AFRICANGLOBE – Children of civilizations beneath the tropics, blackness is the indicator of the balance of Brazilian-ness.
Although it is known that racial mixture has been widespread throughout Latin America, the miscegenation of most Latin American countries is generally thought to have been more common between Native Americans and Europeans, but in the case of Brazil, which imported more enslaved Africans than any other nation in the New World, miscegenation between Africans and Europeans (in addition to Native Americans) was so widespread that it is thought that all Brazilians have a bit of African blood running through their veins.
But over the centuries, anti-African/anti-Black social ideals weaved themselves into the fabric of the country’s social imagination to the point that blackness is, for millions, a classification that is to be avoided. While Brazil has long proclaimed itself to be proud of its three race mixture, in nearly every realm of society (media, politics,education, finance, business, etc.), persons of a European appearance dominate and are the standard in the country to which non-Whites are held to, face exclusion from and are discriminated against in the nation because of a decidedly non-European appearance. As whiteness (particularly blondness), is such an unrealistic standard of beauty in a country where most people have darker hair and skin colors than that of Europeans, how is one to perceive the widespread popularity of White or non-White persons chemically altering their natural hair color in an attempt to imitate Aryan ideals of blond perfection/superiority? Neymar had long been bleaching his hair (and even his facial hair) blond when his teammate Daniel Alves joined in and displayed his ambition of being a blond.
(Fellow Brazilian soccer star) Vagner Love was more original: he didn’t put a hairpiece in his hair: it was an authentic application that always referred to the most solid fundamentals of blackness.
Someone from the circle of studies of tolerance went the opposite way: he testified that Daniel Alves and Neymar were actually making Hannah Arendt’s dream of total miscegenation as the inevitable escape from intolerance…
Although Hannah Arendt was a German Jew and spoke of the situation in the United States, in late 19th century Brazil, elites concocted a plan of massive European immigration to the country with the goal of whitening the nation through the promotion of miscegenation. According to anthropologist João Baptista de Lacerda speaking at the first Universal Races Congress in London in 1911, by the year 2012, the half-breeds and the Black race would have disappeared. Apparently, the plan didn’t quite work although it continues a work in process.
In order to make this process work, it was necessary that the country stomp out any possible challenges to White supremacy or the belief in Black inferiority, promote the idea that Brazil was a “racial democracy” (even with the simultaneous existence of racism), the outlawing of Afro-Brazilian rights organizations, the demonizing of Black pride as “un-Brazilian” and promoting Brazil as superior to the United States in terms of race relations. Of course, no one bothered to note that such “harmonious” race relations were largely dependent upon Black acceptance of inferiority. As such, no widespread Black rights/Black pride movement developed to combat racist ideologies and practices. In 1968, under the military dictatorship, it was even illegal to denounce racism under the guise of “national security”. These measures left the Afro-Brazilian population with a lack of Black identity, widespread belief in a “racial democracy”, a lack of Black pride and completely exposed to ideals of White supremacy.
It took a while, but funk and rap ostentação (ostentatious rap or ‘bling bling’) finally arrived here. A good sign. Full of himself, proud, the Black American used, in Rap, ostentation as a form of self praise (lyrics weaving praises to the fact that the writer has two Ferraris, is more sexually pleasing, etc.). Blacks from our peripheries weave praises to the fact of having been victims of ROTA (Military Police unit in São Paulo) (talk a lot about “collectives”, advocate the use of the roots, when one knows that it’s fitting for the vegetables being the owner …).