Note from BW of Brazil: As you read the report below that details yet another racist assault, think about something. Hundreds of thousands (could it be millions?) of Afro-Brazilians have been subjected to this sort of harassment for literally centuries. This treatment of black Brazilians by white Brazilians is at the very root of the racial hierarchy and it functions as a sort of enforcer of the system’s maintenance.
Everyday across the nation, untold numbers of people of visible African ancestry are subjected to this sort of treatment that often times leaves deep emotional and psychological scars. The woman who was subjected to this harassment considered dropping out of the university she was attending because of the abuse. This is not the first time a black Brazilian has expressed the desire of giving up or dropping out of school due to this sort of racism.
In an article that appeared on this blog shortly after the site debuted, Dr. Petronilha Gonçalves told us that it was racism that drives many black children out of the school system. Her words don’t just apply to elementary school. It applies to ALL areas of Brazilian society in which whites feel certain territory is reserved to them and them only. This is the primary reason we have been seeing such blatant displays of rejection to seeing the increase of the black presence on university campuses across the country.
In the story below, it also became apparent the way these white men see black women. An old Brazilian saying goes “White women for marriage, mulata women for fornication, black women for work.” In other words, Brazilian society reserves two places for women of visible African ancestry: the bed and the kitchen. In numerous texts that appear on this blog, black women express how their image is constantly hyper-sexualized in the Brazilian media and in everyday interactions. So, when it was discovered that one of the men was in possession of pornographic photos of black women and he says he’s a little racist because he doesn’t like black men, but DOES like black women, obviously in sexual terms (see note one), he simply re-produces the way in which Brazilian society has seen black women for centuries.
Two Ufopa students are brought to court for crimes of racism
The denunciation was offered to the court on November 18, and distributed to the 1st Criminal Court.
By Sílvia Vieira
A community health agent and a military officer, both students of the Federal University of Western Pará (Ufopa), in Santarém, in the western region of Pará state, were indicted by the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MPPA) for a crime of racism that was committed by them against a classmate in the year 2017.
According to the complaint, Elicleisson Siqueira Moraes [community health agent] and Ismail Lima Costa (military officer), academics of the Ufopa Institute of Science and Technology of Water (ICTA), began verbally attacking classmate Maria Elisângela Lima dos Santos, because she is black.
Elicleisson approached the victim by questioning her student aid, even saying that she had a “good life.” He also suggested that the victim was not a descendant of the quilombola, because in his assessment, her skin tone didn’t indicate that (see note 2).
She was then insulted by Ismail for not having succeeded in a classroom seminar. On one occasion, Ismail even argued with another student in the class who came out in defense of Maria Elisângela, and said in a mocking tone, that she take the victim home.
Maria Elisângela communicated the case to the Ombudsman’s Office. And on November 14, the people involved were heard. At the time, Elicleisson said that he studied with the victim for two semesters, and was part of a WhatsApp group in the class, when in 2017 he was informed that there would be no class on November 20, because it is the Day of Black Consciousness. He confirmed that the messages: “I don’t like blacks… I’m semi-racist”, and “Calm down… I don’t like blacks… but I do like black women”, were sent by him.
The Ombudsman also identified that Ismail, although denying it, was the sender of the phrase: “It’s blacks’ fault that there’s no class”.
Ismail admitted that he sent in the same group, pictures with pornographic images, with black women appearing in erotic positions, in which the caption “Happy Kilombo day”.
Ismail also admitted that he sent in the PDF group “Livro Negro da Paz” (Black Book of Peace), as well as the message: “Now it’s better.” In the document, there were fotos sensuais de mulheres negras (sensual photos of black women).
Still according to the complaint of the MPPA, due to the embarrassment suffered, Maria Elisângela came to think of leaving the undergrad she so dreamed of. And she needed psychological support. Upon being heard by Ufopa’s Ombudsman, she stated that she feared Ismail would do something against her because he was a soldier.
For the MPPA, the victim suffered violence because of her race, her color, her situation as a quota student and a scholarship from the University, and because she was a woman. Being still, severely humiliated for an affirmation of rights that she has.
The crime of racism is typified in Art. 20 of Law 7.716/1989, and has a penalty of 1 to 3 years and a fine.
Source: Folha MT
- This comment was reminiscent of another incident involving the black goalie of the Brazil women’s national futebol team in which a man stated “I hate blacks but Brazil’s goalie has a chance!”
- There was no photo of victim made available, but the aggressor here seems to be suggesting that the woman had a lighter skin tone as generally, blacks that live on quilombola lands (where their fugitive slave ancestors sought refuge) tend to have a darker skin tone than blacks living in urban areas.