Slavery in the Serra Gaúcha

Image: Omar William
Whatsapp
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Telegram

By EDSON BALESTRIN*

Today, the great-grandchildren of Italian immigrants live well, but many do so by exploiting those in need.

We, born, raised and residents of the Serra Gaúcha region, need to stop, look at our origins and rethink what we are, what we do and what we want. Except, for now, for the erasure of the indigenous trajectory, our region is on the verge of completing 150 years due to the arrival of Italian immigrants. And let's be objective about our great-grandmothers.

Many of us have already had the opportunity to visit the house where our ancestors were born, invariably an unhealthy mansion in which several families shared common areas in the few moments when they weren't working a lord's land to receive Tuesday, and look there. Illiterate, but without fault, they had little to defend themselves in a moment of intense political, economic and social reorganization that not only Italy was going through, but practically all of Europe impacted by the second Industrial Revolution.

Some could even afford to decide to migrate to 'Mérica, but many were expelled because they were a burden on the nation that was being established. In addition, there are records that some were expatriated for crimes committed. But da Romai I was so good people.

The Italians who went to São Paulo replaced the black slaves in almost the same horrendous conditions, while the Italians who arrived in Rio Grande do Sul were lucky enough to be able to make their own luck. But that meant cutting down a forest, facing animals, epidemics, among a thousand other fears. With a lot sparagnate and as much contempt for education, little by little capital accumulated, as well as discrimination, racism, xenophobia. The region became a power of wealth and false moralism.

The pride of an ethnic and moral superiority dazzles the great-grandchildren. There is no shortage of gringos praising themselves for the narrative of overcoming their great-grandfathers. Few of these good citizens are interested in researching that the great grandfather he had to burn his lungs out working in a coal mine for a few bucks that would allow him to start farming in the colony, which he grandpa had to be added by Tuesday in the German colony to pay the bills, which the other grandpa he begged to be able to help with the installation of the railroad in exchange for a few pills that would provide a little security in addition to the daily barter.

But those who know the story beyond the stereotype know how to transpose the understanding of past precarious conditions into an exercise in empathy for those who live in the same situation contemporaneously – and with the addition of electric shocks and pepper spray in case of attrition. And there are those who think it's bad that they didn't sweep the barracks and sought relief in drink.

Today, the great-grandchildren of Italian immigrants live well, but many do so by exploiting those in need just as one day happened to their own bisnonnos. They burp polyphenols saying that welfare policy is for bums, when in fact they are only here because the bisnonnos The landless had help from the government – ​​and a lot –, be it to obtain a lot, to acquire tools, to be entitled to installments and even amnesties.

They decant citrus notes to say that baiano around here is no good, as if 150 years ago they had not been ours bisnonnos who submitted to brutal conditions in order to survive, just like the Bahians do now, just like those from the west of Santa Catarina, those from the southern border, everyone who comes here, because it's always the poor who submit, it's always the poor who have no choice and have to submit to the gringo who looks down on them, the poor who are people full of uncertainties, who bet everything to start their lives over, abandoning family members and leaving for a distant, unknown, inhospitable place.

A community with a history of precariousness like ours, voting for a policy of oppression, pointing fingers, judging without evidence, rejecting those who think differently and humiliating those who depend on help can only reap losses. And the damage of this exacerbated prejudice will come, in the difficulty in selling our wine, in the disappearance of tourists. We are already headlines Folha de S. Paul, we get endless minutes of spotlight on the National Journal, we have petitions and disclaimers coming from all over the country.

If Serra Gaúcha is unable to understand its difficult past and revert it into a culture of respect for others, if it does not reflect on the image it is consolidating in Brazil, the damage will come. And there will be no wine to drown the sorrows.

*Edson Balestrin is a retired judge.

The A Terra é Redonda website exists thanks to our readers and supporters.
Help us keep this idea going.
Click here and find how

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
  • 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'”
  • 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
  • A look at the 2024 federal strikelula haddad 20/06/2024 By IAEL DE SOUZA: A few months into government, Lula's electoral fraud was proven, accompanied by his “faithful henchman”, the Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad
  • 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
  • Introduction to “Capital” by Karl Marxred triangular culture 02/06/2024 By ELEUTÉRIO FS PRADO: Commentary on the book by Michael Heinrich
  • 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

AUTHORS

TOPICS

NEW PUBLICATIONS