Brazil

The Racist and Sexist Nature of Brazil’s New Government

by Adam Bledsoe

In the wake of the “soft coup” in Brazil, Interim President Michel Temer has rolled back gains made by Afro-Brazilians. Temer is withholding land titles from quilombos, descended from Black maroon communities, where Blacks can continue “their long-held traditions of fishing, cultivating their own crops, collecting shellfish, and extracting fruits and vegetables from their land in the face of armed antagonists intent on erasing their very existence.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of May 16, 2016

Black Brazil Will Resist “Soft Coup” Against Workers Party

Dilma Rousseff, of the Brazilian Workers Party, was removed from her office as president, last week, and put on trial by the nation’s Senate on charges of manipulating the budget. Dr. Gerald Horne, the prolific author and professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston, predicts the Workers Party will mount waves of protests, sit-ins and occupations against what they call a “soft coup” encouraged and abetted by the United States. “I think that during the Olympics, when the global spotlight will be on Brazil, there will be an exhibition by poor, working class folk to express their disapproval of what’s going on in their country,” said Dr. Horne.

Jill Stein: “I’m Not Holding My Breath” Waiting on Bernie

Kshama Sawant, of the Socialist Alternative Party, is circulating a petition asking Bernie Sanders to either run for president on the Green Party ticket, or pave the way for a “new party of the 99%.” The Green Party is already a party of the 99%, and will be on the ballot in most states, said presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein. She said the Greens have been “reaching out to Bernie Sanders since 2011, looking for ways that we might collaborate, and Bernie has always declined our invitation for dialogue by not responding. I’m not holding my breath,” said Stein. “He regards third parties as renegades and threats to political order.”

Alabama Prison Work Stoppages Wind Down

Inmates at prisons across the state of Alabama trickled back to work after officials filled their jobs with people on work-release and starved the protestors of needed calories. “They were getting bird-fed, meaning they were getting real low portions of food because of the peaceful strike,” said Pastor Kenneth Glascow, who negotiated with state officials on behalf of the inmates. Glascow is the half-brother of Rev. Al Sharpton, and a former inmate, himself, who heads the prison reform group TOPS, The Ordinary People Society. Prisoners earn as little as 17 cents an hour at for-profit prison enterprises, and are not paid at all for kitchen and laundry work.

The strike was called by inmates of the Free Alabama Movement. “We already have a Free Mississippi Movement, there’s a Free California Movement, there’s a Free Pennsylvania Movement,” said inmate activist Bennu Hannibal, of the St. Clair prison. Brothers and sisters behind bars have to organize “because the system is organized, and the only way we’re going to have an impact against them is if we organize in a likewise manner.”

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“Soft Coup” Finds Soft Target in Brazil

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, of the Workers Party, although free of personal corruption, is being hounded out of executive power by yelping packs of thoroughly corrupt political hyenas.” This “soft coup” is led by former partners in the national legislature, where the Workers Party holds less than one-sixth of the seats. But the debacle is a lesson for those leftists that think they can finesse and bargain their way to a social revolution.

 
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Marcha das Mulheres Negras: The Myth of a Racial Democracy in Brazil

by Sokari Ekine

Last month, upwards of 20,000 Brazilians of African descent, predominantly women, came together to protest the deep seated racism, including the targeting and murder of Black youth by the police, and gender based violence in Brazil. This single act of protest shatters the myth of a racially harmonious nation.

Elvis, Donny Hathaway and the Daft Hollywood Paradigm

by Julian Cola

Hollywood is one of U.S. imperialism’s greatest assets, hyping a world in which all things “super” are white – and speak English. “Media exploitation had famished many of my students’ outlook to humanity's potential for achievement and excellence, reducing it to an almost exclusive white hero and heroine archetype.” Critical analysis doesn’t stand a chance against the mega-fantasy. “White superiority is the primordial thread holding this model intact.”

Brazil Welcomes Dr. Carl Hart

by Julian Cola

Brazil, with the largest Black population outside of Africa, attempts to perpetuate the myth that it is a “racial democracy.” If so, it is an incredibly violent one. “Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary General, stated that 50,000 people are killed in Brazil every year,” many by police, and most Black and brown. Columbia University neuroscientist Dr. Carl Hart traveled to Brazil to speak on the evils of racism – and, instead, became a witness.

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