The perverse legacy of racist colonialism

Whatsapp
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Telegram

The African slave trade to the American continent, organized mainly by the Portuguese and Brazilians for more than three and a half centuries, was the largest and longest-lasting forced migration in all of history.

By Fábio Konder Comparato*

According to a study released in October this year by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, the chronic social inequality that has marked the entire course of our history, since Pedro Álvares Cabral landed here at the dawn of the 2018th century, increased in 1. richest 34% of the country was almost XNUMX times greater than that of the poorest half of our entire population.

It is not difficult to see that such scandalous data represent the rotten fruit of exclusionary capitalism and genocidal racism, implanted here since the beginning of the colonization process.

It is estimated that in 1500, when the Portuguese arrived here, the indigenous population in our territory was around 3 to 4 million people. During the colonial period, as historians report, an average of 1 million Indians were exterminated each century. Now, such genocide runs the serious risk of being resumed with the current federal mismanagement; which led the Human Rights Advocacy Collective – CADHu and the Dom Paulo Evaristo Arns Commission for the Defense of Human Rights, of which I am honored to be a part – to send a Communication to the International Criminal Court Prosecutor, in which they require the opening of a preliminary proceeding on incitement to the genocide of the indigenous population, by the current Chief of the Federal Executive Power.

At the same time, the African slave trade to the American continent, organized mainly by the Portuguese and Brazilians for more than three and a half centuries, was the largest and longest-lasting forced migration in all of history. Today, it is precisely known that twelve and a half million slaves were transported from Africa to the Americas between 1500 and 1867, of which less than eleven million survived the crossing of the Atlantic. Almost half of this vast captive population was landed in Brazilian territory, with 5% dying during the process of sale and transport to the workplace; and another 15% in the first three years of captivity in our territory.

The slave trade to Brazil was, for almost three centuries, our most lucrative commercial activity and the slave traders formed, during all this time, the wealthiest layer of our population. Incidentally, our landowners always preferred to buy slaves brought by traffickers, than to use those who were already born here, since the life expectancy of a captive born in Brazil, as verified in 1872, was only 18,3 years, while the average for the general population reached 27,4 years.

On May 13, 1888, we were the last country in the Americas to abolish slavery, and we did so peacefully, because of our “cordial character” as some said; but also without paying a penny of compensation to the manumitted. Slave owners, among whom several congregations of the Catholic Church have always been, did not feel in the least responsible for the consequences of the nefarious crime, practiced for almost four centuries.

The history of slavery of Africans and Afro-descendants in Brazil is now being recounted by Laurentino Gomes, in his monumental work Slavery (GloboLivros, 2019) whose first of three volumes has already been published. It is my hope that this execrable story will become an important part of our elementary school curriculum.

*Fabio Konder Comparato Professor Emeritus at the Faculty of Law of the University of São Paulo and Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Coimbra.

See this link for all articles

10 MOST READ IN THE LAST 7 DAYS

______________
  • About artificial ignoranceEugenio Bucci 15/06/2024 By EUGÊNIO BUCCI: Today, ignorance is not an uninhabited house, devoid of ideas, but a building full of disjointed nonsense, a goo of heavy density that occupies every space
  • Franz Kafka, libertarian spiritFranz Kafka, libertarian spirit 13/06/2024 By MICHAEL LÖWY: Notes on the occasion of the centenary of the death of the Czech writer
  • The society of dead historyclassroom similar to the one in usp history 16/06/2024 By ANTONIO SIMPLICIO DE ALMEIDA NETO: The subject of history was inserted into a generic area called Applied Human and Social Sciences and, finally, disappeared into the curricular drain
  • Strengthen PROIFESclassroom 54mf 15/06/2024 By GIL VICENTE REIS DE FIGUEIREDO: The attempt to cancel PROIFES and, at the same time, turn a blind eye to the errors of ANDES management is a disservice to the construction of a new representation scenario
  • Hélio Pellegrino, 100 years oldHelio Pellegrino 14/06/2024 By FERNANDA CANAVÊZ & FERNANDA PACHECO-FERREIRA: In the vast elaboration of the psychoanalyst and writer, there is still an aspect little explored: the class struggle in psychoanalysis
  • Volodymyr Zelensky's trapstar wars 15/06/2024 By HUGO DIONÍSIO: Whether Zelensky gets his glass full – the US entry into the war – or his glass half full – Europe’s entry into the war – either solution is devastating for our lives
  • Letter to the presidentSquid 59mk,g 18/06/2024 By FRANCISCO ALVES, JOÃO DOS REIS SILVA JÚNIOR & VALDEMAR SGUISSARDI: “We completely agree with Your Excellency. when he states and reaffirms that 'Education is an investment, not an expense'”
  • Introduction to “Capital” by Karl Marxred triangular culture 02/06/2024 By ELEUTÉRIO FS PRADO: Commentary on the book by Michael Heinrich
  • PEC-65: independence or patrimonialism in the Central Bank?Campos Neto Trojan Horse 17/06/2024 By PEDRO PAULO ZAHLUTH BASTOS: What Roberto Campos Neto proposes is the constitutional amendment of free lunch for the future elite of the Central Bank
  • The strike at federal Universities and Institutescorridor glazing 01/06/2024 By ROBERTO LEHER: The government disconnects from its effective social base by removing those who fought against Jair Bolsonaro from the political table

AUTHORS

TOPICS

NEW PUBLICATIONS