White identity and reverse racism

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By LEONARDO SACRAMENTO*

Black people are tolerated, as long as their practice points to whitening

Antônio Risério is part of white identity movements. Although white and supremacists, these groups are based on miscegenation, understood as the means of forming the average Brazilian, who would be white because he would have gone through a broad process of whitening over generations. Miscegenation would be the means of forming a new Brazilian, white, but holder, through genetic-cultural incorporation, of the supposed legacies of Africans and indigenous peoples.

This group was restructured between 2007 and 2008, when the Quota Law, the Racial Equality Statute and Law 10.639 (History of Africa and Afro-Brazilians) were approved. This group promoted the launch of some books and a manifesto in 2006, led by Demétrio Magnoli and Caetano Veloso,[I] widely reported by the newspaper The Globe, Folha de São Paulo e The state of Sao Paulo. Magnoli started a crusade against racial quotas, launching the book a drop of blood, in 2009. In practice, from the parts that fall to Brazil, his book is a defense of Gilberto Freyre and an anti-scientific and denialist refutation of the studies that would prove racism in Brazil, implying that racialization would be a biologizing import before the people Brazilian. The best way to overcome racism would be to idealistically deny the concept of race. His book ended up becoming the subject of studies by the conservative reaction of the time, despite the author's pretensions of intellectual originality.

Highlights in 2008 were a collection of texts Dangerous divisions: racial politics in contemporary Brazil and the book Citizenship in Brazil: the long road, this one by José Murilo de Carvalho. Both books create, as a white reaction from the ruling class and its official intelligentsia, the myth of Palmares as a slave owner, later popularized by Narloch (another writer of the Sheet and this is not a coincidence). There is not a single piece of data, absolutely nothing, just an authorial citation of a paragraph. However, in the press, the myth was created as a reaction to affirmative policies and the rise of black social movements linked to Africanity. A year later, José Murilo de Carvalho would write an introduction to Letters from Erasmus, by José de Alencar, by the Brazilian Academy of Letters, in which he stated that Alencar would not seem to him a slave owner, just conservative – another authorial quote, this time of a line. Like the book published a year earlier, it also failed to explain, despite the novelist's 400 pages of letters openly defending slavery and a resounding scientific consensus.

Blacks are tolerated, as long as their practice points to whitening. For these groups, linked to a Freyrian heritage, Africanity organized in political movements came to be considered a culture exogenous to the formation of the Brazilian. Likewise, the political struggle rooted in breaking the idea of ​​miscegenation came to be considered foreignness. Standing out in this group are the defenders of the legacy of the bandeirantes, including within the left. At that time it was also published we are not racist, by Ali Kamel, the Arab who whitened himself – the “somos” indicates that he sees himself as a non-racist white man. I call this process mulatism, the systemic emulation of social ascension through whitening and the assumption of a Europeanizing culture.

In this case, the whitened Kamel defends miscegenation as a Brazilian legacy that would serve as a civilizational model. The method of these groups is simple and common: racism is an American plague; in Brazil, if there is racism, it would be a cordial racism that would point to a Racial Democracy. To arrive at this “result”, they deny the data or use them to make reality fit in, as did Risério.[ii] with its meaningless quotes, which would be easily challenged in a simple CBT panel in some course that requires only one article.

Miscegenation as a “legacy” is also defended by tropicalists, such as Caetano Veloso, who in 2006 released a song called “O hero”, taking a stand against the assumption of blackness over mulattoism – it is the same year as the manifesto against the Statute of Racial Equality. Just like Risério, his fellow Bahian, said that the black movement at the time consisted of an undue foreignness to Brazilian nationality. Caetano said: “I was once a mulatto, I am a legion of former mulattos, I want to be 100% black, American, South African, anything but the saint that the Brazilian breeze fights and sways”. In an interview with the newspaper Folha de S. Paul for advertising the new album, Caetano defended: “I think that, in the end, this movement, when it reaches its fullness, if there is no alienating deviation, will find these Brazilian contents again, because of our very deep miscegenation and the tradition of not expressing racial hatred”.[iii] At Roda Vida, in December 2021, he reproduced this nonsense. Who decides what is the Brazilian nationality? A candy for those who get it right!

The fear of “racial hatred” has historical foundations, despite Caetano and Risério's intellectual pretensions of originality. Basically it is the white fear in the face of the black wave, as Celia Maria Marinho de Azevedo recalled in her brilliant Black wave, white fear. There has always been a healthy tolerance for the War on Drugs and the emergence of white supremacist groups throughout history. The problem is another! In Letters from Erasmus, about emancipation, José de Alencar discusses the “hatred of the race”, with slavery having to continue until whites were in the majority, which should be achieved through European immigration. Therefore, the organic systematization of the “white fear of racial hatred” dates from 1867, without going into the merits of the “Haitian fear” that ran through the entire XNUMXth century. Did José Murilo de Carvalho not read or ignore it?

Risério represents a widespread “discomfort” among whites from the ruling and middle classes, especially the self-proclaimed intellectuals. Hence his incredible space, with the right to graphic representation, in the newspaper. Ironically, one day after his text, the existence of hundreds of neo-Nazi cells in Brazil is discovered. The data was not widely reflected in the Sheet, which now wins with a false flat-Earth debate.

