Brazil: the cult of whiteness; Abdias do Nascimento, the African-Brazilian senator, artist and author, writes on the disappearing blackness of the country's African-descended people.The African conceptual universe, the diversity of Africans in the Americas, in the mistakenly European world of Brazil, are essential to my painting, as are black people's social and human difficulties in a country they built for others.
In 1957, the Brazilian sociologist, Geurreiro Ramos, wrote an essay called The Social Pathology of Brazilian Whites. It describes in ironic tone, the intimate, anomalous and morbid desire, harboured by every Brazilian, to be white and European. Economic and political power, as well as social prestige, is granted exclusively to those who adhere to adhere to
verb 1. follow, keep, maintain, respect, observe, be true, fulfil, obey, heed, keep to, abide by, be loyal, mind, be constant, be faithful
2. the paragons of whiteness. Exceptions, extremely rare, merely confirm the rule.
This situation is perverse in a country like Brazil, built entirely by African labour. A country in which, over most of its history, Africans and their descendants DESCENDANTS. Those who have issued from an individual, and include his children, grandchildren, and their children to the remotest degree. Ambl. 327 2 Bro. C. C. 30; Id. 230 3 Bro. C. C. 367; 1 Rop. Leg. 115; 2 Bouv. n. 1956.
2. have constituted two-thirds or more of the population, and today are still a majority of its 180.7 million people. Population-wise, outside Nigeria, Brazil is the largest African country in the world. For such a country to define itself as white and European is not only strange but scandalous MATTER, SCANDALOUS, equity pleading. A false and malicious statement of facts, not relevant to the cause. But nothing which is positively relevant, however harsh or gross the charge may be, can be considered scandalous. 4 Bouv. Inst. n. 4163.
2. , for the ultimate goal of the Eurocentric ideology is to eliminate Africans: a subtle and hypocritical hyp·o·crit·i·cal
1. Characterized by hypocrisy: hypocritical praise.
2. Being a hypocrite: a hypocritical rogue. sort of genocide that leaves no clues to its crime.
This genocide's strategy is the whitening whit·en·ing
1. An agent used to make something white or whiter.
2. The act or process of making white or whiter.
Noun 1. ideology. Along with the policy of stimulating and subsidising European immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important. with the explicit goal of "whitening" the population, the social compulsion of whiteness was imposed on black people, encouraging them to "better the race" by marrying white.
"Passing" is the ethnic norm: mulattos are generously identified as whites. Official statistics are gravely distorted by this process, in which the "black group loses much and gains extremely little, the pardo group gains much more than it loses, and the white group gains much and loses nothing".
Even taking these distortions into account, the drastic decline of the black group over history is obvious. At independence in 1822, Brazil had two-and-a-half times more blacks than whites. By 1872, half were Afro-Brazilian, and in 1950 the figure was down to 37%. The 1990 census put the black and pardo population at about 45%.
Abolition of slavery took place in 1888, the last in all the Americas, and 100 years later, African Brazilians' living conditions living conditions npl → condiciones fpl de vida
living conditions npl → conditions fpl de vie
living conditions living remain unaltered. Legally freed from slavery, they were left without shelter, food or education and dislocated dis·lo·cate
tr.v. dis·lo·cat·ed, dis·lo·cat·ing, dis·lo·cates
1. To put out of usual or proper place, position, or relationship.
2. from the labour market by subsidised European immigrants who obtained land concessions and other benefits.
These immigrants rapidly rose to positions of social, political and economic privilege, while Afro-Brazilians remained at poverty level as cleaning women, domestic servants, or errand-boys, when able to find employment.
Race and colour discrimination is one of the most important factors of unemployment, and racial income and employment inequalities are a well-established fact of Brazilian life.
Brazilian ruling society still adheres to the theory that racial inequalities are a function merely of class barriers. Yet we exist as Africans and as Africans we are excluded, this is the indisputable fact. Because of our African origin, we suffer endless limitations at the collective, personal and spiritual levels.
Countless Afro-Brazilian organisations have voiced their protest, and we have won some victories in the recent past. Some examples were my election as the first African-Brazilian Congressman (1982-86) and Senator (1991) to defend our community's human and civil rights in the national Congress, and the creation by Governor Leonel Brizola Leonel de Moura Brizola (Passo Fundo, Rio Grande do Sul, January 22, 1922 — Rio de Janeiro, June 21 2004) was a Brazilian politician. He was governor of the state of Rio Grande do Sul from 1959 to 1962 and served two terms as governor of Rio de Janeiro state (1983–1987 of the State Secretariat for the Defence and Promotion of Afro-Brazilian Peoples in 1991.
In Brazil, the stigma of African cultural inferiority remains fully in force, albeit expressed in veiled and underlying form, an implicit component of ostensibly os·ten·si·ble
Represented or appearing as such; ostensive: His ostensible purpose was charity, but his real goal was popularity. non-racist discourse. Indeed, this is Brazilian racism's most outstanding characteristic: its cowardly, unashamedly un·a·shamed
Feeling or showing no remorse, shame, or embarrassment:
una·sham way of declaring itself non-racist.
The cult of whiteness has always attempted to deny African values in ecumenical and mainstream cultural terms. The African cultural contribution is accepted only as exotic, ie, alien to authentic culture.
The act or an example of substituting a mild, indirect, or vague term for one considered harsh, blunt, or offensive: "Euphemisms such as 'slumber room' . . . , Brazilian ruling society demands that we, blacks, be Brazilian and not African.
This really means that Afro-Brazilians must acculturate or assimilate: in a word, become white, at least on the inside. Only as "blacks with white souls" can Afro-Brazilians be Brazilian, for the Brazilian soul is not African.
Internalising exclusively European concepts of "culture" and "aesthetics", blacks are led to deny their African roots, traditions, and creations.