Note from BW of Brazil: Popular protest still DOES have a certain level of power that can change things. For the past few weeks, I’ve followed the situation of the appointment of a very anti-black, black man who was appointed to assume the presidency of a foundation that was created to preserve and disseminate black culture. Sérgio Camargo’s positions on the black struggle sound like the rhetoric of any right-leaning figure who denies the reasons for the place of blacks in a given society and the responsibility of the state in repairing past crimes afflicted against this population. If you’re familiar with the term ‘coon’ or ‘sambo’, then I need not even explain to you what someone like Sérgio Camargo Nascimento is all about. The most intriguing thing about all of this is learning that he is the son of one of the most important black men in preserving and contributing to Afro-Brazilian history, culture and literature.
Last week, after Afro-Brazilians were galvanized to take action with the announcement of Nascimento’s appointment, more than 60,000 people signed a petition calling for Camargo’s removal after a series of comments posted by him were discovered on social networks. Below is what has transpired since that petition was created.
Court suspends Sérgio Camargo’s appointment as president of the Palmares Foundation
A judge of the 18th Federal Court of Ceará accepted a Popular Action proposed against the decision of President Jair Bolsonaro to put at the head of the foundation someone who claims that there is no racism in Brazil and that slavery was the fault of blacks.
After much popular pressure, the appointment of Sérgio Camargo Nascimento – who defended slavery, the end of the black social movement and said there is no racism in Brazil – to the presidency of the Palmares Foundation was barred by the Court and will not be concluded by Jair Bolsonaro.
Judge Emanuel José Matias Guerra, of the 18th Federal Court of Ceará, accepted the Popular Action proposed against the decision of Jair Bolsonaro and suspended the act of the Minister of the Civil House, Onyx Lorenzoni, who put Camargo in office. The journalist’s incompatibility with the position was due to political stances he shared on social networks.
“In view of all the above, I accept, in court of summary cognition, typical of the type, the arguments brought by the plaintiff, which is why I suspend the effects of Act 2.377, of November 27, 2019, from the drawing up of the Chief Minister of the Civil House rendering ineffective the appointment of Mr. Sergio Nascimento de Camargo to the position of President of the Palmares Cultural Foundation,” read the decision.
The appointment of Sergio Camargo’s name generated protests from various black leaders and also a demonstration at the headquarters of the Palmares Foundation, an entity created to disseminate the culture of black people.
“Attention: an injunction has just been issued suspending the appointment of Sérgio Camargo as president of the Palmares Foundation. He is the same one who said that there is no racism in Brazil and also blamed the blacks for the slavery” pic.twitter.com/OsXjBSQgHl – George Marques (@GeorgMarques) December 4, 2019
Note: A well-deserved victory, right? This shows that the power is still in the hands of the people if they would just wake up and realize, right? Well, sort of. You see, folks like Camargo don’t just go away and even if black Brazil is successful of keeping him out of the foundation’s presidency, with his views under a decidedly anti-black political environment, I have a feeling he’ll land somewhere where his betrayal of his black people will be welcomed. If this were the slavery era, I could see definitely see Camargo being a “capitão do mato”, a slave hunter.
Camargo returns to defend end of Black Consciousness Day
In his first meeting with Jair Bolsonaro after his appointment, the suspended president of the Palmares Cultural Foundation, journalist Sérgio Camargo, defended the end of Black Consciousness Day and said that, for him, the date will not have any support from the federal agency aimed at preserving Afro-Brazilian culture. On the other hand, he said he will work for the appreciation of May 13, 1888, the date in which Princess Isabel signed the Lei Áurea (Golden Law).
“Of course, the Day of Black Consciousness has to end, it’s a date that the left has appropriated to propagate vitimismo (victim playing) and racial resentment. This is not the date of the black Brazilian, it is a date of the minorities empowered by the left that propagate hatred, resentment and racial division. As far as I’m concerned, the Palmares Foundation will not support this date at all. We are going to revalue May 13 (see note one) and the role of Princess Isabel in the liberation of blacks,” Camargo said.
The Attorney General of the Union (AGU) appealed the decision, and Sérgio Camargo said he is confident he will be able to maintain his position as president of the foundation.
“If I wasn’t confident, what would I be doing here? I have to trust that the injunction will fall because it is absurd and political,” he said.
Note: I must say that they couldn’t have picked a better coon black, right-wing militant. After everything the black social movement has done in recent years to recognize the role of black people in pushing the nation to end the brutal regime of slavery, here it is a black man supporting the official (white) interpretation of history. That slavery ended simply because of the signature of a princess. Obviously, we know what side Camargo would have been on had he been present during the Movimento Negro’s interruption of the Congressional homage to Princesa Isabel on May 14th, don’t we? Sambos can surely be shocking in their anti-black bias. How are these people made?
And where does President Jair Bolsonaro stand on all of this? On Wednesday, December 11th, leaving the Palácio da Alvorada (see note two), in Brasília, Bolsonaro was questioned by journalists about the impression he had of Sérgio after a meeting held between him and other members of government cultural bodies. As we should have expected, the President affirmed that he “liked him very much”.
Considering Bolsonaro’s positions, who would be surprised by this support? Talking to the press, Bolsonaro continued on the topic of Camargo. “Excellent impression. Excellent. I’m not going to go into the details, because you guys misrepresent everything. Excellent. There is no history of white, black. We are equal and that’s it,” Bolsonaro was quoted as saying on Wednesday. We are all equal in one of the most unequal countries on earth. Makes total sense to me.
Needless to say….The struggle continues….
With information from Brasil 247
- For material on the May 13th (abolition of slavery in 1888) vs. November 20th (death of Zumbi dos Palmares/Day of Black Consciousness) debate, see articles here.
- Residence of the Brazilian President