Photos/Fotos: Barack Obama, Alexandre of/de São Paulo, Brazil, Brazilian actress Chica Xavier, Michael Jordan
“Brown?! What the heck race is that?! On my birth certificate (and of a mountain of other people), is this definition for race. Can you believe that?! For the institutes of the Brazilian government, mixture is brown. Being a mixture of white with black, Indian with white doesn’t matter, it’s another “little brown” that was born. Even the mixture is generalized! Imagine how many “brown” people there are in this country. Look at that pardo, over there, that moreno, that little mulatto*. Great, isn’t it? It’s nothing. They are definitions of whites for people that they judge not to have an identity, because in this case, there is no unity, pride of being who they in fact are: Black!”
Look at Alexandre’s photo. 43% of Brazilians are defined as brown on the official census. 7% are defined as black. When I traveled to Brazil for the first time, I met a woman whose skin color was equal to that of basketball legend Michael Jordan. The girl told me that on her birth certificate she too is listed as parda. Brazilian actress Chica Xavier has stated that when she started working, she was also listed as parda on her worker identification card.
Anthropologist Livio Sansone also found that very few people living in the northeastern state of Bahia are listed as black on their birth certificate, even people with very dark skin. Some Brazilian intellectuals argue that black civil rights activists artificially inflate the size of the black population by combining the black and brown populations into one Afro-Brazilian category. But if we consider that many Brazilians who define themselves as white even when they are actually “mixed race”, we can begin to understand why the Brazilian census is not completely accurate in regards to the question of race. Some optimists believe that racism in the United States will descrease as miscegenation increases. That is not necessarily true. Miscegenation has been occurring in Brazil for five centuries but anyone who has visited the country will notice that the color of the image and bodies of poverty are overwhelmingly black and brown. Strange. If I didn’t know any better, I would think we were talking about the United States.
Esta é exatamente o que estou falando! Tem havido muita discussão sobre a “raça mista” ascendência de Barack Obama. Ele é negro? Ele é mestiço? Há negros e brancos que insista que ele realmente é mestiço porque sua mãe era branca. O meu argumento continua ser que se a raça não existe, então “raça mista” também não existe. “Raça” continua a ser baseado nas vantagens de brancura com a exclusão dos não-brancos. Isto é verdade na América, assim como no Brasil. Em outras palavras, ou você é branco, ou é não-branco. Obama, independentemente da sua chamada ancestralidade “raça mista”, continua a ser definido como possivelmente o primeiro presidente negro dos Estados Unidos. No Brasil, qualquer pessoa que não é a cor de carvão pode ser definido como “pardo”.
Recentemente encontrei um blog escrito por um rapaz em São Paulo, Brasil pelo nome de Alexandre. Escreveu a sua opinião sobre a categoria parda no censo brasileiro. Aqui está uma breve trecho: