Note from BW of Brazil: Last week we brought you a story about an interracial couple who, after posting their photo on a social network, were the target of a barrage of racist comments. In yesterday’s post, we briefly cited a few of the contradictions that are deeply woven into the fabric of Brazilian society. This is yet another one. Since at the least the end of the 19th century, Brazil has promoted interracial unions as a means of completely erasing its black population within one century (see here and here). Although it didn’t quite work, interracial relationships are a large percentage of unions in the country, but even so, there are still plenty of people who reject them (see here and here, for example). How can this be? Anyone could look at the Brazilian population and know that unions across racial lines have been happening for centuries in Brazil. How do people think the country became mixed race if these types of unions didn’t exist?
The bottom line here is that, according to elite plans, being a mixed race nation was not the ultimate goal but rather a necessary step to achieve official whiteness. In 1911 at the Universal Races Congress in London, anthropologist João Baptista de Lacerda predicted that by 2012, “In virtue of this process of ethnic reduction it is logical to expect that in the course of another century the métis (half-breeds) will have disappeared from Brazil. This will coincide with the parallel extraction of the black race from our midst.” (1) Sometimes I wonder how many people know about this prediction and subsequent plan. I also find it interesting that the young woman recently appeared on Globo TV to discuss the situation when this network plays such a great role in contributing to the invisibility and negative connotations associated with black Brazilians. Anyway, here is an update on this most recent incident.
Suspects who made racist comments on Facebook about photo of couple are identified
Group will be charged with racial insults and conspiracy. Investigations indicate that it wasn’t the first case
From the newsroom of Correio 24 Horas
Over fifty people responsible for making racist comments against Maria das Dores Martins dos Reis, 20, were identified by the Civil Police of Minas Gerais. The offenses happened after the young woman, who is black, posted a photo with her white boyfriend, Leandro, 18, on Facebook.
The suspects may be indicted for injúria racial (racial injury or slur) and also for conspiracy because a joint operation of the group to attack other couples in the same way was identified during an investigation.
“These are people specialized in promoting racist insults on the web for a long time. The majority are from São Paulo. We’ve already identified other couples who were also victims of the same group. As there are many people, we may not be able to identify them all, but we’re going after the leaders,” said the officer in charge, Eduardo Freitas da Silva, in an interview with Extra.
After the repercussions of the case, the profiles of the suspects, who are between 15 and 21 years were excluded from the social network, but the commissioner says he was able to identify where the offenses came from and that the list of suspects should increase, with the collaboration Civil Police of São Paulo.
The penalties for injúria racial and conspiracy may vary between 1 and 3 years in prison.
Note from BW of Brazil: Last Friday, the young woman appeared on the Globo TV talk show Encontro com Fátima Bernardes to discuss her experience. The photo above is taken from that appearance.
“I didn’t want to leave the house,” says girl who suffered racism in social networks
Maria das Dores was harassed after posting a picture of herself with her white boyfriend, Leandro
Courtesy of Globo TV
Maria das Dores, a young black woman of 20 years, who suffered racism after posting a photo on social media with her white boyfriend, Leandro, chatted live with talk show host Fátima Bernardes and revealed how it felt to see the absurd comments.
“I hope they find the culprits, this cannot go unpunished. It was very sad what happened. I cried a lot. I didn’t want to leave home but I received great support from my boyfriend and family and now I’m facing it,” confessed the young woman.
Still incredulous at the facts, Maria said that she had never suffered prejudice with almost two years of dating. “I couldn’t believe it, I thought it was a lie. We’ve been together one year and eight months and we never went through this.”
The first thing the couple did was block the pictures and leave the social network. But to proceed with the police investigation, they went back. “As soon as this happened, my boyfriend closed all the photos. I disabled my account, but it’s now enabled because the officer asked for this. It has nearly a thousand comments. Some support, but the majority are racist,” she explained.
1. Nascimento, Abdias do. Brazil, Mixture or Massacre?: Essays in the Genocide of a Black People Paperback. Majority Press, 1989.