Note from BW of Brazil: The topic of several articles over the past few weeks, Brazil’s “Mais Médicos” program to attract foreign doctors to the country and address the pressing problem of a doctor shortage has highlighted another glaring shortage: the presence of black doctors in the country. A number of articles have called out the country’s elitism of the medical field, perhaps no better than the article below. If you haven’t heard about this situation, please DO check out previous articles on the topic here or in the various links throughout the article.
Cuban doctors are under attack from racist Brazilian elite
On one airplane there are more black doctors that all of Brazilian history
(article courtesy of the PCO website)
Black Cuban doctors arrived in Brazil for the “Mais Médicos (More Doctors)” program by the federal government. Their arrival sparked deep anger throughout the national right, especially by joining together two things the right campaigns most against: blacks and Cubans.
A right accustomed to impeding that blacks from even getting into college, let alone to study medicine, took the swords from the scabbards and declared war on the Cuban. At first, the right presented itself, as usual, as the queen of morality and righteousness, saying that there were irregularities in the contract with the Cubans, that it was absurd how they were hired.
All went well, the government was bowing to pressure from the right as usual, but then what happens is what the image in this material portrays: a group of white doctors resolve to boo a black doctor who came to the country for the implementation of the program (photo above).
The bourgeois press encouraged the protests and in other places there were more boos registered for the black doctors who, in some cases were called “escravos (slaves)” for being at the service of their country. The Conselho Federal de Medicina (Federal Council of Medicine or CFM) also stood against the program. A blue eyed columnist of a São Paulo newspaper titled the story on the subject, calling it “Avião negreiro (slave plane).” Another journalist from Rio Grande do Norte, said on her Facebook that the Cuban doctors looked like maids, which supposedly put into question their medical capability and therefore didn’t deserve to be trusted.
Given these events, the right hastened to say that “it’s not racism”, but protests against the regime of slavery in which Cubans live, although no Cuban has been consulted about anything, and in spite of the right closing their eyes to cases of real slavery, which proves their cynicism.
It’s worth remembering that Cuban doctors hardly go through what they are going through in Brazil, being booed and being called slaves. Quite to the contrary, they are treated with honor where they go, especially due to the development of the medical field in Cuba.
The photo comes to have an historical character, because it shows that there is an elite well accustomed to “booing” blacks, meaning that blacks do the heaviest service of society, cleaning, carrying, sweeping, but never exercising in the area of medicine.
For anyone who has seen photos of the first blacks entering universities in the southern US where slavery existed as here, the comparisons are inevitable.
From one point of view, one can say that they are even being treated “well” because blacks from other countries (African, Haitian, and others) generally hardly pass through the Federal Police in airports, many others simply live as many of our blacks: in the streets.
More black physicians in a plane than in a country
For normal people, workers, blacks, to the youth, obviously a hint of pride comes to see that there are black doctors, and in reasonable quantities and unquestionable quality.
In Brazil there was not one, but several scholars – bought or not – who insist on saying that there is no racism in the country. Nevertheless, if there is no racism, there are no black doctors, this given that Brazil has a huge black population. Maybe that was what caused the most revulsion of the right.
The final balance of history that permeates the material, but nobody talks about, is that it has more black doctors in the “fearsome” Cuban regime than in the starving democracy of Brazil, and perhaps not even in another 30 years will we manage to get close, having in view the indices of blacks who graduate in medicine in the country. On this subject, this is the error of the PT (Partido dos Trabalhadores, Workers’ Party, party of the current president) government, which doesn’t manage with all its demagogy, to minimally improve the situation the black population, as indeed the Cuban regime did.
Also one should not get carried away by what the bourgeois press says, nor the middle class, which arranges pretexts to hide the racism of their narrow-minded ideas. The majority of the population sees with very good eyes the presence of doctors on the interior of the country, even with this being the minimum offered by the government; a population that also repudiated the typical racist manifestations of the white Brazilian elite.