Note from BW of Brazil: You know, if you didn’t know anything about Brazil, you might be surprised that these sort of controversies even happen. I won’t even write too much about today’s post because so many people were all over it. Let me just set it up, two women rappers posted a video back in December of last year and the video didn’t attract much attention when it first dropped. But then on Friday, I started getting bombed in my social networks with people commenting about the video and blasting the branquinhas (white girls) who recorded it. As various bloggers, activists and social media pages began to percolate, the duo removed the video from their YouTube page. It was no use. Enough people downloaded the video and began to re-post it with subtitles for all to see.
So what’s the fuss all about? Well, once again, it’s how the idea of race plays out in the social imagination of the Brazilian population. Over the past several years, this blog has repeatedly demonstrated how non-white people are viewed in Brazilian society. Black women are always automatically thought to be maids, nannies, cleaning women or Carnaval dancers. Black men are usually thought to be doormen/guards, chauffeurs, street sweepers, thugs or criminals. Both black men and black women are also associated with hyper-sexuality. We saw an example of this ideology in a recent video by a pop singer, also a white woman. In this most recent example, the women flat out agreed that the men in a Hip Hop video had a certain look that says, if they should ever run into them in the street, they should fear being robbed or raped! It’s funny when actress Taís Araújo said this is how people may someday view her son, white people pummeled her with insults.
Let’s just be real about this, the fear these women express about the men of this rap group would not exist if they were blond, with blue eyes and European features. Does anyone disagree? Let’s get to the story while you think about it..
Dearest Livia Cruz and Barbara Sweet …
Hello girls! How ya doin’?
I would like you to understand that I will not crucify you for the video and don’t be offended if I come to call you brancas (white women). You are brancas. Perhaps the discomfort is because branquitude (whiteness) is not understood as a collectivity. And you’ve probably never heard phrases like “ela é uma ótima cantora branca” (she’s a great white singer)!. After all, they only use phrases like these to refer to people like me: negras (black women).
But back to the subject, understand very well that there are people who, out of ignorance, don’t know about certain subjects. No one was born deconstructed, isn’t that right? In the video “Objetificando” (Objectifying), this seems to be the case with you. But calm down. Let me explain why it seems this way.
When I saw the title, I confess that I got a bit thoughtful if I would click or not watch. I decided to watch. Really, if I was a little less enlightened I would love the video. But right now, it’s not my case.
Livia, I know the picture “is not supposed to be politically correct,” as you yourself responded to a web surfer on your channel. I know deep down you know that this video was unnecessary, after all you answered to your follower “sometimes what is funny for some, is not for others, normal.”. But it’s not normal, you know? It can’t be normal for pessoas brancas (white people), as is the case with you, making racist comments sounds funny, while for me and so many other negros e negras (black men and black women), the name of this is violence.
I think, I can’t be sure why I do not know you two directly, and I’m not going to throw your respective names on Google, that you consider yourselves to be feminists. I say this because I’ve heard some Livia songs and I’ve seen some Barbara video with Clara Averbuck. That must be why you tried on the screen “(0:50) gives a little taste to the men MCs the possibility of being objectified.” I know how much machismo hurts and kills.
10 minutes before watching your video, I saw this photo on Instagram:
Feminism without intersectionality is just white supremacy. Looks like it was a signal to get ready for the video. You used feminism to feed racism. Tell me, how can you fight one oppression and feed another? It seems a little inconsistent, does it not?
You have chosen only men with a single type of phenotype. Probably must have used that unconscious bias of whiteness which, unfortunately, is something quite common.
Barbara, when you say that:
Translation: (12:15) “He’s the guy that you’ll find coming out of the police van and you look at his face and don’t know if you hand over your phone or take off your panties. It’s a doubt. Oh my God, do I sit on his face, will I give him my wallet? I don’t know what I do. Nossa Senhora (Our Lady), will he rob me, will he fuck me? We don’t know. This doubt is part of the attraction he carries with him. You look at his face, he looks like that guy in the biqueira (crack house) with his rifle in his hand and that’s sex.”
This is perverse.
I don’t think you know the “Eu Pareço Suspeito” (Do I look suspicious) campaign, do you? Otherwise you wouldn’t say something like that. Surely, it wasn’t bad, right. But giving a spoiler to the campaign is an instrument of action in the fight against institutional racism. Research shows that racial violence is aggravated in situations of police approach, where the victim with “esse padrãozinho específico” (this specific standard) is “suspeito em potencial” (potential suspect) for being black.
That is why it is not acceptable, Bárbara, a comment like this:
Translation – (13:34) “But if I run into a guy from the street with that same face I’ll think the same thing about him: My God, I don’t know if I take off my panties or hand over my wallet. This is the doubt that affects me with people who fit this padrãozinho específico (specific standard).”
Angelo Costa: “They are not bandits, they’re black men. Which for them maybe synonymous.”
Lívia, thank you for saying this:
Translation (13:20) “This thinking is collective because I have heard it from people already. This confusion of what I do.”
