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EuSouLou
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10/24/2002
15:48:15
Subject: Favelas
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Does anyone agree with me that the population of the favelas are eskewed when it comes to race? The vast majority of the inhabitants are black. Right?


Boris
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10/24/2002
18:25:54
RE: Favelas
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...and your point is...?????


Pirambuence
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10/25/2002
01:06:37
RE: Favelas
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One must be very careful when discussing race in Brazil. I have lived in favelas while with the Peace Corps and most of the inhabitants are of mixed race--in America do Norte they would be considered "black". But that same black just might have a blonde, blue eyed brother of the same parents, in faact that black might have blonde hair and blue eyes as well. But there is one helluva problema in social strata--the upper classes and politicians are almost totally light skinned and tend to have an attitude toward darker skinned countrymen. If a blck man or woman gets an education they can reach higher into the social order--but it would be more difficult than if that same person were light skinned. Brazil, like america do Norte has lots and lots of "Stupid white men," too.

I found a helluva lot of undeveloped genius in the favelas and it came in the wraps of all colors.

For an interesting look at the history of the Afro-Brasileiro see Nestor Capoeira's Capoeira-Roots of the dance fight game.


Sick
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10/25/2002
03:19:05
RE: Favelas
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Yeah, what defines race in Brasil is actually the opposite of what defines race in the States. The States go by the "one-drop rule", meaning any amount of non-white blood makes you non-white or whatever race mixed with the white. In Brasil, the bias is toward whiteness. As Pirambuence said, racism manifests itself in the social class structure in Brasil and the whiter one is perceived the more beneficial it is for that person. Also, racism is much less overt in Brasil. Whereas in the States, it is painfully overt and affects all aspects of US culture.

Gilberto Freire is interesting to read about, he is credited with creating the myth that Brasil is a "racial democracy". I don't think that is generally believed in Brasil anymore but it is quite interesting to see how two former slave owning nations dealt with race after slavery ended.

Beijos Tchau



Po
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10/25/2002
10:46:59
RE: Favelas
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Sick, I don't understand this point of yours:

Originally posted by Sick: "Yeah, what defines race in Brasil is
actually the opposite of what defines race in the States. The
States go by the "one-drop rule", meaning any amount of
non-white blood makes you non-white or whatever race mixed
with the white. In Brasil, the bias is toward whiteness."

Do you mean that one drop of whiteness makes you white in
Brazil?




brazzaboy
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10/26/2002
12:33:07
RE: Favelas
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From my experiences in Brasil (Central to South) I found very few actual Black raced people. The majority have a multitude of races all mixed in one. For instance I saw (Sao Paul) a male with long red dreadlocks when he turned around he had a distintly Japanese face with pale blue eyes. The mixes of race in Brasil are very evident and I don't think the favelas are any different with just as much mixed race inhabitants as any others.


Po
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10/26/2002
13:00:16
RE: Favelas
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From what I have heard the use of the word "black" is taboo when talking about people with dark features and/or of African heritage. In the U.S. "black" is an accepte term. Is it in Brazil? If not, what word is best?

Po?


Sick
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10/26/2002
13:10:58
RE: Favelas
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Po:

No, one drop of white blood in Brasil doesn't make one white. By opposite i meant that for mixed offspring in Brasil, the bias is toward whiteness; whereas in the States the bias is toward the non-white part of the mix. The US model to define race is AKA the "White Supremecy Model". Slavery in Brasil ended about 20 years after the US and much discussion was made about how the ex-slaves would fit into Brasil's post-slavery society. They came up with the idea of "whitening", meaning the more white blood the more acceptable one is in a socio-economic aspect. So, miscegenation was never discouraged and even somewhat encouraged (I am not sure it was encouraged but I seem to recall reading that somewhere) as opposed to the US where it was against the law in many places until relatively recently.

Tchau


truth_serum
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10/26/2002
17:35:17
RE: Favelas
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Hey Pirambuence, what do you mean by brazil has lots of stupid white men. I'd rather live in a society controlled by stupid white men than a smart negro any day of the week. Please don't complain about stupid white males, because at least the white males created a written language and invented a wheel along with a assortment of technologies used the world over. Maybe you can promote the great negro invention in brazil, PEANUT BUTTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. Favelas are violent shit holes and will end up destroying brazil.


EuSouLou
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10/27/2002
03:50:56
RE: Favelas
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Duh, there is alot of racism there, although it's not likely to be admitted to.


EuSouLou
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10/27/2002
15:42:23
RE: Favelas
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As you can see, truth_serum explains it all.


Sick
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10/27/2002
18:48:10
RE: Favelas
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Damn I wish El Hombre was here for this.


Carioca
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10/27/2002
22:35:06
RE: Favelas
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truth_serum,
how can you be so sure it was the white males how invented written language? Are you a languist? This is totaly absurd. I can't understand how a racist such as yourself would have any interest in Brazil what-so-ever.
Second of all, what kind of and argument is "I'd rather live in a society controlled by stupid white men than a smart negro any day of the week."? Oh yeah, it isn't. I know why you were offended by Piranbuence's comment: you're a stupid white male yourself.
Do you think favelas are "violent shitholes"? Really? Reality check, mate: these are the oldest news since the invention of wheels!
And plus if you think the only contribution black people have brought to the world are simplystic delicacies, I belive all my effort will lead nowhere. Making perfect ignorants understand the world that goes beyond their trailer parks is virtualy impossible.


