Bush’s visit to Latin America: A time for reflecting about the so-called "anti-Americanism" in the region. For a couple of months I’ve been spending some of my precious daily time reading what is going on in this very important site about Brazil. I say important because it is written in English what makes its content more widespread, which wouldn’t happen if it was written in Portuguese.
On the other hand, the fact that is written in English makes this site unknown to the majority of the population of Brazil. Just a handful of people can read the texts in their entirety and even fewer Brazilians are able to express their opinions by writing their arguments in the open forums in the site.
The articles that source the open forums are normally very well written, and in most cases one can feel that the authors have surveyed the subject and try their best in order to inform the readers with the right facts and showing them their knowledge about the theme.
But, that is not what happens to the hundreds, thousands of comments that viewers to the site contribute in the open forum.
Therefore, what we mostly see here is a bunch of unidentified people, all writing in English, that can say whatever they want, without any proof at all to the facts that they are talking about.
While the original texts are long and in some cases complex, the comments are mostly short and sometimes from the original theme. I most of the themes, we see people intervening in the forum with inappropriate comments and false statements, mostly pejorative, about Brazil itself and about the Brazilian people in general.
Since most of the Brazilian people mentioned in those interventions do not read or write en English – and therefore can’t defend their positions – those pejorative and sometime false statements appear to the readers all throughout the world as being true and a false impression about the theme is spread out, causing a "snowball" effect on how foreigners in general may think about Brazil.
I am not saying that this is a paradise. Far from this, but, several times we read comments and statements that are not true at all.
For instance, in the forum that follows the report on the case on the accident with flight 1907 – where the passengers of the Boeing jet were brought down by the executive Legacy jet – there are some people, presumably Americans, who spread out such an amount of unproved statements – sometimes nothing more than just grotesque lies – trying to make the case to appear as an unquestionable and fatal fault of the Brazilian authorities and their "antiquated equipment, problematic for decades", as vastly stated there…
It has already been shown in the same forum that the average of air accidents in Brazil is about 30% less than the average of similar accidents in the whole world, and the "antiquated equipment" was mostly bought brand new from the USA and supervised by international flight safety agencies.
But, what is being shown in the forum and comes up to the regular visitor from all around the world, is that the Brazilian air traffic controllers are the only ones who caused the accident, and that’s it!
Even inappropriate mentions to the dangers of Carnaval and tourism in Brazil are made when discussing the subject in the web, inviting people not to come visit Brazil if they want to preserve their lives. It is unbelievable how people can be nasty!
The case is still under investigation by the justice, but some of the spectators of the accident have already chosen who is guilty…
The way these spectators interact with the forum shows an articulated plan to impose "their" truth – written in English of course – so nobody else but those who read and write English can contest what is being stated by those gentlemen.
Besides these unquestionable facts above, there are in those interventions at the forum what we call here a heavy trace of "ranço" (rancidity) of imperialistic, xenophobic and sometimes "racial supremacy" demonstration in the way those participants express themselves, several times declaring that this is a country of idiots and second-class citizens.
There is another example of what these people spread out about Brazil and Brazilians: the report – and subsequent open forum- from Forrest Allen Brown and his incredible boat called Roamdeep. Based on what he writes this country and its officials are a bunch of middle-age pirates living in a place that has no law at all.
I’ve personally called the chief of police in Cabedelo, in the northeastern state of Paraíba, where all that happened and the story doesn’t seem to be exactly the way Mr. Brown reports. They are going to send me a copy of the public prosecution that took place at the local branch of the Justice department, and I will be glad to contest what has been written in that forum. Beginning with the legal condition of Mr. Brown and his boat upon his arrival into the country.
Anyone can feel that a lot of undesirable problems took place in Cabedelo, but, the worse that it could be, this gentleman couldn’t ever say "it may be pay back for all the killing I did in Nam [Vietnam], or just to test me to see if i want to start again. Will be going back to Brazil very soon in a smaller boat with lots of arms and a will that it wont happen again without some ones life going out."
If anyone has the time to spend reading the impressive amount of manifests about Brazil and about Brazilians that are stored in the www.brazzil.com and its open forums, he will realize that mostly are pejorative considerations about this country and its population.
No one can state that they are all written by Americans, but, this site is put there mainly to advise Americans and foreign people visiting or having business with this country in South America, and by reading the posts I wouldn’t ever put my foot here if I were a foreigner.
Then one says: But, we have freedom of speech and so we can say whatever we want.
Of course. Freedom of speech is one of the best achievements of humankind and has to be maintained. No doubt about it, but, isn’t it time for us to separate the bad apples from the good ones and enforce the truth? Isn’t it time for us to join the efforts of your government in trying to recuperate the time already lost with Latin America and quit this thing of supremacy and superiority?
Don’t you guys in the USA think that it is more than time to achieve a better relationship with the rest of the Americas?
If the answer is yes, then, I believe that the traditional way of Americans from the USA to think about Americans from other American countries and their population has to have a re-alignment, specially in relation to the way some people like the ones at the forums refer to their brothers and sisters below Rio Grande (up until Ushuaia!).
It is time to combat the cause of the so called "anti-Americanism" by killing it at the birth, because if that feeling is present in our day-to-day, one of the reasons is because the synthesis of the majority of what has been posted in this site is the fuse that is igniting that sentiment. And most of these blind words of hate are written by those so-called Americans "patriots"…
Let us welcome President Bush and listen to what he has to tell us, but, let us also point to him some obscure matters that he and his government need to know about. The filled-with-prejudice written contents of this forum is one of these things.