berquó found a trend: the white woman and the white man take more advantage in affective dispute in relation to the black woman and the black man.
The white woman tends to maintain her marriage with the white man for a longer time. The casais negros (black couples) are more subject to separation. In particular, there are scientific studies stating the economic instability and the financial asymmetry as important factors in divorces of any couple, regardless of color.
However, the black man separated, even at a mature age – in the same way as a white man – due to issues of supply and demand, has greater chances to find a partner than the separated black woman. This, he said, the demographer, the higher the age at which separation progresses, the higher the likelihood of being alone.
The first option of marriage of the studious white man is a white woman. And when he opts for a black woman, she in general has higher attributes than a mere mortal. This remains if the white man also advances in age: he will find, if he seeks, a jovem negra (young black woman) as an affective market offer.
The same would not happen with the black man who seeks a white woman. The common thing is that she is not the bearer of those same attributes mentioned above. It is likely that she has already “past her peak”, as her experience is at least second hand.
At the enjoyable churrasco (barbecue) in February a friend and journalist Sueide Oliveira (who changed her name to Kintê, don’t ask me why) was present and soon after published a text on the subject. With prevarication which, at her request, I critiqued.
Moreover, the use above of the adjective harmonious in replacing happy, to speak of couples living together.
I do it because of being a schopenhauerniano (fan of Arthur Schopenhauer) and don’t believe in happiness as a common and permanent good for all. This only if it is on the basis of chemical stimulants, but the hangover, depression can be worse.
Happiness is a volatile, experimental state in the sad human existence, whose common state is damnation.
Everything works in favor of pain, not to the contrary. You can, to the maximum, aspire to have happy moments. Most of the time life is irritating, boring, jealousy, envy, pettiness, envy and cowardice. In addition to paying bills, if you are not a Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Source: Fernando Conceição