Racism, Police Brutality in Brazil
Sociology student Katherine Jensen talks about her research on the race relations underlying the Brazil protests in 2013, ahead of the World Cup. The catalyst for the protests was the increase in public transport fees at a time when the government was spending “an obscene amount of money” on the Olympics. Using the concept of “moral shock,” she finds that the media only paid attention to police brutality during the protests when White women were involved. In some cases, the media even focused on women who had been spectators to police violence and had not been direct victims. At the same time, the predominantly Black, poor people who were being violently removed from the favellas (poor housing areas) in brutal ways were largely ignored.
Instead, the media constructed Black people’s protest as deviant and disruptive, even though they were essentially protesting the same issues as White Brazilians: Government corruption, public spending and lack of social welfare and basic services.