INTA course on Politics and Economics Blog # 4

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June 30th 2009
Published: June 30th 2009
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Race is very controversial subject to discuss, even more when it has to do to with racism and the perception every individual and culture has of it. As a person who was raised in Colombia, race was never a very present aspect in my life, but after living for more than ten years in the United States, my understanding of race and racism dramatically changed. After being in Rio de Janeiro and studying more about this culture, I discovered a different way of analyzing how the subject of race is understood and handled based on my experience in America. Even though America and Brazil have both suffered from significant racial discrimination throughout the history, in Brazil this issue has not been as stressed and pointed out as in the States. In America, racial discrimination has been and is a very evident issue that despite many efforts to overcome it and achieve certain social equality among whites and blacks, it is still very present in society and in the minds of African-Americans. However, according to some of the readings about this subject in the “Why Was Brazil Different? The Contexts of Independence” packet, In Brazil, racism in this country is stronger than what many people would like to admit. This could be attributed to the fact that racism in Brazil has not really been studied and addressed as in the United States.

While It is true that in the history of the United States explicit examples of racial discrimination such as the Jim Crow laws and the period of racial segregation can be found, in the case of Brazil, it is also true that even though for people like me, racial terms are unclearly defined, racism in this country is an issue that as of today has been strong enough to determine the fate of most of Afro-Brazilians in terms of socio-economic opportunities.


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