Brazil Race Problems

World Cup: Although Brazil’s team has many black stars, the fans in the stands are whiter than Norway.

Note from BW of Brazil: So by now everyone knows that the long anticipated 2014 World Cup in Brazil has begun with the host team opening with a convincing 3-1 victory over Croatia in the Itaquerão stadium in São Paulo.

As was also anticipated,superstar Neymar’s star Brazil's Fansshined even brighter as he marked two of the home team’s goals and entered the top ten list of all-time Brazilian scorers for the seleção, Brazil’s National Team. Also in typical fashion, Brazilians presented another example of the racism that everyone wants to deny but that remains part of the national character. Although the score may have been 3-1 in favor of the home team, in reality, the Brazilians scored all four goals in the game if one counts the own goal accidentally scored by Marcelo. Consistent with beliefs that only blacks make mistakes because of their race, Brazilians took to Twitter and blasted the preto (black) Marcelo for his error.

An image that was even more evident of how race works in Brazil were the various shots of the crowd in Itaquerão. Sure, over the past decade or so, policies have attempted to diversify more areas of a Brazilian society dominated by the presence ofpersons who look as if their racial origins are purely European. As the excitement for the game reached a peak, the overwhelming whiteness of the crowd was hard to miss.As André Barcinski put it:

“If racial and cultural integration of Brazil was the main theme of the opening party, this was not reflected in the stands. The stadium was whiter than Norway. Finding a black person among the spectators was a difficult task.”

Minutes before the game started, three children, one black, one white, one Indian, representing the origins of the Brazilian people, entered the field to release doves into the air, but one was hard pressed to find such diversity in the stands. In reality, this shouldn’t come as a surprise as in July of 2013 we covered the same issue at the Confederations Cup, also held in Brazil as well as in the official World Cup commercial and the controversy behind the selection of the World Cup Final Draw couple. In the end, one could argue that the camera did show the pride of the Brazilian people,well, at least the European part.

Note: Black Women of Brazil is a photographic and informational blog featuring a diverse array of Brazilian Women of African descent, to give a more complete view of the experiences of black women in particular and black people in general in Brazil with a goal of provoking discussion through the lens of race.