Carioca
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10/27/2002
22:51:23
RE: Favelas
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Po wrote:
From what I have heard the use of the word "black" is taboo when talking about people with dark features and/or of African heritage. In the U.S. "black" is an accepte term. Is it in Brazil? If not, what word is best?

Po?

You're right, calling someone "black" is considered offensive. People often use eufemisms like "that one with a brunete completion" or "bonbon-brown skinned", "darkish", and other ridiculous names. "Black" is associated with beign poor, beign an outlaw, beign stupid, beign less than a person. Like someone said before, I belive this is due to the end of slavery which led the ex-slaves into being poor, becoming outlaws and sometimes both.
It's not like miscegenation was encouraged , I think. It was part of the Brazilian society long since the Portuguese arrival. The tradition that lead the society to think that a african descendent that has a paler skin is better than one with a darker skin is due to slavery itself. The barons of cofee - and all the rich farmers who had slaves - had sexual relations with the black women living around his property ( I guess it happened in the us too). In constant need of healthy heirs, they would take the sons and daughters of those relations that could pass for white people and raise them. So, in Brazil, it's very hard to separate the blacks from the whites.
And, responding Po's question, I guess the mostly used term would be "moreno" ou maybe "moreninho". But there is no politicaly correct way of calling someone in Brazil. In fact I think we're very politicaly INcorrect.






Randy
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10/28/2002
07:33:13
RE: Favelas
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Carioca -

One correction for you...In the USA, if you are white than saying someone is "black" is politically incorrect and you will get chastised and called a racist for using the term. However..if you are a black person in the USA..you can say whatever you want (black, negro, white, honkie, etc.) racially..and no one will chastise you or call you a racist. Kind of strange isn't it????


Sick
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10/28/2002
12:49:11
RE: Favelas
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African-American seems to be the preferable phrase in the States, or "person of color" is often used. But, "black" is not considered politically incorrect by most, and only the hyper-sensitive will get upset about it.


Silvio
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10/28/2002
13:19:42
RE: Favelas
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This puzzles me. What about a black persons from England, how can they be African American? What about a white persons from Zimbabwe who now lives in America, or the states, is he not African American?






DaMan
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10/28/2002
13:51:22
RE: Favelas
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THIS IS INTERESTING HOW THIS TOPIC WENT ANOTHER DIRECTION. BUT IT BRINGS UP A GOOD POINT THOUGH.

The term "latino" came up as a way to include white people of latin american descent. They are certainly not considered "hispanic". Hispanics are those with dark skin - "true" latin americans.

Think so? I do.


Sick
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10/28/2002
14:42:57
RE: Favelas
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I find it odd that someone can claim what a "true" Latin American is and is not. What about the two million or so Brasilians of Japanese descent? If you think they are not "true" Latin Americans then the neo-nazi party is looking for people just like you.

African-American only refers to people of African descent with dark skin living in the USA (Canada may also use the term but I have no idea). A white South African would not be called that. Contradiction? Yes, very much so, but that is the way it is here in the States. We have an infatuation with race. The concept of race, ironically, is a social construct and holds no scientific validity. Yet, North Americans would sooner die then let go of it so they can make distinctions to remain separate from "others" and can express their prejudices. Sadly, it's just our culture. A remnant of slavery that still haunts the US.

Tchau


Sick
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10/28/2002
14:53:07
RE: Favelas
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I find it odd that someone can claim what a "true" Latin American is and is not. What about the two million or so Brasilians of Japanese descent? If you think they are not "true" Latin Americans then the neo-nazi party is looking for people just like you.

African-American only refers to people of African descent with dark skin living in the USA (Canada may also use the term but I have no idea). A white South African would not be called that. Contradiction? Yes, very much so, but that is the way it is here in the States. We have an infatuation with race. The concept of race, ironically, is a social construct and holds no scientific validity. Yet, North Americans would sooner die then let go of it so they can make distinctions to remain separate from "others" and can express their prejudices. Sadly, it's just our culture. A remnant of slavery that still haunts the US.

Tchau


Carioca
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10/28/2002
17:28:04
RE: Favelas
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I totally agree...I have a friend who's a Brazilian of japanese descent, but people often call her "japanese". They even call vietnamies, chinese, indonesians and all sorts of asian descendents "japanese". I remember when we were in highschool I used to come up to those people and say, "she's Brazilian." I used to tell her that a lot too.
There is no one that can be called the "real" Brazilian, since this is a country of immigrants. Some people say the amerindians that lived here before the Portuguese came are the real Brazilians. But I belive they didn't constitute Brazil. Brazil is a Portuguese invention. They just dragged the natives along and expect them to be gratefull. I myself am part native, part african, part portuguese, part spanish and italian.
But what enerves me the most is that if I want to find out where my european relatives came from, I could - but if I wanted to do the same with my native relatives or my african relatives, I can't. I whish I knew about my roots, but since they were treated as things, they have no records, no memory.
That contributes to Brazil's low self esteem, I guess. And contributes to the growth of the favelas..


USCIT
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10/28/2002
18:06:46
RE: Favelas
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Prejudice is an interesting thing to look at in the abstract. (For those not familiar with English to follow what I mean, to look at something in the abstract is to view it and just think about it as a subject.)

Prejudice exists in nearly every society, at every level. Mainly because it is simply a human factor.

As a brief example, in such as New York, simply living on the wrong street can bring about prejudice. “You can’t associate with him/her, he/she lives on such and such a street!” has been an all too common comment.

This stemmed from the days when the immigrants congregated in specific areas of the city. Irish, Jew, Italian and so on; and, because they were ‘different’ they were subject to prejudice from persons of other areas.

