The pandemic of racism can be mitigated by the diversity in the municipal legislature – 25.11.2020 – Jorge Abrahão

The moment in which we live – when racism and violence against women gain space for debate on the public agenda, unfortunately based on dramatic events – stimulates an analysis of the election results for local legislatures from the perspective of diversity and diversity. Representativeness.

Two great experts on the subject, philosopher Djamila Ribeiro and lawyer Silvio Almeida, speak on structural racism, addressing the importance and complexity of the issue, while conveying the urgency to face this problem, which is one of the biggest problems in Brazil .

This complexity arises precisely because it is an element that connects different aspects of our daily life. Rede Nossa São Paulo has just started a poll which shows that two thirds of the São Paulo population believe that blacks and whites are treated differently in hospitals and health posts. This percentage reaches 81% when asked about treatment in shopping malls and in retail in general.

It is known that in Brazil, 75% of the people killed by the police are black, which highlights the dimension of institutional racism in the country. In addition, three quarters of Paulistanos believe that the black population has fewer opportunities in the job market.

We are therefore faced with these complex problems that depend on many variables to be solved. However, politics can and should be an important part of action to combat racism. The results of the local elections can provide clues as to what stage we are at in the fight against this real long-term pandemic.

One of the fundamental problems for this is the increasing representation of the black population in politics. The occupation of positions in the chambers in a ratio close to that of the black population in society is an important indicator. If this year all councilors were merged into one, we would have 44.7% of black or brown councilors. Far from the 56.1% of the Brazilian population who declare themselves as such.

The low growth of black elected representatives in relation to the last elections was disproportionate to the importance the topic has for society. Politics is falling short of the great challenges we face. Another example of the transversality of the issue is the fight against global warming, which affects the socio-economically most vulnerable populations. In Brazil, the black population is prevalent in areas of greatest vulnerability and combating these phenomena is far from the challenges.

There is no reason to be discouraged, however. The results of the elections show that we are living in a moment of transition compared to the 2018 elections. A group of parliamentarians is increasingly aware that the fight against racism is one of the priorities in our country. And if we cannot say that there was a numerical result that met the needs and expectations, it is worth noting that given the greater representativeness, we have improved in quality.

It is always good to remember that passing on solutions depends not only on politics, but also on an active, attentive, participatory, purposeful and demanding society. And in this respect we are at a high level in Brazil.

The election results showed the defeat of the extreme right and its project to attack democracy and institutions. In this context and with the lively performance of civil society, we can dream of better days in terms of structural challenges such as racism, in a task in which we have been at least 130 years ago since the official abolition of slavery.

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