For sociologist João Clemente Neto, of Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie (Mackenzie Presbyterian University), demonstrations in malls are linked to the lack of places for recreation and culture. “If you were in some places, even in middle-class neighborhoods, you cannot find space for this. If you take the city of São Paulo, how many millions of youth and teens do we have? And the spaces for free expression are miniscule,” said the professor, who works with children and adolescents in vulnerable situations.
For Neto, the young choose to manifest in the visibility of the local malls and the message they try to pass. “All that we talk about of consumption, that they want to see and want to consume, is in the mall. At the same time, it’s a form of resistance because there is the space of consumption. So when you speak there, it’s a way for that group to recognize themselves in that space,” he concluded.
Note: So how is it that these occurrences are seen by those belonging to a higher income bracket? In the piece below, Jornalismo Wando exposes the panic and over-reaction from those of a more European appearance and pokes and in a tongue-in-cheek manner shows race and class based fear, stereotyping and privilege of the Brazilian who continue to have one believe that racism is only a thing of the American.
Imagine the following scene: you are sitting comfortably with your family in the food court of a mall, taking bites of meat and cheese pizza when in comes a bunch of young negros and mulattos jumping and singing tribal type funk songs. Have you imagined this? It’s like living in paradise, enjoying the blessing of eternal life, and being surprised by a flood announcing the apocalypse. This was more or less what happened and has been happening in the malls of São Paulo, one of the few safe public spaces for the good citizen.
Let’s look at excerpts from a story in the Folha newspaper:
A ghost haunted the Shopping Internacional of Guarulhos yesterday, the ghost of funk. The fear was that the scenes of panic and running, seen on Saturday when hundreds of teenagers, concentrated in one of the entrances, chanted a sort of anthem of war in unison, would repeat itself as they moved into the shopping center (…)
Inside the crowded mall, adorned with miniatures of the Greek Parthenon, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Coliseum, animated reindeer and snowmen and Santa Claus rocked Christmas shopping (…)
Could it be an “arrastão”? A robbery? A riot? On Saturday, Helena de Assis, 55, manager of a branch of moving vans, swore she saw young people with revolvers in the food court. “You must prohibit these kinds of hoodlums from entering a place like this,” speaking in between mouthfuls of meat and cheese pizza.
In fact, the apocalypse painted by the businesswoman seems to have been much worse than it actually was, which is quite understandable. When she saw that Black sea running and singing in horrible dialects, Helena – would she be some sort of (novela writer) Manoel Carlos? – she came to see teenagers carrying guns, despite the Military Police and internal cameras not having registered anything. But it is easy to understand what led her to imagine this mirage: a cluster of young Blacks + favela (slum) music + running = arrastão. This is a conclusion that every good tax payer concerned with the preservation of species and good values come to.
All too obvious, but it’s there that comes up the famous “defenders of criminals” saying that the police did not register any complaint of theft, assault or vandalism. Young people would have organized the meeting just for the confusion, to exercise their adolescence, in an excess typical of this age.
But the defenders of the weak and oppressed don’t stop there. Instead of taking the poor to their homes, they accused the media of being racist. A true absurdity. There was even one that defied common sense and wrote a text entitled: “Rolezinho and affirmative action against racism.” Among other things, the blogger says:
“Fear, panic, horror happens not because they are thousands of criminals who, by internet, organize to loot the mall. Fear, panic, horror happens because they are Black ( … ) No wonder the events are associated with funk: música negra (Black music), the periphery and favelas. If they were White teenagers listening to, say, Los Hermanos, they would certainly not be arrested as exalted and quarrelsome as they were, although the police were eventually called.”
Good to know that the “good citizen” exists and expresses themselves in the comments:
Jose Rivero: “It’s pathetic how everyone in this country says everything is racism. These idiots that make a commotion in a public place have to be treated as rigorously as possible pau neles this is what we pay police for to defend us.” (Note: original comments in Portuguese below)
De frente com a verdade: “You feel sorry for them, huh? You think the police is wrong??!! Take this group to your house and when you have trouble with robbery, rape and other things like this…call Batman!!!!” (Note: original comments in Portuguese below)
Implying that the people of the periphery that create commotion in the mall is a thief and a rapist, does not seem to be prejudice to me. It is only the law-abiding citizen, who is often also from the periphery, wanting to protect themselves from people who cause fear.”
It’s incredible how everything turns into racism in this country dominated by the “politically correct.” Now one can’t even offer bananas to a Black man before there are people running to denounce racism. Even in the statistics, which show the Black receiving lower salaries than Whites for the same functions, these people sees racism. Ie, they want to patrol the way entrepreneurs pay their employees.
Outraged by all this artificial victimhood I was looking for videos on Youtube proving that prove crimes committed in the rolezinhos. Revolvers, depredation, robbery and assaults strangely didn’t appear in any. But the racist comments are present in almost all videos and articles on the subject, which made me wary:
Marucelow: “Later you ask me why I hate Black people…F*ck you, the place of the Black is in jail!”
Silvio Fernandes: “I saw everything and I witnessed everything, you know why?! Because I was there….there was a lot of running, ugly people running.”
If it were in the US, I would find this normal. But racism in Brazil? Hmm….I don’t want to accuse anyone, but I suspect they are fakes created by the author of that post just to give legitimacy to his absurd theory.
In the pages of the calls for such rolezinhos, the event is described as a diversion to make a “commotion”, “give some kisses”, “meet new friends” and “take a lot of pictures.” But Ms. Helena and commentators read: “arrastão”, “fire a few rounds”, “meet some new victims” and “make multiple assaults.”
After the panic, back to all of our pizzas with meat and cheese and forget these people of bad taste.