A person doesn’t even have to look at the ‘black’s’ or the slaves, that is just an extension. After the U.S. Civil War, everyone from the South was impoverished. It was just that the recently freed slaves were the most so, therefore, easy targets.

The thing being, prejudice exists whether color of skin is considered or not. Its just that if a person has a differently colored skin, then it is easier to pick them out for prejudicial comment.

Prejudice actually stems from fear. Fear that you are going to be ‘like them’. Or that ‘they’ will rise above you. Or that they see you in an even worse light than you see them. Any of many dozens of similar reasons.

Its easy to pick on someone who is impoverished. Lacked educational opportunity. Unfamiliar with local customs. Someone with a differently colored skin. Or someone who sees God in a manner differently than you might. But then a coward with fear looks for easy targets.

Prejudice exists. It always has and probably always will. At least until people learn to lift themselves up and learn to be happy with the person ‘they’ are and not worry about who or what the next person is.

Many people express prejudice thinking they are lifting themselves above that which they are prejudice against. The sad thing is they are actually lowering themselves below it. When you hear someone speak with prejudice against someone, feel sorry for them.



Brazilian
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10/28/2002
20:56:01
RE: Favelas
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You are talking about colors:

What kind of color is the Mike Jackson and the sister his?.....


Pirambuence
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10/29/2002
00:30:07
RE: Favelas
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To the few out there that imply an inherent inferiority of the Afro (black) by nature, I can assure you that an introduction to Afro American literature (Harlem Renaissance) of the 20's, 30's will dispell any such notions--IF there is a desire to get at the substance of things.

The idea of the slave mentality is a constant that runs throughout the human condition. We in the Americas are most familiar with white on black or brown construct, but in Russia there was a condition of slavery called serfdom that had a white on white nature. the oppressed there were considered property in every way--traded, lost in card games, whipped, beaten used, abused and tattooed until the Russian Revolution of 1917. With the advent of universal education the succeeding generations of ex-serfs reached levels of self realization. Something of the same is happening to the US's Afro American population today. And America is a better place for it.
As for miscegination, that's probably the only way out of a whole lot of today's ethnic problems. Here in Hawaii there are so many mixed peoples that no one really tries to establish a difference racially--but they do in terms of political loyalties--nationalism to Old Hawaii versus fidelty to the USA that overthrew and runs the show today.

One high school student asked me years ago why there was so much emphasis on learning history when History is so full of catastrophies, bloodletting and national antagonisms, He contended, and I agree, that we should be spending an equal amount of time studying FUTURE, with all its possibilities for a harmonious family of humankind--helping each other. So simple, yet so difficult to realize.

Viva Brasil--Viva Lula! Vamos emborra pra frente!!



brazzaboy
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10/29/2002
03:06:22
RE: Favelas
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In response to the word Black or African American in Canada. I unfortunately have the misfortune of nearly 27 years ago moving to Canada from UK. Big mistake the attitude and arrogance of Canadians is unbelievable. They are way worse than Americans and aggressive. Yes I hate Canada. But lets get back to the question Blacks are called Blacks in Canada and nobody including Blacks have a problem with that. Other derogatory terms yes ie Nigger, jiggaboo, jungle bunny etc, and rightly so. No person should have to put up with such insults. Unless of course you are white in Canada. I have been called every name under the sun here by blacks, white trash, white boy, honkie, snowflake etc ad infinitum. If I complain I am told get over it its just a name but a Black gets called something similar I would be thrown in jail and or fined very heavily. Canada is a country of double standards, a country which thinks itself morally and ethically superior to all else, take note US of Canadas lack of backing for your country in the fight against terror. Yet I have found Canadians to be some of the most arrogant, ignorant, immoral, unethical, lying, cheating SOB's I have ever met.

Hope that answers one of your q's and let me get off my chest what I feel.

Thanks.

As always GOD BLESS BRASIL


Randy
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10/29/2002
06:20:46
RE: Favelas
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Brazzaboy -
To general a statement about Canadians. I just watched a special about how far the Canadians stuck their necks out to rescue 6 Americans during the Iranian hostage crisis. It was amazing the chances their govt and especially the Canadian consulate in Iran took to help smuggle out these Americans. I will never think badly of Canadians...at least not as a whole..I am sure there is prejudice there just as in the rest of the world.


Geust
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10/30/2002
14:10:04
RE: Favelas
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To sum up eveyone's comments (at least those with sensible comments), no matter what color you think you are or the man or woman next to you, in GOD's eyes, I don't think he sees us as a certain color, but he sees us all as his children. Even ignorant one's such as "truth_serum".

Hey truth_serum, here's two things to add to your list to thank GOD about! I don't know who you are is one. And number 2, there is a GOD to help me think of what I do because I'd destroy you if I met you.


Brent
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10/30/2002
14:56:08
RE: Favelas
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...yawn...


truth_serum
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10/30/2002
17:12:14
RE: Favelas
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I got a question for the sausage sniffer who thinks he can destroy me. How did you escape from my noose?


Patinho
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10/30/2002
19:12:30
RE: Favelas
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"Can't we all just.... get along."


Anonymous
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11/01/2002
14:33:58
RE: Favelas
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Truth_serum, wanna know how I escaped? After your mother finished sucking my dick, she let me go. Tell that bitch I still don't love her. Yeah that's right, I've been fucking your mother all along. The bitch can't help it so don't get mad at the ho.


