The barbarity of racism in Brazil

As if the tremendous problems faced by Brazil under the absurd presidency of the unbalanced far-right Jair Bolsonaro were not enough –environmental tragedy, social chaos, active anti-vaccine campaign in the Ministry of Health, among other aberrations– the country suffered a strong shake as a result of a barbaric act that reflects well the structural racism of my country and the degree of violence and hatred spread throughout society.

Shortly before eleven o’clock at night on Monday, January 24, the young Congolese Moise Kabagambe, 24, went to the bowling alley where he worked, located on the beach of Barra da Tijuca, a nouveau riche neighborhood in Rio. He wanted to collect forty dollars for two days of work.

He was assaulted by two other local employees, one the manager, and a third man who works at the neighboring bowling alley. He was literally beaten to a pulp with a baseball bat and pieces of heavy wood.

He was thrown on the floor and with several fractures in his body, they tied his hands and feet.

A woman who was in the premises asked two municipal guards for help. They didn’t even move because they knew that both the bowling alley where Moise was beaten up and the neighbor belonged to military police.

Moise was ten years old when he arrived in Brazil with his brothers brought by his mother, who took refuge with other relatives fleeing the violence of a true civil war between two ethnic groups in his native Congo. They all adapted well. The family never believed that he had escaped from one brutal situation only to fall into another, which cost the young man his life.

It is not at all a rare case of violence against blacks in Brazil. On the contrary, it is part of the barbaric routine of my country.

The great impact registered this time was caused by the diffusion of the images of the security cameras showing the brutal aggressions, and because it was a refugee whose family left his country to flee precisely from the violence.

In the last decade, the migratory wave more than doubled, leaving one million and 300,000 immigrants in Brazil in 2020, compared to 600,000 in 2010. Most of them came from Latin American and Caribbean countries, especially Venezuelans and Haitians, and from Senegal and Congo. Rather than misery, Africans flee conflicts between different ethnic groups.

Read Also:  Spectacular fall of the blades of the Moulin Rouge in the middle of the Parisian night

Moise’s brutal murder exposed the precariousness faced by African refugees in Brazil. In addition to racism, they suffer from contempt for their origin. Many African immigrants have higher education and doctor’s degrees, are multilingual, but cannot find work and end up accepting any function, even carrying stones, in order to support their families.

The Brazilian usually denies the racism that covers our entire society. When he was a presidential candidate, someone asked the far-right and current president what he would do if one of his sons married a black woman. Bolsonaro, who says he is not a racist, gave an answer that clarifies what the majority of the people of the country he presides over thinks: “There is no risk, my children were well educated.”

Yes, yes, there are countless cases of blacks attacked and killed.

There are cases, however, that expose racism more clearly than others: in August 2009, Januario Alves de Santana was detained in a Carrefour supermarket as he was preparing to leave in a new car. Five security employees brutally assaulted him, accusing him of stealing the car. Almost beaten to a pulp, the young man was rescued and taken to a hospital. And then it was learned that he had just bought the car in 72 monthly installments.

The security guards who brutally beat him were black or mestizos, the three who attacked the young Moise as well. Black police officers are especially violent against blacks. Of those killed by police forces in Brazil, 73 percent are black. Every 23 minutes, a black person dies violently at the hands of security forces in Brazil.

This is the country, this is the society that, with Olympic cynicism, says it is not racist.

In his famous “Heart of Darkness”, Joseph Conrad described the Congo under Belgian rule with one phrase: “The horror, the horror”.

Moise’s family and the Congolese who live in Brazil know that here, yes, there is “the horror, the horror”, in the face of the indifference of millions and millions of Brazilians who deny the racism that kills every day.

Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here