Note from BW of Brazil: So here we go again! For readers who aren’t familiar with it, Rio de Janeiro has a lloonngg history of discriminating against the city’s poorer, darker-skinned residents. For some time, activists have called it what it is: segregation. To put it bluntly, if you’re black and come from Rio’s periphery neighborhoods, you are not welcome to enjoy some the most beautiful beaches in the world. I would go even further and say, regardless of your social class, black skin is enough to call unwanted attention to your presence. Why? Because we’ve seen it again and again throughout the country. One could have a college education, a good job, a nice car and live in a nice neighborhood, but all of these qualifications would be rendered worthless if you are classified as “the other”.
Whenever I feature posts such this one, I always like to withhold full judgement as there are always facts that are missing before such a judgement can be made. But there is enough here to make the call. My question would be, how do residents know these two black men aren’t lawyers simply taking time out from their busy lives to enjoy some fun in the sun? I mean, we already know that black men and white men are judged differently even if they’re wearing the same type of clothes. Remember the test? Black Brazilians who live in Rio already know about these unwritten rules on Rio’s beaches, but if you happen to be black from a country outside of Brazil and are looking forward to spending time on Rio’s beaches, you’ve been warned.
I’ll close my intro comments by stating once again, with so many of Brazil’s political and business elites going down in scandals , why don’t people focus on the senators and bankers whose lifetime of robbery will cost the average Brazilian far more than any petty thief that provokes so much fear in the privileged classes?
Translation of text above: “Urgent alert!!! Part 2 – People, during the the first week, our informants, professional photographers and frequenters of the beach, managed to take photos of the majority of criminals that steal on the beach, mainly at Ipanema (beach). They’re not suspects. ALL are vagabonds, confirmed and in case you see them on the beach, be careful and if possible call the police right away. Even though they still haven’t done anything, call anyway so that they at least see that you already know them!”
Alerta Leblon: The racism of the richest neighborhood in Rio
By Caio Acioli with additional information courtesy of Revista Fórum
A few months ago, a Facebook of residents of Leblon, one of the richest neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, called “Alerta Leblon” (which already has more than 21,000 likes) has been drawing attention and causing network revulsion with racist and hygienist posts.
However, on February 4th, 2016, the page broke the limits of racism and prejudice. In a post, where they simply expose photos of black men walking on Leblon beach, they claimed that they were thieves and that residents of the neighborhood should be on alert when running into them, and advises reporting to the police immediately. In the picture you can see one of these men carrying a soccer ball which suggests that he is either preparing to play in a game or is a beach vendor.
For fear of the revolt and the indignation in social networks the administrators of the page decided to delete the post. “Curiously”, Rede Globo TV has already made room for this page in one of its journalistic programs, totally ignoring its racist, elitist and hygienist character.
“The families of the black guys who have had their images improperly exposed and are being slandered through the ‘Alerta Leblon’ page have already learned that their photos are being transmitted and are already legally advised,” said lawyer Laura Astrolabio dos Santos.
And as if this weren’t enough, the owners of the page, in response to denouncements against the page, even made an ironic post saying that “he expects the guys in the photos to step into a police station to report them” (for racism), that he’s “doing well here waiting on lawsuits” and that that is what he “most desires.” The “Alerta Leblon” page deleted the original post on Facebook but we are sharing a printout of the post.
But these things are not done justly by Leblon residents by coincidence. Leblon is one of the most famous neighborhoods in the city of Rio de Janeiro due to its constant appearance in Globo TV novelas (soap operas), it is also the richest neighborhood in the city, with the most expensive square meter of the city. Not coincidentally it houses the most reactionary, conservative and racist of the cream of Carioca (native of Rio) bourgeoisie.