Note from BW of Brazil: With the Brazilian election only about 8 days away, the country’s racist nature reveals itself once again. But does the presidential election have to do with this latest display of racist ideologies? Well, since the introduction of affirmative action policies in 2003, there has been a great increase of Afro-Brazilians entering college, earning degrees and improving their lives. And as a previous article revealed, there is a parcel of the population that is not pleased with this ascension. The party (PT) of the current President, Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor, Lula da Silva, is strongly associated with opening this window of opportunity and for many supporters of Rousseff’s opponent, a PT defeat would represent a return to the way things were.
A great parcel of that population doesn’t like seeing “those people” having access to airplane flights, respecting the rights of their maids or seeing Afro-Brazilians on college campuses. At the moment, no one knows exactly what caused this latest example of a continuously growing neo-Nazi movement in several parts of Brazil, but a connection cannot be ruled out. For those of you who don’t remember, this isn’t first time that rejection of black presence in Brazilian universities has shown itself. And the message is always the same in reference to Afro-Brazilians: “Go back to ‘your place‘”.
Neo-Nazism in Uninove: “The place of black monkey is in the slave quarters”
The message was written in the bathroom of the college on the campus in Barra Funda neighborhood of São Paulo; reports also indicate that an individual with a swastika tattooed on his arm is threatening students
By Igor Carvalho in collaboration with Ivan Longo
Students of the Uninove (Universidade Nove de Julho) college in the Barra Funda campus, in the west zone of São Paulo, are afraid. On the night of Wednesday (15) a message of clearly racist and neo-Nazi content was found in one of the bathrooms and recorded by college students.
“(The) place the negro macaco (black monkey) is in the slave quarters, not in college,” was written.
Only the message itself, for students – mostly black or gay – is already daunting. An event that happened last week, however, makes the situation even more complicated.
A student who declined to be identified said that last Friday (10), an individual with a swastika tattooed on his arm had threatened to kill a punk who was with students in a bar near the college.
“A guy who was wearing his clothes punk was threatened with death by a man who was tattooed with a swastika and another claiming to be Civil Police and was armed. Soon, frightened, he left. But Wednesday (15), entering the bathroom, another guy saw this written there in the bathroom next to room 905 at the campus memorial. A girl, also a student, said that she was coerced by law students who claim they are nationalists,” he said.
Sought (for comment), Uninove said it is investigating the case and that, according to what it finds, will take appropriate measures. Students, in turn, marked an act against racism and neo-Nazi demonstrations tomorrow (17) at 11:30 am, in front of the college building, on Adolpho Pinto street. They demand that the board take action regarding the racist graffiti.
Students from Uninove protest against racism in São Paulo
By Daniel Santos
A group of students gathered in front of the Uninove, on Friday (17), to protest. On Wednesday (15), a racist message was found in one of the bathrooms college. With bullhorn and posters, the demonstrators called attention by screaming in unison, “racists will not keep on.”
According to Danilo Gonçalves, 26, a social sciences student, the purpose of the act is “flood the college”, ie, show that prejudice is everywhere. “Racism, prejudice or any other, does not only happen here. We also want to raise awareness to those who pass by and see our protest. The Nazi message in the bathroom was what motivated us, but we are here to repudiate any kind of discrimination.”
Danilo also said that the building security was alerted about the message, but told the students that it was a “normal, everyday situation.”
For Carina Vitral, 25, from the Economics course, the manifestation is another warning to society. “It’s important to give visibility to a problem that is so recurring. The message in the bathroom refers to two abominable situations: the text speaks of ‘senzala’ (slave quarters), which leads us to suffering again due to a dark period of our history. Furthermore, the author speaks of exclusion when he says that ‘the place of blacks is not in college.’ We want to reinforce that, yes, we already have a valid policy of inclusion for all.”
Protesters say they didn’t know of other cases. However, according to a teacher who followed the act, students have complained of fundamentalist groups in the vicinity or college itself. But the professor, who declined to be identified, says he has no way to prove whether these factions are effective or if they were isolated cases, “perhaps motivated by controversial discussions of the elections.”
The demonstration, which lasted about an hour, ended with a song by the rapper Criolo.
According to the student Danilo Gonçalves, the board of Uninove became aware of the message – which was deleted – and promised to meet with students to talk about what happened. “The faculty adhered to the problem and suggested that we get together in a project to raise awareness, still undefined and indefinite.”
Sought to speak about the case, the university issued an official statement on the case and said repudiate any act as occurred. “Uninove, inspired by the principles of Equality, Social Justice and Solidarity, true pillars of a democratic state, strongly refutes any manifestation of hatred, intolerance, discrimination and violence, which are not consistent with the country that we want to construct,” said the institution.