The Era of Innocence Is Over

Fighting racism needs to be more than posts to bring awareness

"We reject this whiteness, which is now not responsible, and only sometimes guilty. It was founded on the false idea of the absence of color and race, and it enjoys immense privileges. This whiteness prides itself on having and being what has been expropriated.

Despite what was imposed on us Blacks, our pride had to survive. Our pride is what we have never been given. And it continues. The tools that we used to arrive here will become even more important. They will lead us to another future. "

I begin this column with this excerpt from the remarkable text "The Age of Innocence is Over, It Was Late", written in 2001 by Jurema Werneck. It has been a reference for all of us for many years. Brazilian whiteness is so racist that, in the face of protests in the United States over the death of George Floyd, the racial debate has just begun. They have discovered racism, quips Silvio Almeida.

"It took centuries for the Brazilian State to recognize racism as a structuring factor for social relations in the country. And this only happens now, at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, as a result of a long, arduous work. Racism, while demonstrating the wickedness with which it defined privileges and exclusions, lives and deaths; At the same time, we were our own testimony, the rest of society remained silent," says Werneck in the powerful text.

Brazilian whiteness needs to mobilize against the system that benefits it. Now, to mobilize means recognizing the silence with which black productions were treated, the suffocation of personalities, and opinions. Now, if we are going to fight against racism, a system built on the maintenance of white racial privilege, we will discuss why I turn on the television, and there is no black programming, nor a predominantly black station. Now, is it too much to ask in a country with 54% of the black population? I think not.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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