AFRICANGLOBE – The topic of the murder of Black youth and Afro-Brazilians in general and the lack of media coverage worldwide has been a consistent topic here. And it has been long past due that the situation in Brazil is discussed from the perspective of race. This is not to say that non-Black lives don’t matter but the simple fact is that in Brazil, as in many other countries around the world, there seems to be a general conception that Black lives are not as important as the lives of persons who consider themselves to be White.
As a matter of fact, as a young woman’s comment recently showed me once again, many White Brazilians don’t even perceive that young Blacks are the main victims of violence. But let’s be honest about this, even the US-based National Public Radio had to acknowledge the fact that “In Brazil, Race Is A Matter Of Life And Violent Death”. And the numbers clearly show this to be true!
Violence in Brazil claimed the lives of 56,000 people in 2012, of which 30,000 were aged 15 to 29 years of age. Of these, four out of five young were Black, corresponding to 77% of the total. On the eve of the Day of Black Consciousness, Amnesty International launched a campaign entitled “Jovem Negro Vivo” (Black Youth Alive).
“Despite soaring homicide rates for young Blacks, the issue is generally treated with indifference in the national public agenda. The consequences of prejudice and negative stereotypes associated with these young people and the territories of the favelas and suburbs should be widely discussed and repudiated,” says the statement of the organization.
According to the organization, most homicides are committed by firearms, and less than 8% of cases are being tried. The official launch of the campaign took place last Sunday (9), in Aterro do Flamengo, in Rio de Janeiro.
“Is it reasonable that we deal with the execution of teenagers with normality? This is not about pointing the finger at the media. We point to ourselves. We live with normality toward these facts. We live with normality to the death of 1 million Brazilians in just over two decades. It is the greatest tragedy of our history since slavery,” wrote the executive director of Amnesty International Brasil, Atila Roque, in a column in the newspaper O Globo.
The video campaign, which seeks to collect signatures in favor and support of public policies for Black Brazilian youth, with the collaboration of rapper Crioulo, which gave the song Duas de cinco (Two of five) to illustrate the theme.
The high mortality of Blacks in Brazil is not new. In a study released in April of this year, researchers at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCAR) showed that, in São Paulo, the Military Police kills three times more Blacks than Whites, which is characterized, according to the survey, as ‘institutional racism.’ On the same occasion, the corporation criticized the study and denied any kind of prejudice.
On Monday (10), data put forward by the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo shows that Brazilian police kill six people a day, a number considered alarming in comparison with other police forces in the world.
On Sunday, November 9th, Amnesty International launched the campaign Jovem Negro Vivo (Young Negro Alive), in Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro. A campaign that aims to mobilize civil society for the end of the extermination of Black people.
You must be wondering: “Why Jovem Negro Vivo?” The answer is given by the numbers. In 32 years, the homicide rate in Brazil increased by 148.5%, totaling more than 1 million 200 thousand victims. These figures exceed the deaths in war zones, being that these deaths are specific and don’t affect the entire Brazilian society equally.
These numbers are recorded on the bodies of young people aged between 15 and 29 years. Per year 30,000 homicides are recorded, which are 82 youth per day or 7 every two hours. EVERY 2 DAYS IT’S AS IF AN AIRPLANE CRASHED WITH ONLY YOUNG PEOPLE!
Within these numbers, which by themselves are staggering, 93% are men and 77% are Black. What else besides these shocking numbers that exceed the absurdity is the indifference with which thousands of bodies are seen on the ground, or better, invisible.
We want an end to this and we will fight for it! Enough with the homicides! Support this cause and also show that you care. We are together.
By: Thiago de Araújo