Racism in Brazil
This is an article I got from deepbrazil.com. Too many, Brazil seems as if it is free from racism, but that is far from the fact. In Brazil, unlike other countries, different ethnic groups interact a lot – sometimes peacefully, sometimes not. This interaction leads, frequently to mixed marriages, genes and cultural heritage.
This healthy mix gets more evident when geneticists investigate our origins. Neguinho da Beija-Flor, a famous samba composer from Rio, is mostly white, genetically – even if his nickname stresses his very dark complexion. On the other hand, Daine dos Santos – Olympic gymnastic gold medalist recently involved in a doping scandal – represents what could be a “typical” brasileira: 39,7% African, 40,8% European and 19,6% Native Brazilian.
Both celebrities had their genes analyzed in a study promoted two years ago by the British news conglomerate BBC with several prominent Brazilians of different backgrounds.
This mix didn’t, necessarily, produce a racial democracy. In an interview to the BBC on this subject, sociologist Ronaldo Sales, from Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, in the city of Recife, points out that miscegenation doesn’t create a homogeneous mixed race group, but a hierarchy – the whiter you are, the better your chances of social integration.
The underlying racism is particularly evident in bank branches. Most of the banks that operate in large cities instal revolving doors, conceived to block the passage of costumers holding metal objects or bulky volumes. The following video, just released by Circo Voador, a very engaged theatre and cultural movement in Rio, shows how this mechanism is used to avoid the entry of black Brazilians in banks. Two guys try to enter the same bank, dressed similarly, carrying the same bag. One is black, one is white. Guess who entered immediately and who had to remove his tee shirt and drop his belongings before being sent home, without entering the bank?