Note from BW of Brazil: On a day recognized internationally for the struggle against racism (and Brazil certainly needs such a day), we present yet another example of how the internet is helping to lead the charge in the way that Afro-Brazilians see themselves and helping others to understand what it really means to be black, identify one’s self as such and discover the empowerment that comes along with this new identity.
Black students open up about racism and the fight against prejudice
By Leonardo Santos
Today is the International Day against Racial Discrimination. The date is celebrated on March 21 and was created by the United Nations (UN) in reference to the Sharpeville Massacre, where more than 180 black people were injured due to police repression linked to apartheid.
In modern times, racism is not over. Be it on the streets, at home and on the internet, it is still there, present, and increasingly exposed. Cases of racism on the Internet involving artists and television personalities demonstrate that racial discrimination is far from over.
“Racism is present in everyday life, often directed at blacks in the form of a joke, but actually it’s not,” says journalism student Renata Araújo, who recently had an awkward position in social networks, when a person made racist and derogatory comments on a photo in which Renata showed off her curls.
Bete Soares: Jesus! Curls? This is Capitão Caverna (Captain Caveman)! HAHAHAHAHA. You spoke beautifully, but for me it means absolutely nothing. My hair is also crespo (kinky/curly), thick strands. However being hard or crespo is one thing, now taste is like an asshole, everyone has one. It’s horrible this Captain Caveman. Better buying a Carnaval wig like Nega Maluca. HAHAHAHA. Now go there, print screen and put it on your page again. Silly! Remain a whore because of this lion’s mane. So cute with curls and shorter hair…But for those who like manes…Taste one doesn’t argue
“Today, the society works in a color hierarchy. First the white man, then the white woman, then the black man and finally the black woman. BEING BLACK in society is already a motive of prejudice and fragility. BEING A BLACK WOMAN, this does not change and only increases,” highlights Renata.
And if the Internet can also be where there is a lot of racism, it may also be site of struggle and empowerment. The student and blogger Joicy Eleiny opened a blog to talk about her curls and, according to her, the space has become a response tool to discrimination. “This is where I unload all the grief and go on to free myself from this aggression. I end up earning companions. My readers strengthen me a lot and I try to do the same for them.”
When asked about how to combat racism, Renata and Joicy were emphatic: together and with ever more visibility. “One way of trying to reduce racism, is giving voice to cases of prejudice, exposing that discrimination happens and a lot,” says Renata.
“We must deconstruct from that thing of “moreninha” we hear from people who think calling you negra (black) is offensive, up to cases of more aggressive situations. The struggle is huge and I would not be able to describe each of the things we can do, but I believe that everything would be better if instead of us needing to fight so much, the oppressors could evolve,” says Joicy.
“Injúria racial (racial insult/slur) is a crime and racism is a crime. If a person does not like my color, they will have to accept that we live in a civilization and that under the law, we are all equal only with our racial differences,” concludes Renata.
Source: Portal Mídia Urbana