The emulation of miscegenation is a legacy of Brazilian romanticism and neocolonial scientism of the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, in which a new people would emerge in Brazil. The formation of this new people would be accelerated by miscegenation and European immigration, since this people would be white, but maintainers of elements considered positive from other races, such as the “African strength” – which would justify, from an evolutionary point of view, the slavery. Racial Democracy is a consequence of this construction, in which Gilberto Freyre, like Kamel, writes in the first person the relevance of “the mulatto woman who took the first bug out of such a good itch. The one who introduced us to physical love and transmitted to us, with the creaking of the wind-bed, the first full sensation of man”. It is what I call “civilizing rape” for the formation of Brazilians. Gilberto was white and wrote for a white audience.

White supremacy was fully applied in the 1980th century, with the creation of segregationist measures, especially in the state of São Paulo, such as banning school enrollment, agricultural colonies for forced labor, banning employment concomitant with quotas and financial aid for whites and European immigrants , prohibition of entry into clubs and squares, etc. In the interior of the state of São Paulo, today it is possible to guarantee and prove that there were racially segregated spaces until XNUMX, at least.

José de Alencar was a great promoter of the idea of ​​the new white Brazilian, which involved Humboldt, for whom a new language would emerge in America, and José de Vasconcelos, a Mexican fascist who would settle in Argentina in the 1922th century, who defended the creation of a new "cosmic" race. This philosopher was the bedside philosopher of Minotti Del Pecchia, Plínio Salgado and Cassiano Ricardo. They all signed a manifesto called Verde-Amarelo (Nhengaçu), a split from the Modern Art Week of 1911 – forgotten until Tropicalismo, which recovered it as a way of legitimizing a supposedly Brazilian legacy that it would possess and carry forward. This division would later create another, between Bandeirantistas and Integralists. What was common between the two? The formation of the white Brazilian that, according to projections presented by Brazil in 2012 at the World Congress of Races, in London, would fully occur in XNUMX, when all blacks disappeared. The current white and supposedly nationalist identity movements have recovered part of this construction, such as the fifth movement, which includes Aldo Rebelo, another white man, our Policarpo Quaresma who sees Floriano Peixoto on every corner. Aldo is another who is currently undertaking a crusade against “black identity”. “Black identity” would be nothing more than the ghost of Floriano Peixoto, a traitor to the typically Brazilian nationality chosen by Aldo, Risério, Demétrio, Kamel, Caetano and others.

The rise of black social movements from 2000 onwards created one of the greatest identity crises in the ruling class and the traditional middle class: the crisis of mulattoism and patronage, as Roger Bastide and Florestan Fernandes demonstrated in the distant 1950s. in the institutional crisis of control by the ruling class and the middle class over the mechanisms of black ascension through whitening and patronage. In the 2000s Census, blacks grew by approximately 27%. Were many more blacks born than whites in 10 years? No! Light-skinned blacks began to position themselves as blacks, and no longer as whites or with intermediate coloration pointed towards whiteness. This is the white identity crisis, which affects even a small part of the left, as seen in the case of Borba Gato and his critique of “North Americanized black identity”. The mere criticism of “black identitarianism” embraces the agenda of the extreme right, this one openly immersed in white identitarianism, with hugs and kisses to neo-Nazi groups.

Risério represents a radicalized branch of this uncomfortable segment, without ground, and in crisis with the symbolic and social instruments of control historically constructed over blacks. His books are useless, scientifically speaking. He writes them like he wrote the article. He points out such disconnected and particular facts that he visibly adapts reality to his identity. Bahia is the state that kills the most blacks (almost 100% of those killed by the police are black), but the problem for him is the whites in the US who would be attacked by black militias.

A Sheet also represents this segment. That's why it gives space. I was a university advisor at USP in 2007 and followed manifestos by professors and journalists from the newspaper against quotas at the university, the bastion of conservatism of the São Paulo ruling class. I remember the Anthropology Department taking a radically contrary position to quotas – we should study what happens to Anthropology to round up so many conservatives. Want to understand what's going on? Look at the years 2006 to 2009, when Risério, along with the others I mentioned in the text, began his crusade against the “black identity” movements supposedly imported with his book The Brazilian utopia and the black movements, yet another defense of miscegenation as a Brazilian legacy.

Risério is another white – amazing how whites from the ruling class and the traditional middle class are defenders of miscegenation, even though, for the most part, they do not have any “racial mixture”! It is precisely this loss of traditional mechanisms of ideological and social control over black workers that most worries the ruling class and the traditional middle class. To get around it, they surrendered to Bolsonarism as a way of getting back what they considered they had lost – all those mentioned contributed to Bolsonarism, even indirectly. Aldo, at least, did not give up completely. He just flirts with Mourão in defense of mining on indigenous lands against foreign NGOs and his theory of the three races, given in a lecture in 2017, in which indigenous people would be “indolent” and Africans “swindlers”.[iv]

*Leonardo Sacramento He holds a PhD in Education from UFSCar. Basic education teacher and pedagogue at the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of São Paulo. Book author The mercantile university: a study on the public university and private capital (Appris).

 

Notes


[I] Available in https://congressoemfoco.uol.com.br/projeto-bula/reportagem/a-integra-do-manifesto-contra-as-cotas-raciais/.

[ii] Author's article available at https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/ilustrissima/2022/01/racismo-de-negros-contra-brancos-ganha-forca-com-identitarismo.shtml.

[iii] Available in https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/folha/ilustrada/ult90u64131.shtml.

[iv] Available in https://congressoemfoco.uol.com.br/area/pais/mourao-diz-que-pais-herdou-indolencia-do-indio-e-malandragem-do-negro/.

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