Alex Furtado
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12/29/2002
10:20:17
RE: Favelas
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Amigos,

A palavra 'preto' e a palavra 'nego = negro' são usadas pela população do Brasil tanto em um contexto depreciativo, quanto,em um contexto de afetividade. Pois é, esta ambiguidade é a cara do Brasil. Frases como "ô, minha pretinha, traz um café p'ro ( para o ) teu nego" são comumente verbalizadas por brasileiros de pele clara, e constituem uma expresão de carinho. Mas há ditados preconceituosos bastante comuns como " Preto quando não caga na entrada, caga na saída".
Algo interessante sobre o preconceito no Brasil é que os preconceituosos geralmente tem vergolha de demonstrá-lo.

Muitos ativistas negros consideram este preconceito velado uma forma terrível de discriminação, porque para os negros é difícil organizarem-se para lutar contra um inimigo oculto.
Esta é outra característica da nossa sociedade, o não enfretamento, a acomodação dos opostos.
Muitos crêem que a divisão em castas bem demarcadas entre as diversas etnias facilitaria a luta pelo incremento da condição de vida dos negros. Mas isto é muito difícil no Brasil. A miscigenação é um fato generalizado, é difícil saber quem é branco ou quem é preto.


Abraços,
Alex Furtado.


Fernandobn
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12/30/2002
13:44:36
RE: Favelas
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We Brazilians are latinos because our language has its base in Latin language as Spanish, Italian and many others. In the US, when I had to fill forms specifying my race I always filled in the "Others" option, because even coming from Latin America I do not agree with the sense that "Latino" term is used by americans. I think that this generalization is wrong! I have Portuguese and Italian heritage. I hate this politically correct terms! We all shit in the same way and smells as bad as anybody else! For the person who said that the Favelas suck! need to realize that they exist because of the lack of Housing Policy in Brazil and because when the first shack was built someone "very busy" turn his face to the problem and today we have poor people leaving their serving as shield to the drug dealers.


Patinho
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12/30/2002
15:08:23
RE: Favelas
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good post... simple and to the point.


Pedro
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12/31/2002
06:07:34
RE: Favelas
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About favelas:

Favelas were originally blacks-only community. The first favela was built on Providência hill (in Rio) around 1880 by former slaves that had been freed to fight in the war against Paraguay. When they came back, many of them sick, armless, legless (and of course, jobless) they had no other choice except build precarious habitations over the hills near the port.

For some decades, favelas were known as blacks-only slums. By then, poor non-black people used to live in a kind of urban collective habitation known as CORTIÇO (I don´t know an exact translation). But this situation gradually changed, and nowadays most habitants are mixed-race.




Pedro
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12/31/2002
06:44:43
RE: Favelas
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To Fernandobn:

The orign of this misconcept is, the word "latino" has distinct meanings in Brazil and in US.

In ancient times, "latinos" were the habitants of Latium, a region in central Italy where Rome was the main city. It became later the denomination of coutries that had belonged to the former West Roman Empire, and thus shared some cultural aspects, like speaking languages derived from latin, be catholic, etc.

So, actual "latino" countries are Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Rumania, part of Belgium and part of Switzerland. Brazilians (and other south americans) are not latinos, they are melting-pots. Brazilians have been influenced by latinos, but also by many other people like africans, japaneses, or non-latino europeans.

But in US, the word "latino" was redefined and has mostly been applied to generic south-americans, with a strong racial connotaction. It sounds strange to me, for instance, listening that italians are not considered latinos, but "italian-american". It is the same as stating that the pope is not catholic.



Fernando B
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12/31/2002
16:06:05
RE: Favelas
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Pedro thanks for your post wich explain the misunderstanding of the word "Latino" proving my point.


Alex P. Keaton
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1/01/2003
14:04:30
RE: Favelas
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Pedro: "But in US, the word "latino" was redefined and has mostly been applied to generic south-americans, with a strong racial connotaction. It sounds strange to me, for instance, listening that italians are not considered latinos, but "italian-american". It is the same as stating that the pope is not catholic."

I disagree. In the U.S. the term "latino" applies to any person who is Hispanic. "Hispanic" used to be fine, but latin peoples for some reason wanted to start being called "Latino." If you are Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, or Brazilian, you are considered Latino (or latina) in the USA.


Sick
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1/01/2003
16:30:49
RE: Favelas
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"Latino" is a good example as to why the US should just drop the racial/ethnic categories on the census. These labels are far too confusing and namely used for public policy formation and/or demagoguery. First of all, "Hispanic" was unnacceptable to many Latin Americans simply because many are not, i.e. Brasilians who speak Portuguese. By definition, Brasilians cannot be "Hispanic". Same for Latino, since in the US the label implies Spanish speaker (at least as a first language). Alex, Call a Brasilian woman a Latina and check out the reaction you get, then you will understand how that label blurs cultures into insignificance and is just as unnacceptable as Hispanic.


Alex P. Keaton
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1/01/2003
17:56:44
RE: Favelas
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Sick, I think you're muddling race and culture. A nordic Swede who grows up in Argentina is not Latino or Hispanic, he is a caucasoid. A person of Puerto Rican descent who grows up in Sweden is not Swedish, he is Latino or Hispanic, whatever the PC term is. Those census categories are to determine what race someone is, not what culture they identify with.


Down to Earth
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1/01/2003
18:51:20
RE: Favelas
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This is why it is so refreshing that Brazilians only refer to themselves as Brazilians full stop.


Sick
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1/01/2003
21:49:28
RE: Favelas
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Alex I see, so what it appears you are saying is, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that the color and tone of one's skin, distinct facial features, hair texture, etc. that have been historically identified to be common in specific groups of people, in other words race, is how people should be catagorized no matter what?

