Note from BW of Brazil: I have to admit, I’m a little puzzled by this. In the past few weeks, the international press has voiced its opinion on the threat that front-runner Presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, is to Brazilian democracy. Much of the Brazilian population is familiar with outlandish comments the man promoted as the “Brazilian Trump” has made about black people, women, homosexuals and the like. Many Brazilians also know that Bolsonaro, a military man, looks at the 21 year Military Dictatorship (1964-1985) that ruled Brazil with admiration, knowing the brutality of the regime that murdered, tortured and disappeared thousands of Brazilians. In fact, the PSL candidate believes that a mistake of the dictatorship was torturing instead of killing more people.
Bolsonaro also supports the Military Police having a pass to go into the poor, majority black favelas and go on a killing spree, because a “good criminal is a dead criminal”, this even though the vast majority of people living in these areas have no connection to drug trafficking or crime. The rhetoric of hate coming out of this man is startling, but what’s perhaps even more startling is the support that he gets from people he has insulted over the years. This blog has long pointed out the genocidal rates of murder among black Brazilians, so what is it that drives a black Brazilian to vote for this man given the statements he’s made about black quilombolas, the idea that racism doesn’t exist, Brazil owing Afro-Brazilians nothing after nearly 400 years of enslavement and that blacks are responsible for their own enslavement. Silvia Nascimento of the Mundo Negro website has her own ideas about blacks who vote for Bolsonaro, an issue I will cover more in upcoming articles, but for now, check out what Silvia opinion below.
Blacks who vote for the military don’t believe that racism exists in Brazil
By Silvia Nascimento
I’ve been writing about racism for almost 20 years through the Internet and there are some phenomena in my community that my understanding can’t decipher. I can understand liberal blacks, Christians, that marry people of other ethnicities, straighten their hair and everything.
We are as complex as any other people, we have our preferences and respect them, it’s one of the most important aspects of democracy. We are free, at least constitutionally.
However, focusing on the current political but specifically electoral state, every time I read “I am a black man/black women and I vote for Bolsonaro”, it gives me a mixture of perplexity and sadness. I don’t feel angry, because the ignorance of the majority of Brazilians is due to lack of education, knowing how this country was constructed, to analyze who worked freely (in deplorable conditions) to fill the pockets of who, and what were the colors of these people. If poverty is black, we can never disassociate race from political discussions.
Buying electoral discourses that don’t contemplate racial aspects has at least two problems:
The first is seeing the world from the perspective of branquitude (whiteness). What interest does the homen branco (white man), master of at least 90% of us all (when they are not white women), have in matters that contemplate diversity and inclusion, if they mean to share the slice of his cake?
The second point is directly linked to racism. This fact, because of an abolition that happened yesterday, in the chronological sense of the history of humanity, places blacks and Indians in worse conditions in all social and economic aspects. If it is the president’s role, to improve socio-economic conditions, but he doesn’t see color, we have a problem.
If you are black and don’t like the PT and you have your reasons for it, it is a right. But when you, on account of this, give a vote to a candidate who has placed the word negro (black) in his Government plan only once, you are choosing someone who thinks that racism doesn’t exist, and thus neither is it necessary for strategies to improve life of black people and their descendants.
There has been an increase in black people in classes A and B in recent years and this is directly linked to government programs that have facilitated access to the universities. With more studies, better jobs, better income. A virtuous black cycle as we deserve.
Voting for the military candidate means returning a thousand houses in a game that we have already started at a disadvantage. He doesn’t want to discuss racism, because he wants you to believe that somos todos iguais (we are all equal). That the elder black lady who takes the bus to work to the house of her patroa branca (white boss) who was already born rich, is not rich because she hasn’t worked hard.
If your life goes wrong in the next 4 years, with factors such as loss of labor benefits, increased taxes (for poor, of course), the military candidate will say that it’s all your fault. And you know what? It really will be.
Source: Mundo Negro