The battle for racial equality has long been fought for in the world, but it seems as if Brazil may be sturggling more than most other countries. The Economist published an article on just how racially divided and segregated Brazil is to this day, and it is shocking. Not only are black or brown skinned citizens unfairly treated in Brazil in a plethora of ways, but the unimaginable thing is that there is still slavery prevalent in Brazilian factories to this day. Slavery was not abolished in Brazil until 1888. Over 50% of slums are populated by citizens with darker skin than the average Brazilian. Whites make, on average, 44% more than blacks in Brazil. All of these problems and more present a serious issue for many reasons, but one massive reason is that the majority of the country (51%), describes themselves as black or brown skinned, and they have no one to represent them in the government. There is only 1 out of 38 cabinet members who is black in Brazil. All of this feels eerily familiar to the pre civil rights movement America, which was racist and segregated beyond belief.
So what is next for Brazil in this fight for equality?
Andres Schipani, a writer for Special Report Brazil, wrote in an article about how affirmative action is helping at least one young man follow his dream. This young man, Mr. Dos Santos, has a dream to one day work at JPMorgan, which for many people with his skin color, is an impossible feat. But affirmative action has helped him on his quest to get an MBA, and hopefully a job at the esteemed financial enterprise. Hopefully these laws end up contributing to other black Brazilians getting their fair shot.
The Economist, print-edition. “Affirming a Divide.” The Economist, 28 Jan. 2012, https://www.economist.com/the-americas/2012/01/28/affirming-a-divide.
Schipani, Andres. “Racial Diversity in Brazil ‘Turns to a New Page.’” Financial Times, 15 May 2018, https://www.ft.com/content/abe60816-3cc9-11e8-bcc8-cebcb81f1f90.