Interesting. So to you, Pele is not only NOT Latino (forget the fact his native language is Portuguese and he's Brasilian), he is not even Hispanic, let alone Latin American. He's just black...err excuse me, africazoid?. Nice. I nominate you to break this news to him and all his Brasilian fans. Are Puerto Ricans of African descent living in the continental US black or Hispanic? The first Brasilian I ever got to know on a personal level is of Japanese descent. I believe she is the third generation of her family living in Brasil. The last thing I would describe her as is Asian...she is Latin through and through (or more specifically, as Down to Earth points out, she is Brasilian through and through). I assume you disagree. I still don't see how Portuguese speaking Brasilians can be classified as Latino or Hispanic, since the latter are Spanish words and imply those described as such as Spanish speaking. If Dominicans are Hispanic (or are some black? What should Sammy Sosa put on his census form?) then what are Haitians? Did you know that Italians and Jews at one point were not considered to be white in the US? Now, as a result of some miracle I assume, they are.

Anyway, I think you are the one muddling here, not me. You are confusing physical attributes not only with culture but with social value (I'm implying it has none).


Alex P. Keaton
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1/02/2003
06:54:23
RE: Favelas
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Sick said: "Alex I see, so what it appears you are saying is,
and correct me if I'm wrong, is that the color and tone of one's
skin, distinct facial features, hair texture, etc. that have been
historically identified to be common in specific groups of
people, in other words race, is how people should be
catagorized no matter what?"

No. Did you read my post? I said those census categories are
to determine what race someone is, not what culture they
identify with. Please read (and comprehend) my post first. It
will hopefully keep you from drawing incorrect assumptions
such as this one.

As far as race and culture go, if you think a nordic Swede who
grows up in Argentina is a latino, then I disagree.


BRENT
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1/02/2003
07:48:47
RE: Favelas
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Sammy Sosa is black. Haven't you ever seen him? And
Portuguese speaking Brazilians are either black or hispanic. It
is irrelevant that those are not Portuguese words. What is
your point SICK?


Macunaima
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1/02/2003
09:21:49
RE: Favelas
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Congratulations to Sick for having the courage to take the only scientific position possible on this issue.

Race is not an objectively observable veriable among human beings and this fact has been proven over and over. We are not horses or dogs, people: are genetic code is not stable enough. There is simply too much instability and variance in the human phenotype for us to be boiled down into neatly defined "races".

This is Sick's point, Alex Keaton: "race" is just as socially defined as "culture". There is no such thing as a "caucasoid" or "negroid" in the real, physical world just as there's no such thing as a "Swede", "American" or "Latino". ALL of these labels are socially generated and they have no physical scientific veridity. In fact. they have no validity at all beyond the belief systems of people that use them as markers to describe human difference.

What Sick is pointing out is that there is no gene - or even set of genes - that makes one "Black". "Black" people are socially defined by a series of physical markers that include but are not limited to their skin color and very few "Black" people have all, or even most, of these markers.

So you're right and wrong, Keaton. Sick DOES conflate race and culture, but he's not confusing them. There really IS no difference between the two when looked at as scientific phenomena. They are both simply means by which humans divide up the world into easily identified symbolical units.

In this respect, race and culture are both as scientific as astronomy, crystal healing and tarot cards: their only proven value comes from the fact that many humans believe in them. To divide human beings by "race" (and I would also say by "culture", though we can argue about that seperately) has as much scientific meaning as dividing them into Virgos, Leos and Capricorns. There simply is no "there" there.




BRENT
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1/02/2003
09:41:01
RE: Favelas
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Macunaima, if there is no such thing as "race," as you argue,
then are you against affirmative action, quotas, forced busing,
and other equality-based initiatives? After all, we're all one
race and the very concept of race is, according to you,
unscientific.


Sick
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1/02/2003
10:29:23
RE: Favelas
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Macunaima,thank you for clarifying my point. It is difficult to get North Americans to understand this (I ought to know, I used to be the same way) because it goes against everything they have ever learned and experienced. I have difficulty calmly explaining something that to me is now obvious.

Anyway, Brent raises an interesting point about affirmative action and one that blacks have raised here in the US as well. And that is, if there is no such thing as race, in the scientific sense, and it is all just a social construct, then getting rid of affirmative action would logically follow. Well, theoretically maybe but that does not change the reality of US culture. BECAUSE of the racial social construct, minorities, especially blacks, have been discriminated against. This is undeniable and continutes to this day. I would argue affirmative action is one valid response to the consequences of race as a social construct. On it's face it appears to be hypocritical, but in reality it isn't. In reality, it is a trade off. Essentially two steps forward and one step back. Progress, by any definition, in my opinion. So, no, affirmative action should not be discarded as of yet, but hopefully in the future it will not be necessary.


Down to Earth
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1/02/2003
11:20:49
RE: Favelas
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I agree the quicker affirmative action is discarded and the quicker we will abolish modern “segregation”. Unfortunately the race “culture” has been ingrained in the western civilisation for too long and getting rid of it will not be possible for as long as ignorance, political correctness and paranoia exists. The problem will also exist for as long as people will confuse race with culture, and I’m mainly talking about those who identify themselves with others basing on their ethnic background and more or less rule out anyone who does not fit that superficial “package”.

I’m sorry but when I see academics and journalists criticizing the "Rock" for not properly representing his black roots it just makes me wonder on how far we will go with this obsession.



