What a Shame! We Brazilians Are a Bunch of Narcissistic Hypocritical Scoundrels

Jornal da Band On the last day of 2009, amid the New Year’s congratulations, a serious fact provoked an avalanche of thoughts on the Brazilian elite’s false morality and its values in their various levels. However, instead of concealing, it revealed the depth of the Brazilian social apartheid and prejudice that maintains it.

And before you accuse me of irony, I’m not slighting here the natural tragedies, the only phenomenon that unites rich and poor in Brazil. I won’t return the aggression to the working class in the same currency.

Journalist Boris Casoy of Bandeirantes TV network, after a New Year’s greeting of two street sweepers in the Jornal da Band during that news show’s opening vignette, not realizing that the audio was open, came up with the following comment: “What piece of shit, two garbage men wishing happiness, from the top of their brooms, garbage men, the lowest on the scale of work…”. This amid laughter of his colleagues.

Boris Casoy is known for questioning the Brazilian social and political attitudes, ending his comments with the phrase “This is a shame!” This catchphrase used by this man fits him very well, taking off his mask and putting him in a delicate position if he decides to ever repeat it.

His outrage will have no moral basis to justify it. The offense directed against the two workers and by extension against a professional category reflects the hypocrisy of our elite and part of the Brazilian press sectors. Those two employees were doing nothing more than from the top of their humility wishing everyone a happy new year and better days.

However, the same TV that gives them this platform, stabs them in the back with such discrimination and lack of respect. A case for immediate dismissal had the TV station a different stance and not the one that shows it condoning such prejudice.

On the other hand, Boris Casoy’s “Freudian slip,” a euphemism used to reduce the severity of his rudeness, only reflected what we see all the time in Brazil’s television shows: vulgarity, promotion of violence and prejudice disguised in politically correct rhetoric, which stages a false inclusion, where we still see,  in the negative sense, the traditional social, sexual and racial differences, which are reinforced by the soap operas, live TV shows, pseudo children’s programs and newscasts.

It’s a TV that does not educate, that does not think, that does not help the country grow intellectually and critically, preferring to sweep their prejudice under the carpet with their crystal brooms. Does apologizing, as the reporter did the next day, erase the seriousness of such aggression?

No, it only reinforces the hypocrisy of this elite’s sector and is no different from the washed excuses of the political class who invents mensalões (monthly bribes), panettone schemes, who diverts public funds, frauds electronic billboards, takes little children in their arms, cries, apologizes etc.. and then washes their hands just like a stupid Pilate.

This type of professional shames the whole working class (let’s exempt good journalists obviously) and saddens a whole society, as it reveals the true and discriminatory thoughts of some of the so-called “opinion makers.” However, paradoxically, this TV we have is nothing more than a mirror of the Brazilian society and its most despicable values.

And if we accept this kind of television is because we are just that, a bunch of untrustworthy, narcissistic hypocritical scoundrels, and/or at least complicit with this whole situation.

A society who feeds the world of instant celebrities, who encourages the “Brazilian way” policy, who hides money in socks, underwear or in bocetas (small bags or boxes, bashful ladies and gentlemen, able to get bigger depending on greed).

Who cuts in line, who does not respect their elders, who does not accept the differences in the positive sense, and who lives dreaming of “doing well” overnight, whether in Formula 1, in soccer or in a pub. Be it on the executive power, the legislature or the judiciary.

Institutions in Brazil are bankrupt and our primary crisis has to do with values.

There’s only one word to describe this: Shame!

Adeilton Lee is an actor and a theater and literature professor in Brazilian capital Brasília. This article originally appeared in Portuguese in Observatório da Imprensa.

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