Note from BW of Brazil: As this blog is specifically focused on issues of race with a focus on the experiences of black Brazilian women, the subject of today’s post shouldn’t have much relevance. But in fact, surprisingly, the name of Deputado (Congressman) Jair Bolsonaro has appeared on this blog quite a bit due some of his jaw-dropping outlandish statements that always manage to piss off one group or another, be they women, black people or the gay community. In fact, as pointed out in a previous article, the Rio-based politician has been hailed in various websites as the “Trump Brasileiro” (‘Brazilian Trump’) in reference to the new president of the United States.
Well, he’s at it again! Over the past few days, a number of Afro-Brazilians leaders, militants and activists have recently expressed their indignation with the latest headline-making comments made by Bolsonaro, this time at a Jewish club in Rio. And just so you know what type of personality we’re dealing with here, check out below some of Bolsonaro’s most infamous comments over the past few years courtesy of the Pragmatismo Político site:
- “The mistake of the dictatorship was torturing and not killing.” (Jair Bolsonaro, in discussion with demonstrators on the Military Dictatorship of 1964-1985)
- “Pinochet should have killed more people” (Bolsonaro on the Chilean dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, available in Veja magazine, edition 1575, of December 2, 1998 – page 39)
- “I would be unable to love a homosexual child. I’d rather have a son of mine die in an accident than show up with a mustache around here.” (Jair Bolsonaro in an interview on homosexuality in Playboy magazine)
- “I don’t rape you because you don’t deserve it” (Jair Messias Bolsonaro, to the federal deputy Maria do Rosário)
- “I do not run that risk, my children were very well educated” (Bolsonaro to singer Preta Gil, about what he would do if his children had a relationship with a black woman or homosexual)
- “The MP (Military Police) should have killed 1,000 rather than 111 prisoners.” (Bolsonaro, on the Carandiru Massacre in Rio in 1992)
- “I will not fight nor discriminate, but if I see two men kissing in the street, I’ll beat them.” (Affirmation of Jair Bolsonaro after mocking FHC (former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso) on his holding a flag with the colors of the rainbow)
- “You’re an idiot. You are an illiterate. You’re censored!” (Jair Bolsonaro’s irritated statement when interviewed by reporter Manuela Borges of Rede TV and the journalist decided to sue the deputy after the attacks)
- “Parliamentary should not go by bus”. (Declaration published by the newspaper O Dia in 2013)
- “Women must earn a lower wage because they get pregnant” (Bolsonaro justified the phrase: “when she returns [from maternity leave], she will have another month of vacation, that is, she worked five months in a year”)
After reading some of these bombs, do you wonder how it is that he has a lot of support from a certain segment of Brazilian society whose attitudes are, “you just wait to Bolsonaro becomes president!”? For more on Bolsonaro’s penchant for provoking outrage and how he actually makes Donald Trump look rather tame in comparison, see this article by news.com.au asking if he could be the “world’s most repulsive politician”. Just for a little background on why Bolsonaro’s comments are so inflammatory, you must understand a little about the quilombolas he refers to in his comments.
“A quilombola is a resident of a quilombo (maroon society) in Brazil. They are the descendants of Afro-Brazilian slaves who escaped from slave plantations that existed in Brazil until abolition in 1888. The national Movimento Negro (black movement) and the black rural communities in the northern regions of Pará and Maranhão gathered political momentum throughout the 1980s and succeeded in having quilombola land rights introduced into the 1988 Constitution in the form of Article 68. Regional and national organisations working to fight racial discrimination formed an alliance in 1986 that played an important role in the grassroots political action that resulted in Article 68. Black militants across Brazil demanded reparation and the recognition of the detrimental effects of slavery, including preventing black communities from accessing land.” Source
Jair Bolsonaro makes an unforgivable comment about black quilombolas
Courtesy of Pragmatismo Político
During a speech to the Jewish community at the Hebraica club in Rio de Janeiro, Jair Bolsonaro stated that black quilombolas ‘do not serve for anything, not even to procreate’. The deputy also said that indigenous reserves and quilombos disrupt the economy
In a speech to about 300 people in the auditorium of the Hebraica club, in the southern zone of Rio de Janeiro, on Tuesday (4), federal deputy Jair Bolsonaro (PSC-RJ) again uttered controversial and offensive sentences.
According to the Estadão newspaper, the presidential candidate promised that he will end all indigenous reserves and quilombola communities in the country if elected in 2018.
Bolsonaro seized the moment to attack the traditional communities:
“You can be sure that if I get there, there will be no money for NGOs. If it depends on me, every citizen will have a firearm in the house. There will not be a centimeter demarcated for indigenous reservations or for quilombolas.”
In February, in Paraíba, Bolsonaro suggested giving a rifle to the farmers as a visiting card against the MST (Movimento Sem Terra, Landless Movement).
The deputy said that indigenous and quilombola reserves disrupt the economy: “Where there is an indigenous land, there is a wealth beneath it. We have to change that from there.”
He said he went to “a quilombo”. From there he came back with the following insight: “The slightest Afro-descendant there weighed seven arrobas (see note 1). They don’t do anything. I don’t think they even serve for procreation any more. More than R$ 1 billion a year is spent on them.”
The presidential candidate also did not spare the refugees. “We cannot open the door for everyone,” he said. But he was not averse to all foreigners: “Has anyone ever seen any Japanese begging? It’s a race that has shame in the face! “
In the same speech, Bolsonaro even mocked women: “I have five children. There were four men, the fifth I got weak and a woman came out.”
Bolsonaro was invited to speak at the Hebraica club in Rio de Janeiro after having his speech boycotted in Hebraica in São Paulo. Even in Rio, 100 people protested outside the club against the deputy’s speech.
Many representatives of the Jewish community in Rio de Janeiro repudiated Bolsonaro’s racist speech. Doctor Nelson Nisenbaum said the event was an offense to the legacy of Judaism.
“It is deeply bitter to verify that among us, Jews, there are so many people who don’t have the capacity to realize, understand and fear the discourses of hatred, discrimination and totalitarianism of this pathetic being. To allow even these ideas to penetrate a Jewish environment, although not essentially religious or liturgical, is a true sacrilege, a profanation, a grave offense to the humanistic legacy of Judaism, so sacred and dear to us,” he said.
In a video posted on Facebook, filmmaker Ieda Rosenfeld criticized the fact that there were “300 blind Jews” applauding Bolsonaro’s biased statements. “I was there to see if everything was true about him and he’s an imbecile,” he said. “I was raised in Hebraica, it is the cradle of my grandparents,” he added.
- An arroba is a unit of measure equivalent to 14.69 kg. or 32.39 lbs.