Note from BW of Brazil: I knew it wouldn’t be very long before this question would come about. Why don’t black Brazilians take to the streets and express their revolt in a similar manner as black Americans? It is a legitimate question as black Brazilians continue to re-examine the questions of why there are so many differences between them and their “cousins” in North America. There are several factors to consider here, but based on the history and what I’ve seen in the past two decades, the answer to this question isn’t really as difficult as it appears. This even as I had to laugh as a meme made light of the situation in a humorous but serious manner.
When we compare the styles of racism in both countries, we see that whereas the United States segregated its black population, kept racial mixing between blacks and whites at a relative minimum for several decades while in Brazil, the strategy was the exact opposite, encouraging the mixture of the races. The result? The separation between blacks and whites in terms of living spaces and personal relationships allowed a rage within the African-American community to fester because there was very little intimate contact that could effect put out of the flames of racial animosity.
In Brazil, so many Afro-Brazilians have close contact with whites, both in (lower class) neighborhoods as well as in their family bonds that, even perceiving a difference in treatment based on skin color, it is difficult to develop a strong dislike/hatred for those so close to you. The physical mixture also diluted a strong connection to a black identity to the degree that still today there are millions of persons of African descent in Brazil who don’t see themselves as black.
The other weapon used to such a successful degree in Brazil is the endoctrination process in which people who are clearly victims of racist treatment were taught to believe that racism was in fact a thing that rarely happens in Brazil, at least not like it does in the United States. Even the current President of country continues to proclaim that racism in Brazil is a rare thing. Then, to top all of this off, Brazilian elites made sure that attitudes of those militant African-Americans didn’t influence its “docile” Afro-Brazilian population.
Brazil has long sought to undermine the development of any sort of pro-black militancy among black Brazilians dating all the way back to elite fears of how its enormous population of color could react if they got wind of how black Haitians had defeated one of the strongest militaries in the world at the end of the 18th century.
When news of the Black Power movement in the US was making world headlines and African-American Soul and Funk music began to captivate black Brazilians, the military dictatorship (1964-1985) of the time did everything it could to make sure no Brazilian version of that Black Power movement could take hold Brazil.
Today in Brazil, you still see in both media propaganda and in certain wings of social movements this promotion of racial harmony in which blacks and whites are thought to be hand in hand, one country, one people in which they “are all equal”. In my view, such propaganda mentally and emotionally disarms the black Brazilian into believing that racism isn’t a serious problem. And by deep down believing this to a certain degree, when a humiliating racist event happens, the unprepared black Brazilian is often reduced to tears as their parents had never had the racism discussion with them.
The effects of the two styles of racism play out in the reactions of the two populations. How many videos have we seen of African-American black men, women and children getting into physical altercations with white men, women and children after some racial insult was said on a popular video shown in a social network? Contrast that with numerous incidents in which I seen black Brazilian children or even adult futebol players break down in tears after having been the target of racist behavior. I’ve seen this more often than I can remember. In fact, back in March it was reported that a black Brazilian futebol (soccer/football) player named Tilica left the field crying because he had been called a “macaco” (monkey) by fans of the opposing team.
It is for these reasons and many more that I have been of the opinion that Brazilian racism is more effective than American racism for some time. It undermines black Brazilian identity, creates confusion and psychologically disarms the very group that is the target of the abuse. With all of these factors, is it any wonder that Afro-Brazilians as a whole aren’t the powder keg waiting to explode as we’ve seen, once again, within the African-American community?
Why don’t black Brazilians revolt like black Americans?
By Dodô Azevedo
If you want a simple answer, look at the question. A Brazilian is a Brazilian, an American is an American.
But it turns out that blacks from other countries have also responded to the violence imposed on their people. From the suburbs of Paris to the Soweto neighborhood, from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere, blacks have reacted.
You see, the word violence has not yet entered here.
Because the mystery is not even knowing why blacks in Rio de Janeiro, for example, did not set the whole city on fire when the girl Agatha was murdered in September last year.
The mystery is not why blacks did not react violently.
The real mystery is why blacks didn’t even react.
Let us return to the phrase “it happens that blacks from other countries have also reacted to the violence imposed on their people”. Understood. Mystery solved.
The black Brazilian is a unique black in the world because he does not see himself as a people. He was not educated to see himself as a people. He is not educated to see himself as a people. The black Brazilian was programmed to not even see himself as black.
In 1835, in Bahia, black Islamist slaves planned an uprising, the “Revolta dos Malês“. Taking the capital of Salvador by killing whoever was in their way.
Education. Like Judaism, Islam is a source of fundamental education (civilized Europe) and, above all, it teaches a people to see themselves as a people.
The black Brazilian was educated to fall into the vicar’s tale, in the version created by the elite that we are “a people made up by many peoples”.
Those who align themselves with this demographic fraud, who think that we are really “a people made up of many peoples” are the Brazilians who belong to the privileged classes and races.
The trick of convincing black Brazilians that we are a large and beautiful diverse family, Tupis, cafuzos, blondes, blacks. And, therefore, no one is Tupi (Indian), nor cafuzo (black Indian), nor blond, nor black. We are the sum. Therefore, blacks, in Brazil, since here they try to show us that there are no races, but amalgamations, don’t even find the category “negro” in which to see themselves.
And not seeing themselves, they disappear.