BRENT
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1/02/2003
11:52:37
RE: Favelas
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Um... "Western Civilization"? How about "Eastern
Civilization"? The Japanese and the Chinese are about the
most racist and segregated people on earth. Sorry, but don't
blame America for being racists, when it's been a trait of
every culture in the history of the world.


Pedro
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1/02/2003
13:26:10
RE: Favelas
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I agree with Brent that it is irrelevant that "black" or "hispanic" are not portuguese words - the meaning of the word is more important than its origin. But I do not agree that brazilians are either black or hispanic. Only two categories are too few to define Brazil´s range of races. How should a mix of black and hispanic be called? That´s the case of millions of brazilians. And there are other races in Brazil, like japanese, indians, and of course, whites. I once visited a town in southern Brazil where 100% of the population was blonde.



Down to Earth
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1/02/2003
14:53:26
Soooooooo Boring!
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Oh Gosh, let me bang my head against the wall!!!

Brent from what the rest of the world is aware is that the U.S did not invent Western civilisation, so maybe if you try to get out sometime, go abroad and not only to the brothels.

I’m talking about the Western society and that means, the U.S, means Canada, Means England, Means Ireland, Scotland, Central America, South America, Italy, France!!!! The world does go on outside your borders did you know that?

And get rid of the Chip, I’m not blaming America for racism buffoon, I’m talking about this neo segregation now that goes on thanks to all the eighties political correctness on racism, you see it everywhere now and I’m not talking about JAPAN! Companies having to hire people from each ethnic background because of the minority representation laws regardless of how many good people were spared. On TV we say that we are ok living with all races yet you will rarely see a mixed race couple on a show or a movie, unless you are actually isolating the issue itself.

Pedro, as Sick says, I think is very hard for some Americans to understand that issue, they are so used to branding everything. And no! This is not some anti-American or any other anti-crap attack!!!




Rodrigo
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1/02/2003
20:18:22
RE: Favelas
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For most of the north americans everything under the Rio Grande river is the same thing...

I have german and italian orgin, I speak portuguese and I live in Brazil, a country colonized by the portuguese ppl. Im not hispanic.

And there is another topic, the "ONE DROP OF BLOOD" thing is really stupid.

The person can be blond with blue eyes and have 1% of black blood, so in USA the person is called black...for many americans it is like a disease...

The white must be pure, but the black can be mixed...thats stupid...

Why do u must have pure blood to be white?

White is a color, not a origin. If the person have white skin he is white even with black blood, the same thing for latin people.

The almost 2 millions of japanese-brazilians r latins? The 5 millions of german-brazilians r latins? Or the 8 millions of lebanese-brazilians? And the black-brazilians?

I can be called latin because I have italian origin, but my german orgin?

Its too complicated, so I thing that every1 should call it self in the way they prefer.






Sick
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1/02/2003
22:40:18
RE: Favelas
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Rodrigo,

Let me clarify, I agree when you say people of German and Japanese ancestry are not Latin in a biological sense, what I meant was, in my opinion, they are Latin by culture, not blood.

Speaking of blood, yes the "one drop rule" is stupid and it is that way in the States because that definition was used to justify holding slaves and to discourage miscegenation. It was used as a means of control. It is one of the unfortunate legacies of slavery.

Here's an interesting article about a recent study done in Brazil on race and genetics:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2585553.stm


Macunaima
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1/02/2003
23:22:30
RE: Favelas
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Brent: If the stars don't influence our destiny, then why do almost all western newspapers run astrology columns? The simple answer: people believe in it.

Race is a SOCIAL FACT, not a PHYSICAL SCIENTIFIC FACT. Belief in race is like belief in Christ or Alah: there is no objective proof it exists. That doesn't mean that people don't organize their lives around these concepts, however.




Macunaima
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1/02/2003
23:28:08
RE: Favelas
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Brazilian belief that the U.S. REALLY works based upon hypodescendency (the "one drop of blood" rule) shows a certain lack of understanding of U.S. American realities. That may be the theory, yes. Reality is a lot more complex.

In reality, any U.S. American with "one drop of black blood" who looks acceptably white will be treated as such. Brazilians seem to be unaware of the phenomenon of "passing".


Anonymous
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1/03/2003
05:02:13
RE: Favelas
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Caro Macunaíma:

Você pode esclarecer sua afirmação de que raça não é um conceito científico? Gostaria de compreender porque você diz isto. Penso um pouco diferente.
Sabemos que classificar é agrupar os objetos ( ou seres ) conforme características comuns apresentadas por eles. Isto é inerente à prática científica. Assim temos o conceito científico de espécie, grupos de indivíduos com características genéticas e físicas comuns ,capazes de gerar descendência fértil. Mas um grupos indivíduos da mesma espécie pode apresentar variações genéticas expressas em fenótipos singulares que os diferenciam dos demais, embora o cruzamento fértil continue sendo franco. Assim temos subespécies. Se utilizamos raça como sinônimo de subespécie, então, raça é um conceito científico, embora seja muito difícil precisar os limites entre uma raça e outra em razão da miscigenação entre os povos. Contudo, creio que se pode, ao menos, perceber claramente a existência de três grandes raças: negróides, caucasóides e mongolóides.

Abraços,
Alex Furtado.


BRENT
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1/03/2003
07:45:39
DownSyndrome On Earth
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DownOnEarth moaned: "Brent from what the rest of the world
is aware is that the U.S did not invent Western civilisation, so
maybe if you try to get out sometime, go abroad and not only
to the brothels. "

Another whiney, oversensitive Brit. I never said that the U.S.
invented Western civiliZation (no "s"), dumb ass. It has been
implied on this thread that America perpetuates racism by
dividing ethnicities into distinct classes, e.g. Italian-American,
African-American, etc. Although I do believe that dividing
causes, um, division, I do not believe that the U.S. is any more
racist than any other country.