It’s so good that you recognize that a person there is racist. I don’t know if it was clear that you are also included in this people.
You can say that they are not racist or weren’t racists. But racists really think they aren’t. Please don’t maintain racism. Talk to people outside of your bubbles. Read, study, listen. If you are willing, we could talk, really.
I do not want to prolong because this because, probably what is written here may be ignored by you and soon more people will appear, who saw no problem in the video, cursing me. And there is also a great risk of homens pretos (black men) defending you.
In many cases white people listen to white people when it comes to racism. So take this one:
Translation – Maria Fernanda: “Fighting against the objectification suffered by women (by) stereotyping black men? Shit, we white women have numerous privileges and we would recognize this more if we read and listened to more of what black feminists have teach us about their experiences.”
And remember: you are not being attacked by pessoas negras (black people). You are being notified of the racism that you committed. The mantra is: Don’t fight against oppression by feeding another.
Note from BW of Brazil: As I wrote in the intro to this post, I really don’t need to say much here. I’ve already said that the purpose of this blog is expose racial issues in Brazil to an English-speaking audience, as well as show that there are a lot of Brazilians who see these racial issues the same way that I do. Need more examples? Read below the comments of other black Brazilians who were disgusted with what the women at the center of this controversy had to say.
BRANQUELAS (WHITE CHICKS) treating black men as sexual objects
By Robin Batista; other comments courtesy of Buzzfeed and social networks
In short: two white women rappers make a video to “objectify men”. Who do they choose the most? Black men. What’s new about white people treating gente negra (black people) as pieces of meat?
Take here only their lines just so you have an idea:
“This guy is like the one I’m going to see coming out of the wreck and I do not know if he’s going to fuck me or rob me. This doubt is part of the attraction he carries with him. It looks like a guy in his fist with his rifle in his hand, and that’s sexy. If I run into a caboclo (guy) like him with that same face, I’ll think the same thing about him: do I take my panties off or give him my wallet? […] Do you the desire to have sex with a guy like that?”
For those idiots this is female empowerment. To me it’s disgusting branquela nojenta (disgusting white girls), blowing off racism without half words. More and more white people invading the elements of hip hop to blow off racism.
I was thinking today: how many of us did not think about being garotos de programa (male prostitutes) when you didn’t see any choices of work? That’s not fucking normal!!!! This has everything to do with the idea that you just have a pau grande (big dick), that the best we have to offer in this world is sex. When it’s not that, we have to justify ourselves in EVERYTHING that we do to prove we didn’t do something wrong or steal something. This type of thinking that only diminishes us is reproduced by brancas e brancos (white women and white men) in any ole kinda way, the difference is that now they make public videos (Y)
Posting this video just to denounce in general until this shit drops. Are you going to give them Ibope (high TV ratings)? Go! But if these Sinhás (see note one) want to show up, let us be reminded of what they do with pleasure: vomit racism.
Ylê: “Shame on the livia cruz and barbara sweet, much self-esteem of the white woman thinking that you can come out saying what you want about any person only because they are feminists – appropriate a movement so big like Hip Hop and do a video being racist with black men.”
Belinha: “The rappers – white women – Livia Cruz and Barbara Sweet – objectifying black men in a vlog of 18 minutes was one of the worst things I’ve seen this year. It’s absurd that in 2018 girls calling themselves feminists don’t take in consideration other types of oppression.”
Milena: “I’m shocked with Livia Cruz and Barbara Sweet saying that when she sees a black man she doesn’t not know if she hands over her purse or panties. This racist feminism doesn’t represent me. A shame of rap.”
Tati: You know what’s fucked up? It’s really us falling into this chat that in 2018 people don’t have a notion of racism. You all say racist phrases from START TO FINISH of the video. The video was even edited. You know? It’s not a question of knowledge, it’s a question of good sense. And this only shows what you all are. You meaning to or not, were racists and I don’t doubt that you will be again.
Caio: It’s fucked up to realize that YEARS and YEARS of rap didn’t make you learn not even the BASIC. More fucked up still is realizing that the apology only happened AFTER someone felt offended, because if it weren’t for this you would keep on with this same attitude comparing black men to bandits.
We get enraged with this shit, but it serves to remember that it’s no use trusting in any sinhás, as well intentioned as they say they are. I’m gonna keep on strengthening my black girls that are vanguards in every fuckin’ thing.
Isabel: A strange discomfort is panties in wedged in your ass and a tight bra. You are racist. Excused not fitting for your attitudes, calling yourselves rappers (black culture) and not knowing what racism is? Do you understand why there is repulse of your profile being inserted in rap? You’re white. You appropriate something not fit for you and on top of this you’re racist. “Let me hold something down here of black culture and say how black men have criminal faces”…There are no excuses for something that is a crime! Do you understand your privilege? Racist/criminal with a video like this almost two months on the air and nothing happened to you. It’s not good…Limit yourself!
- As Brazil is a country in which 350 years of black slavery still influences race relations today, we’ve seen numerous references to white women as “sinhás”, a term that defines the wife of the slave owner in colonial Brazil.