Note from BW of Brazil: This blog alone has already exposed the topic over and over again: racism in the Brazilian school system. Experiencing racism from classmates is bad enough, but recently the hashtag #meuprofessorracista (my racist professor) exposed a whole other angle of this problem when thousands of black students began sharing their experiences with racist teachers from elementary school all the way to university level. It used to be that Brazilians in general simply denied the existence of racism in schools and the society as a whole, but nowadays people prefer to belittle these experiences by defining any recollections or memories of racism as “mimimi”, or whining.
My opinion on this issue?
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. If Brazil’s leaders don’t see the necessity of dealing with this issue and establishing severe punishment for such behavior, then there should be separate institutes for black Brazilians to learn their history that, even with a law making this mandatory, Brazil still doesn’t want to enforce, so that as a people they can have the opportunity to accept themselves, love themselves and see each other as brothers and sisters and learn how to deal with a society that still doesn’t see them as full citizens worthy of respect and equality. No amount of public service announcements or celebrities wearing t-shirts, wearing blackface, holding bananas or believing “we are all equal” is going to effectively address this issue.
The bottom line is that African descendants worldwide have no power. They have no control of finance, education, media or governments. And as white supremacy needs these institutions to maintain a sense of supremacy over non-whites, it is not in their interest to truly address this issue. Having black people under complete subservience is the objective, so why would they do anything about the belief in racial supremacy that permeates the fabric of the society? Black schools with African-centered curriculums, black teachers and complete independence are the only way to put an end to experiences such as the one below that millions of Afro-Brazilians know so well.
We need to talk about the difference between bullying and racism for the sake of young blacks
By Silvia Nascimento
In Brazil racism in school is not a subject discussed
The worldwide success of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why has brought back the debate about how bullying can lead young people to self-assault or even suicide. According to the Organização Mundial de Saúde (World Health Organization), suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people in the world, behind only car accidents and in the face of loss of life due to HIV. Although there is no conclusive study on the subject, what the main causes are, bullying in this digital age, where besides actions in public physical space, the aggressors also use social networks to attack the victim (cyberbullying), cannot Ignored.
No racial perspective is done on the issue of bullying that is often mistaken with racism, but it is not. First, because racism is a crime, so racist attitudes are a case of police, second because the young black can be a victim of people who, even with an aggressive profile, would not attack a white person, when the target is chosen only by skin color, even though the victim is a good student, with good financial conditions and social transit.
Netflix itself has created a website about the film, which illustrates cases of people, now adults who have been bullied at school. Two of them are black: actress Vaneza Oliveira and journalist Bruno Rocha, along with Hugo Gloss. But it is worth special attention for the actress of the series 3%.
“It’s a very thin line separating racism from bullying. In this video it’s a classic situation of racism, when they say that she is a macaca (monkey) and use the physical and genetic attributes to speak of her,” explains the pedagogue and Masters in education Clélia Rosa.
For her, here in Brazil, people have difficulties in seeing racism, even black people, because of a structural construction. “Black people have difficulty recognizing that they are being discriminated against by the racial aspect,” says the pedagogue.
Rosa also emphasizes the criminal aspect of racism and sometimes the convenience of educational institutions in characterizing it as bullying so as not to suffer retaliation. “Sometimes calling an act of racism bullying is a strategy to free the person who is committing it, but the victim continues to be oppressed, rejected and depressed, but whoever committed is no prisoner of the law.”
“We cannot get into this wave of bullying, the black person can suffer both things and in the case of Vaneza it’s a classic case of racism, unfortunately,” warns Clélia.
Another sad testimony about how racism within the school can come from students and teachers, is that of the singer and host Karol Conka. She points to an important question of how racism causes black students to lose their taste for studying and drop out of school. “I began to understand why many blacks in my day didn’t like going to school and why only blacks were being screwed over.”
US schools: racism could become a police case
In the US there is an online network to combat bullying, Anti-bullying Network and they dedicate an exclusive space just to talking about racism. According to the bill, all schools must have guidelines for racial aggression, and create multi-cultural and anti-racist education policies. They advise to monitor and record all cases of racism in school. In some American states there is specific advice outside of schools to address the issue of bullying and these school records are usually taken to them. In cases of racism, they may suggest from an expulsion of the student to making a complaint against the abuser to the police.
Laws against bullying in Brazil are still only on paper
The recent law, No. 13,185, of November, 2016, is the one that establishes the Programa de Combate à Intimidação Sistemática (Combat to Systematic Intimidation (Bullying) program). According to the author André Corrêa (PPS), in the text, bullying is defined as the practice of acts of physical or mental violence intentionally carried out and repeatedly by an individual or group against one or more persons with the purpose of intimidating or assaulting, causing pain and distress to the victim.
The law requires that teachers and pedagogical teams be trained to implement actions to prevent and solve the problem, as well as the guidance of parents and family members to identify victims and perpetrators.
It also provides for educational campaigns and psychological, social and legal assistance to victims and perpetrators. The punishment of the perpetrator of bullying, according to the text, should be avoided, and other attitudes that promote social change, should be applied.
The text speaks of biased expressions and not of racism, that is, ignores a type of aggression that only black students suffer and thus leaves the aggressors free from responding for their crime in court. Almost the same “catch” of crimes of insult and racism, where they even go to the police station, but are never imprisoned.
Young victims of racism in schools, act like some victims of sexual violence, afraid to tell their parents what happened (as was the case of the actress Vaneza Oliveira), feeling guilty. It’s worth being aware of behavioral changes, such as depressive or aggressive attitudes, and the drop in school performance. The school also has to get involved and can be put on notice in the school board in case of omission.
Os porquês da Vaneza | 13 Reasons Why
Tape 2. Vaneza Oliveira, 27, mother and actress. “It wasn’t easy being the only black girl in the class.”
Transcript of video
“She has the face of the Pink Panther with the face of a monkey”.
“Here, the one speaking is Vaneza, the monkey of the classroom; the punching bag of you all every time it was a boring day. If I would have listened to you all, I would still think that it was normal. The jokes such as monkey, or passing by me and asking if I hadn’t taken a bath or when would I comb my hair. You all laughed so much. It seemed like every year the situation got worse. And every year I tried and every year I was always the little joke of the class, the one that they would always make jokes about. And they started to sing and they started to scream that I stunk and laughed. I was very embarrassed to tell my mother or any person that I was being humiliated every day in school. The change was the day that I stopped thinking that the school was what determined my life. I started to see that all of that then was very small and that I was much bigger that all of that. Never, never feel like trash. You continue shining, continue insisting in being yourself. As hard as it may be sometimes, do it.”
Source: Mundo Negro