The point of my post was to show how idiotic you were for
singling out Western civiliZation for being racist, while Eastern
civilization and historically EVERY race has been racist.
Racism was not invented by the white European male.

Macunaima: Point taken on race as a social fact vs. a
scientific fact.


Macunaima
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1/03/2003
11:00:39
RE: Favelas
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Alex,

>>>Sabemos que classificar é agrupar os objetos ( ou seres ) conforme características comuns apresentadas por eles. Isto é inerente à prática científica. Assim temos o conceito científico de espécie, grupos de indivíduos com características genéticas e físicas comuns ,capazes de gerar descendência fértil.<<<

O problema com a "raça" e a espécie humana é que essas características não são estáveis, nem objetivamente identificáveis. Não existe nenhum grupo de características discretas que identifica um "negroid" por exemplo. Qualquer seleção de características vai te dizer mais sobre quem está fazendo a classificação do que o grupo.

Após de 200 anos de tentativas de classificar as supostas "subespécies da espécie humana", não existe dois antropólogos que concordam sobre onde fica as linhas divisórias entre as "raças". E as divergências não são poucas! A última e mais completa tentativa de classificar humanos por raça, se não me engano, contou algo em torno de 350 "raças". "Negroide", "Caucasoide" e "mongoloide" foram desqualificadas como classificações no início do século 20, pois as variações internas em cada uma dessas "raçãs" eram maiores do que as variações entre as "raças". Neste sentido, então, eram péssimas categorias para a classificação das diferenças humanas.

Trabalho no Museu Nacional com Dra. Giralda Seyferth, provavelmente a mais famosa pesquisadora brasileira na área de estudos de raça e etnicidade. O Museu, o Smithsonian do Brasil, largamente rejeitou as categorias "caucasoide", "mongoloide" e "negroide" como científicos na década de 60. Hoje, o maior parte dos ferramentos biométricos, antigamente utilizados para "descobrir" a raça, fazem parte do acervo do próprio museu. Ninguém os usam mais.

For the English readers out there, basically, any attempt to classify humans by race ends up including more diversity in each racial category than exists /between/ racial categories. For this reason, such divisions are not logical nor rigidly scientific. Frex, the skin color variations among "blacks" and "whites" are as about as radical as those between many blacks and whites.




Alex Furtado
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1/03/2003
14:33:52
RE: Favelas
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Valeu, Macunaíma!
Sua explicações foram excelentes para mim.
O fato de que as características internas de cada grande grupo ( negroide, caucasoide, e mongoloide ) serem mais diversas do que as características usadas para diferençar os grupos é algo que nunca tinha pensado. Agora entendo que pinçamos poucas características mais visíveis e óbvias para criar os grupos, o que é não é nada científico. É uma escolha cultural, reflexo da visão do classificador. Pena que os livros mais acessíveis ao público leigo em geram continuem ensinando errado.
Mas, pelo que compreendi, parece que os antropólogos, embora em grande discórdia, persistam tentando classificar as raças ( subespécies ) humanas até hoje.

Tenho conhecimento de um trabalho feito em minha cidade, São Luís do Maranhão, que observando o DNA mitocondrial dos habitantes, descobriu que as linhagens maternas são um terço africana, um terço indigena e um terço européia ( de forma arrendondada ). Você sabe quais características genéticas do DNA da mitocôndria servem como marcadores?

Ah, quando você falou em instrumentos antropométricos obsoletos, lembrei de um certo conterrâneo, que muitos dizem baiano, Nina Rodrigues... Creio que sua reputação não anda muito boa atualmente...

Abraços,
Alex Furtado.





Down to Earth
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1/03/2003
16:11:24
The Chip on the shoulder syndrome
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Are you still suffering from dyslexia Brent? You still don’t get the point do you? Quote me on blaming the US for world racism then? Talking about sensitive Brits (LOL), you seem to be some self-centred brainwashed American that obviously manages to find some anti-U. S attack in everything I say.

Gosh, let’s change the subject and talk bananas and apples then or would that be too racist towards California oranges?

Macuiana, it depends on which context, there are certain scientific aspects about race. For example people from Asian (India,Pakistan etc…) were proved to be more sensitive to alcohol and require donors of similar ethnic origin when receiving organ transplants. But as for superficial aspects such as skin colour etc… these remain simply superficial as it was also proven that many opposite ethnic groups can have more in common with each other than with people from their own ethnic background living in the same city/country.



Macunaima
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1/04/2003
09:22:58
RE: Favelas
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RE: RACE, SCIENCE AND HUMAN DIVERSITY - LONG

Down to Earth’s comments are so illustrative of the problems involved in thinking racially that I’m going to use them here as an example. I hope DTE doesn’t take this as an insult. In fact, the way that he thinks is quite common. Until I started actually working with physical anthropologists a few years back on this problem, I would have said something similar. So when I say he is expressing an ignorant or “fuzzy” opinion, I certainly do not mean this in the insulting sense: I merely mean that Down to Earth, like most human beings, is under-informed on this issue, conflating the physical and social sciences, a major scientific no-no.

Down to Earth says: “…there are certain scientific aspects about race. For example people from Asian (India,Pakistan etc…) were proved to be more sensitive to alcohol and require donors of similar ethnic origin when receiving organ transplants.”

