The construction of Lazaros

Image: Thiago Japyassu
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By SANDRA ALMEIDA*

As long as the logic of exclusive and selfish capitalism is ingrained in the way of governing, we will have many families, like Lázaro's, asking for help without uttering a single word.

Over my 56 years, I saw many Lazaros being gradually built. Being born into poverty, living with hunger and violence from an early age, inside and outside the home, not enjoying a quality public school, not being cared for by a preventive health system, suffering from a lack of money and job, searching with their own strength for their dignity and not finding it, without a doubt, contribute a lot to the formation of Lazaros.

This case goes beyond police action, it is also a political issue. Incidentally, the lack of efficient public policies in childhood and youth, which enable young people to access sports, professional and academic training and access to the job market at the same level as children from the more favored classes. Lazarus spread across the poorest regions of the country need early medical treatment, food, school, sport, leisure, work and dignity. Who doesn't want dignity? Who doesn't want to be aware of their own value, respect, honor? Every human being has that right. God did not place any child in the world to become an irrational animal and be hunted as such. This story is very sad, especially of the victims who lost their lives, an entire family abruptly interrupted, the fear installed in the population, the State spending on this incessant search, the emotional and physical exhaustion of the police and, unfortunately, the sensationalist coverage of the majority of the newspapers.

I know the Girassol region where the police operation is installed and I was there recently. I saw the fascination in the children's eyes for being so close to helicopters and police cars with real men and guns. The emotion that jumps on the face of those who still cannot understand the true meaning of all that is impressive. I heard from a teenage girl that she wouldn't dare move away from the movement because she would never see that scene again. She fails to realize that this is a frequent scenario in poverty and marginalization of the population. Of all the people I approached there was an absolute desire to see Lazarus captured and imprisoned for the rest of his life. He is a criminal, he is a delinquent, the only one to blame. The sentence has already been given. Everything in that place leads to that thought. It seems that the school failed to develop the competence of reflection, freedom and plurality of thought. And, the most worrying thing, why do the less educated have the behavior of bringing weakness and defect to themselves? Would this have been inculcated by the system we live in? Would Lazarus be the only culprit?

I express myself, in these few words, to incite a reflection beyond the hatred, revolt and justice of the courts. There is a social injustice behind this story and many others. Over the 33 years working with education in the center and on the outskirts of the Federal District, I saw many Lázaros being built. This causes pain and suffering for teachers and often turns into depression and other illnesses. The impossibility of transforming reality alone sickens everyone physically and emotionally. Education is an arm for this transformation, but it is necessary that other arms support the child, the adolescent and the family group. Suppressing hunger, poverty, providing housing with basic sanitation, having an efficient health system and envisioning a possibility of employment and income is a human right. As long as the logic of exclusionary and selfish capitalism is ingrained in the way of governing, we will have many families, like Lázaro's, asking for help without uttering a single word. It is unacceptable that, in an unfair and unequal society, a 32-year-old man is solely responsible for the chaos that devastates the municipality of Cocalzinho. I invite you to make this and other reflections and I respect different opinions.

*Sandra Almeida is a teacher of basic education in the Public Education Network of the Federal District.

 

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