Black People : Black Brazilians Fed Up With Racism

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Mad Skillz, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. Mad Skillz

    Mad Skillz Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Oct 28, 2004
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    Real Estate
    So. Cal by way of L.I., New York
    Despite the disparities, debate about race is rare in Brazil, and problems are more felt than spoken about.

    Black Brazilians have never launched a civil rights movement like that in the United States nor have they developed national black leaders in the mold of Martin Luther King Jr. or South Africa's Nelson Mandela.

    Also nonexistent are black civic groups with the power of U.S. institutions, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or financial networks that could spur black entrepreneurship.

    Those who do speak out about racial disparities, such as TV da Gente, are accused by critics - including some prominent blacks - of fomenting racial divisions or of racism.

    "Every time we try to put together a project like this, we're criticized by the government and everyone else who says there is no racism in Brazil," said Hasani Damazio, TV da Gente's director of international programs. "It's clear that race is treated very differently here than in the U.S."

    A key difference is that Brazil never imposed legal racial segregation like the United States and South Africa did, which meant black Brazilians didn't have an institutional injustice to rally around.

    Black leaders also blame what they describe as decades of self-censorship about race spurred by the "racial democracy" vision of their country, which long defined Brazilian self-identity.

    Preached in the early 20th century by sociologist Gilberto Freyre, the vision depicted a Brazil that was freeing itself of racism and even of the concept of race through pervasive mixing of the races.

    Opponents to the pending affirmative-action bills have echoed key points of Freyre's argument, especially those about miscegenation. Census statistics show about 30 percent of Brazilian households were headed in 2000 by couples from different racial backgrounds - six times the U.S. ratio.

    Ali Kamel, executive director of news for the country's biggest television network, Globo, said Brazilians don't think in terms of white and black, and he argued that poverty affects all Brazilians. He blamed a collapse in public education and not racism for social disparities.

    "Our big problem in Brazil is poverty, not racial discrimination," Kamel said. "The racism here is at a degree infinitesimally less than in other countries."

    Opposition to the affirmative-action bills also has come from some black leaders, including Jose Carlos Miranda, coordinator of Brazil's Black Socialist Movement, who fear race-based policies could aggravate racism.

    "The worst thing we could do is pass laws that deepen divisions that already exist," Miranda said. "What wounds us the most is class, and the only way to fight racism is to promote more equality."

    Still, polls show that the time-worn idea of a multihued racial democracy is losing its sway, as the race debate heats up. A 2003 poll showed that more than 90 percent of Brazilians said racism existed in the country.



    United States
    Jun 10, 2004
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    ...Now how do you think I feel about Color-coding?....