Now this is a classic example of fuzzy thinking about human diversity that conflates social scientific reality (“race”) with physical scientific reality (genetics). This wouldn’t be such a problem and I wouldn’t even waste time here arguing about it if this kind of thinking weren’t so dishearteningly common these days and if its potential consequences weren’t so horrific.

Now, first off, no one here, and certainly not me, is claiming that humans do not evidence certain biological traits and that groupings cannot be usefully made based on these traits. What I am arguing is that these traits do not clump together to form discrete, identifiable “races”. In other words, yes, people with relatively melanin deficient skin may indeed evidence higher rates of skin cancer. To say, however, that “whites” are more vulnerable to skin cancer than “blacks” is dangerously anti-scientific. It may actually cause physical problems for some people because the racial definers “black” and “white” are established socially based upon a whole slew of characteristics that may or may not have anything to do with the relative melanin content of a given person’s skin. A very light skinned “black” may indeed have more skin cancer problems than certain darker skinned “whites”.

Secondly, “race” and “ethnicity”, while related concepts, are not synonymous. Race presumes a genetic or “ blood” linkage between members while ethnicity does not. I will stand foursquare behind ethnicity as a social-scientific concept (as long as it’s properly used) but not race.

But to get back to Down to Earth’s example…

DTE begins by conflating “race” with “Asian”, further detailing this as “India, Pakistan etc.” To round it up, he talks about “ethnic origin”. Asia, however, is a continent and “Asians”, properly, the people who live on it, whatever their genetic makeup might be. India and Pakistan are multi-ethnic nation states that didn’t even exist before 1946 whose citizens – whatever their ethnicity or genetic make up – are Pakistanis and Indians. Even if, for the sake of argument, we were to presume that India and Pakistan were discreet ethnic and/or genetic units, which they most certainly are not, a moment’s reflection would easily show that their “typical” (if such a thing can be presumed to exist) citizens look nothing like “typical” citizens of Japan or The People’s Republic of China, other “Asian” nation states. They most certainly do not share the same genetic make-up.

One presumes that a certain gene or complex of genes thus helps to determine any given human’s vulnerability to alcohol. Now here’s the question: is this gene (complex) really extant in human beings throughout Asia? Perhaps one does find a larger concentration of it there. Again, however, whether any given human being from Asia has it is an open question that could only be resolved through genetic analysis. A human may very well look “Asian”, be classified as “Asian” by others, see himself as “Asian” and yet not have this gene (complex) at all!
So claims that “Asians” are “vulnerable to alcohol,” are often really nothing more than giving a politically correct version of the old saw that “chinks can’t hold their drinks”.

Now, given that, I can easily see how such a prejudice could actually be useful to the man in the street. Let’s say that DTE is a pub owner in Liverpool. Perhaps his section of the port is often visited by sailors that he classifies as “Asian” who have destroyed two or three other establishments in (what most of the pub owners of Liverpool consider to be) drunken brawls. The idea that “Asians are vulnerable to alcohol” might actually save his pub some damage if he uses it to prepare for the coming of a band of these sailors. The problem is when these prejudices – which may have some validity on a purely local and immediate scale – are then given a scientific veneer by fuzzy raciological thinking by conflating local social prejudice with universal, cosmological scientific fact.

In the case that DTE brings up – donor transplants – the knowledge that a certain genetic complex is more prevalent in a certain region in the world might give doctors a notion of what to look out for when dealing with people who come from or are descended from residents of that area. If a doctor were to say, however, “Well, he’s Pakastani. That means he more vulnerable to alcohol”, he’d be facing a severe malpractice suit. Certainly not all Pakistanis are for the very reasons described above. They are not a “race”. Take sickle-cell anemia, a case with which I am more familiar. Now this is a “black” or “African” disease, right? In Brazil and the Southern U.S., however, there are many “whites” who have it. Why? Because the disease is not linked to “race”: it is linked to a certain genetic complex that originated in Africa. A competent scientist knows this. Because relatively melanin abundant skin was also a genetic trait common in Africa, he might thus infer that a man with dark skin who has anemia may be suffering from sickle cell anemia. He should certainly test for it. However, being “black” isn’t a sufficient nor necessary condition for sickle cell anemia. A doctor in Brazil or the U.S. who’d discard a test for it when confronted by a “caucasoid” person demonstrating the same symptoms would be guilty of criminal incompetence.

E, p’ra voltar a (sorry: no diacritical marks on this computer) conversa com Alex, para dizer a verdade, Nina Rodrigues e simulataneamente escurralachado e venerado na antropologia brasileira. Escurralachado (sp?) por ter engolhido toda aquela babaseira racista. Venerado pois, apesar de tudo, ele foi o primeiro antropologo brasileiro e o primeiro intelectual – de qualquer nacionalidade ou calibre – para levar a serio os brasileiros afro-descendentes. Se voce procura embaixo da retorica racista, comum da epoca, o Nina demonstra bastante respeito pelos negros da Bahia.

Para com o DNA mitocondrial, ele pode ser usado como marcador, sim, para determinar a ascendencia. Nao fala nada sobre “raca”, porem, pois o fato de Fulano ser o filho de Betrano e o neto do Cicrano nao nos diz nada ao respeito da “raca” do Cicrano.

Se voce tiver mais interesse nesse assunto, um colega meu do Museu, Guilerme Sa, recentemente defendeu sua dissertacao sobre raca e a genetica. O titulo da obra e “Uma historia de nos” e voce pode conseguir uma copia via correio atraves do Museu (procure-se online para o PPGAS do Museu Nacional).

Abracos,
Mac





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