Netanyahu, Tarcísio and the response of the true black movement

Khader Fawzy Nastas, It's Coming... Unless, 2015, Palestinian Territory


Tarcísio de Freitas promotes the massacre and hyper-incarceration of young black people to please the most reactionary and warmongering sectors in the country and position himself as an alternative to Jair Bolsonaro

On October 7, 2023, the political, military and Islamic fundamentalist group, known as Hamas, carried out an attack against Israeli civilian and military targets, killing around 1.200 people and kidnapping more than 250. The speech and actions of this group reflect the despair of Palestinians, who live truly apartheid, confined in conditions similar to those experienced by black people in the Bantustans, during the racist regime in South Africa. The disproportionate response by Benjamin Netanyahu's government led to the elimination of more than 30 Palestinians for every Israeli killed, 80% children and women.

In July 2023, military police officer Patrick Bastos Reis was murdered in the city of Guarujá, on the coast of São Paulo, and the crime led to the launch, by the state government, of Operation Escudo, which ended with 38 deaths and 630 arrests. According to the Public Security department itself, 61% of prisoners had no criminal record; 72% of those responsible for a crime were related to crimes without violence or serious threat, and 92% of those detained were unarmed.

At the beginning of February 2024, in the city of Santos, also on the coast of São Paulo, Samuel Wesley Cosmo, another military police officer, was killed and, thanks to the body camera, so attacked by the corporation, the killer could be identified and arrested. This new crime led to another operation, now called Verão, which, by the first half of March, had already killed 47 people and arrested 891.

These two initiatives led to the death of 85 people, that is, 42 deaths for every police officer murdered; surpassing Israel's genocidal actions in proportion. Furthermore, mass incarceration was practiced, which has already reached the number of 1.521 detainees, maximizing the indefensible “anti-drug policy”, which transformed Brazil into the third country with the most prisoners in the world, without any impact on reducing crime. .

It is well known that the vast majority of those killed by the forces of repression and imprisoned in Brazil are men, young and black. Therefore, it is not surprising that more than 80% of the fatal victims in the two operations on the coast of São Paulo were of African descent, and the similarities with the war crimes committed by the Zionist State of Israel are striking: punishment for all members of a community, under the argument persecution of criminals; ethnic cleansing, as the preferred targets are part of a specific ethnicity; total disregard for international laws and norms, as evidenced by the governor's recent statement, regarding a complaint made against him at the UN for violation of human rights: “you can go to the UN, you can go to the Justice League, whatever the hell you want, I don’t care.”

The political objectives are also similar. Benjamin Netanyahu promotes the massacre of the Palestinian people as a strategy to stay in power, with the speech of uniting the country against the “external enemy”. Tarcísio de Freitas promotes the massacre and hyper-incarceration of young black people to please the most reactionary and warmongering sectors in the country and to position himself as an alternative to Jair Bolsonaro, who has become ineligible and will certainly be arrested soon. It is the governor himself who explains the similarity with the thoughts and actions of Israel's bloodthirsty prime minister, when he abandoned his duties as head of the state's executive and flew there – accompanied by other extremists – to support the indiscriminate killing of civilians. Palestinians.

For a few years now, the establishment Brazilian changed his behavior towards the black population and began to guide the discussion of racial issues, openly speaking out against racism. Foundations linked to banks and large national and transnational companies finance NGOs that promote racial equality, the mainstream media already gives visibility to black men and women on television news, soap operas, entertainment programs and systematically denounces racist demonstrations. This radical change in the historical behavior of these institutions, which decided to abandon the cynical discourse of racial democracy, occurs based on two main objectives and has a tragic consequence.

The first objective is to capture an extraordinary consumer market represented by 55% of a population of 200 million, previously ignored due to pure ideological blindness.

The second is that economic power decided to compete for hearts and minds in an attempt to eclipse the revolutionary and anti-capitalist character of the fight against racism, repeating what was done with the feminist struggle, whose March 8th was transformed into a commercial date, hiding its origins in the struggle of women workers at the end of the XNUMXth century. To this end, they use charity, meritocratic discourse and value individual ascension to the detriment of collective advancement. They are also guided by the centuries-old projects of countries at the center of capitalism/colonialism: to invest in “new leaders” on the peripheries of the system, giving them the task of locally managing the interests of their bosses, serving as intermediaries between them and the mass of excluded, manage and control their demands.

This is how the updated strategy is guided by the overvaluation of artists, athletes and internet celebrities who, evidently, prioritize their personal interests and are tied to contracts with their employers or financiers. These, as well as the so-called black NGOs, are prevented from exceeding certain limits and are forced to reinforce the System, which remains intact and continues to practice Necropolitics. They therefore become “assimilated”,[1] minority partners in maintaining order and serve as “examples of the success of the capitalist system” which, according to the discourse conveyed, would be enough to promote some adjustments to meet everyone’s interests; blacks and whites.

Meanwhile, the vast majority are kept on the sidelines, in poverty, without access to decent work, health, education and security and vulnerable to the perennial ethnic cleansing carried out by the State, which in acute moments or according to the interests of those who control its apparatus, can reach dimensions of massacre.

The tragic consequence is that, the same media that reverberates and demonstrates indignation with the racist attacks suffered by football players, artists and even anonymous people, when guiding the actions of the police in the largest and richest state in the Federation, naturalizes the absurd mortality and arbitrary incarcerations that are taking place. The silence of black celebrities, with a daily presence in the media and on social networks, highlights their lack of commitment to combating racism. As well as the omission of a large part of black NGOs, which demonstrate radical speeches against institutional policy, but allow themselves to be controlled by economic power and their interests.

For the organized black movement, Steve Biko's phrase, “We are on our own”, is still relevant, as it is not possible to expect individuals and institutions so deeply committed to capital to dare to rise up against its most brutal facet; the physical elimination of those to whom the system does not offer possibilities of social integration.

The new media behavior, the protagonism of digital influencers and celebrities, despite having a positive aspect in terms of mass debate in society, is part of an effort to replace the organized black movement that has no ties to capital. On the contrary, it faces it from the understanding of the coincidence between race and class in Brazil.

Furthermore, it denounces that actions of massacre of the black population, such as those that occurred in Santos and Guarujá, are part of a logic of extermination of “leftovers” by Capital, which has occurred in a perennial manner since the transition from slave labor to salaried work in the our country and takes on massacre proportions at certain moments in the political and economic situation.

It is understandable, therefore, that the necessary and forceful response is not coming from television celebrities and NGOs, but from the real street movement, of masses, organized and with leaders chosen in a legitimate way by the militancy, and not artificially forged as a result. of media exposure. The answer is coming from Claudio Silva, ombudsman for the police in the state of São Paulo, a leader who came to office with the support of this movement and has faced, almost alone, the death machine implemented by the governor.

The response is coming from black mothers from communities that suffer state violence daily and demanding justice for their children, it is coming from religious women and men of African origin, who have always represented their people, it is coming from black youth who, like young people Palestinians in Gaza, their priority is to stay alive.

*Ramatis Jacino He has a PhD in Economic History from USP and professor at the Federal University of ABC, author of, among other books, Transition and Exclusion: Black people in the job market in post-abolition São Paulo – 1912/1920 (Nefertiti Editor). []

 Originally published on the website 247.


[1] The expression is borrowed from Portuguese colonial legislation. “Indigenous” were non-acculturated Africans, without any rights; “assimilated” were acculturated natives who were given some rights and in return occupied middle spaces in those societies, managing the interests of the colonizers. “Whites” were Portuguese or their descendants born in the colony, masters of all rights.

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