Note from BW of Brazil: And on it goes. In recent years, I’ve posted a number of stories relating to the practice of white Brazilians defining themselves as black in order to take advantage of Brazil’s university affirmative action policies. The latest case covered on this blog was when 24 white students were expelled from the Federal University of Pelotas in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The fact is this practice is so common that I haven’t even scratched the surface of how many cases of racial fraud have happened since the quota system began being implemented in the first few years of the 2000s.
In many of the cases I’ve read about, the faces of those white people who defined themselves as black were not included in the reports. Some are available but as I hadn’t seen many, I didn’t really have an idea of what these people actually looked like. Perhaps they were those type of “Brazilian whites” who would only be considered white in Brazil or other Latin American countries but suddenly want to dig into their past and claim that great-great black grandfather whose photo was buried in the family archive. While those cases undoubtedly exist also, you also have women like the one in the photo above who looks like she doesn’t have a drop of non-European blood flowing through her veins. This woman declared herself black and entered the nursing program at the State University of Rio de Janeiro a few years ago. Then again, maybe it’s just me. Tell me, if you knew the woman in the photo, would you see her as black?
“You go back to the trunk,” says the black man who lost a vacancy from medicine to white who has fraudulently
Recently, 24 white students were expelled from the Federal University of Pelotas
“You go back to the whipping post. You feel like you’re (being) whipped again.” That’s what a young black woman who lost her place in medical school after white students had rigged the quota system of UFPel (Federal University of Pelotas) in Rio Grande do Sul.
Recently, after denunciations made by the Setorial de Negros e Negras of UFPel, 24 white students were expelled from the institution.
The student says she has never seen blacks in positions of great representation and that she has never had a black professor. Nor have she ever seen a black lawyer in her region and says that when she realized that she could do something for her and others in medicine, she decided that she would choose that field.
“When you don’t have access to health, when your family doesn’t have access to health, when you depend on a willingness of an attendant to do an examination for your father, when you have an examination denied, you have a desire to fight against that.”
The young woman says she needs to fight for herself, for those who came before her and for those who will come later. She states that she has a duty to “fight against an unjust system” and that when she saw the list with the names of the people who had entered the university she was discredited.
“I had my dreams stolen. It’s incredible that you need a law for blacks to enter college. I felt robbed.”
The student states that “a black knows that he is black” and would like that whites who defrauded the quota system to enter the university to spend a day in her skin. In this way, they would know the daily life of a person who suffers directly from racism every day.
“I’d like them to go out on the street and hear the same insults I heard [as a kid] on the street. Once again, they want to occupy a space that is not theirs. When they occupy a place that is not theirs, they are again denying the place of the people who should be there. They are again excluding them.”
She says that with the expulsion of the students who have committed fraud, she hopes that the process will now be more careful and that blacks will actually occupy these vacancies destined to them.
“Is it true? Is it that from now on that blacks will actually take their rightful places? My year 2014 ended on December 30, 2016, with their expulsion. Everything that you believed, you stop believing; because you continue to be oppressed.”
After the denunciations, she affirms that many blacks are being repressed and that, therefore, prefers not to identify herself. But she says that even so, she knows that she is doing the right thing by denouncing the cases and that she has “a clear conscience.”
“I can say I’m black, they cannot. They would not like to be black. They are extremely racist and prejudiced.”
After all the research inside the medical school, she is categorical about her decision regarding the course: “I gave up.”
“How am I going to compete with this kind of person? Nothing is done. You have no way of competing with these people. They have everything in their favor. They want blacks to occupy their places, but not to share places with them. They don’t want you in a reputable course, in a store shopping with them. They do not want to see you.”
Note from BW of Brazil: You know I’m sure there are probably those out there who read the above comments and thought to themselves, “Oh, she’s playing the victim”, or “it’s not like that at all” or that she’s simply exaggerating the situation. But here’s the thing. If you haven’t lived in Brazil or haven’t read how many Brazilians harbor an attitude of “I have everything I ever wanted, the fact that you don’t is your problem.” Many of these people are from elite families who have always lived a good life because of the privileges they received from their families. They proudly live such lifestyles and don’t hide the fact that they don’t certain undesirables having access to a world that they believe to be exclusively theirs.
You still don’t believe, you say? Well, take a look at this piece explaining how Brazil’s privileged classes are none too happy with the newly attained access of the lower, darker classes to things and places that were previously restricted to elites. Take a look at the numerous articles on how privileged classes reject the presence of the darker, lower classes the beautiful beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Take a look at the reactions to the presence of the lower, darker classes in chic shopping malls across the country. See the reaction to a group a black people at a certain restaurant in one of the country’s most important cities. Or how the daughter or a black governor was assaulted in a ritzy apartment building because people assumed she was a maid and should have been using the elevator reserved for “the help” rather than the one reserved for residents and their guests. There are countless stories such these gathered on this blog for you to read for yourself and come to your own conclusions. Lastly, also consider the fact that Rio Grande do Sul is one of three of the whitest states of Brazil that are located in the southern region of the country. With all of this in mind, does it still seem far-fetched that there may be a rejection to the presence of black Brazilians to certain places, positions and lifestyles?