If in London the police murder a Syrian girl, the Syrian community, which sees itself as a people, will break it into pieces. If a Rohingya girl is raped in an alley in Cox’s Bazar, on the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh, the Rohingya people will tear it down.
In Brazil, if a black girl is shot in the back, what we see are two months of news and hashtags.
The trick of educating blacks so that they do not understand themselves as blacks and, consequently, do not understand themselves as people, as with Rohingya, Syrians, Jews and Muslims, is so perverse in Brazil that our identification as a people occurs through the market.
Devices that join us, serving as a smoke screen to see what people we really belong to.
Example 1: If a fan of the Palmeiras futebol team is attacked by a Corinthians fan in a metro station, “the Corinthians people” will swear revenge. Probably, in the confrontation, black people will kill black people.
Example 2: If a bandit from one faction X is murdered by another, from faction Y, while taking a puff of smoke, “The people of faction X”, will swear revenge. And together, we will probably see more black people killing black people.
Outside Brazil, blacks have been educated, since they were children, to see themselves as blacks. And all black American movements that went out to confront, like the Black Panthers, did not do so without first studying, reading books on the subject, producing robust intellectuals that would make them escape the trap of “Western education”.
The American book The Miseducation of the Negro, by Carter Woodson, written in 1933, is one of the lighthouses that we didn’t have here. Although we dance to the songs of the album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill to this day, where the singer made a point of imitating the design of the 1933 book cover on the famous cover of her album.
It would be as if Anitta’s first album had the black Brazilian geographer Milton Santos on the cover.
But Anitta is not to blame for anything. She and you have not read Carter Woodson’s fundamental work. And they are still showing signs of political awakening. We can’t blame her. Neither she nor any other black person who doesn’t know she/he is black, or who didn’t want to know that she/he is black because it is something that in Brazil is hard work, or doesn’t see himself as part of a people that is antagonized and excluded all the time by ethnic groups that hold power in the country.
We black Brazilians were all educated away from our own culture and tradition and linked to the fringes of white people’s culture.
All people are beautiful. Whites, Syrians, Rhohingyas, Jews. Beautiful all. And everyone sees each other as a distinct people. And there is no sin in that.
On the contrary, seeing oneself as a people is the most beautiful thing that can happen to one.
As it was published here, in yesterday’s column, what the black people want is nothing that is not given to everyone else.
The right to breathe.
And, in the case of the black Brazilian people, the right to see.
To see themselves.
A DESEDUCAÇÃO DO NEGRO
Price BRL $ 40 (180 pages)
Author Carter G. Woodson
Publisher Medu Neter
Note: The question of why black Brazilians don’t express their anger in the same manner as black Americans is a topic that is being debated in several online communities. Below are just a few of the comments in response to the meme near the top of this article.
Vinicius: I’m impressed that the answer there is almost literally putting fire to the racist. Here, at most people in the community burn buses.
Claudinei: White Brazilian middle class, occupied the left parties and did the disservice to the BLACK movement. In Brazil, whoever screams loses their reason. Concepts of the construction of historical submission. It’s past time to confront at the base with a tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye. We haven’t reached this stage yet, because a prince or a sensible fairy always appears and does the brain washing on our peers.
Douglas: We weren’t domesticated, it turns out that racism in North America is totally different from the racism practiced in Brazil. In the US, there is full support from the majority of the population, there are daily aggressions, the enemies are known and speak publicly about how much they hate Blacks. In Brazil, there is veiled racism, the majority hates Blacks but will not declare it, so they act in a disguised way of any “good act”. making ineffective any law against the prejudice that was already born ineffective.
A demonstration against the death of George Floyd was held with the unity of white people and black people, against the city police. Here in Brazil, if you speak out against the police, all they have to say is that you are a bandit, a trafficker, I suspect that automatically legitimizes any act of violence against you, and the allegations don’t have to be true, just create the doubt. Black and favelados (slum dwellers) will never be suspected.
Soares: No, what happens is that the black Brazilian is not united. This lack of unity has taken some Blacks to the extreme right. Or the black Brazilian revises his concept as a black, accepting his blackness. For only with unity and breaking certain paradigms will we all be united in a single purpose. The growth of blacks as a whole.
Andreia: Know what I think, back in the 50’s there was a very strong unity with blacks, something that we didn’t have here, the racism there is open to those whoever wants to see it, having the KKK, a neighborhood of black and of white, here the black man doesn’t even know if he is black or white, can’t fight for his brother who was murdered because he doesn’t identify himself, there is no unity, fear of losing the job or friends.
Black: Proud to see American blacks fighting for our race and ashamed to see black Brazilians with their arms crossed…
Paulo: Blacks from other countries no longer accept this disease called racism, and realized that we are the majority, here in Brazil we are still lagging behind, and by not knowing our culture, become peaceful and accept everything quietly.
Marcus Vinícius: Let’s stop talking bad about ourselves and get to the facts: 1. The Brazilian racial struggle is much more in the line of resistance, it’s not a bad thing, it makes us the country with the greatest number of blacks outside of America, even under a strong genocide. 2. We move more money than the American blacks. 3. Unlike them, we live mixed, that makes attacks difficult due to reasons of affection. 4 In Brazil part of the police that kill blacks are also blacks, that’s why the image of the girl delivering flowers: THE POLICE OF THE PHOTO IS BLACK!
Source: Cada Minuto