Re: BRAZIL: Racism and the end of slavery

Istvan Simon, who grew up in Brazil, writes: Professor Hilton remarks about subtle racial discrimination in Brazil are  true. Nonetheless, I think that there is greater racial harmony in Brazil than in the United States. This is so  even though the United States has gone much farther than Brazil has  in  eliminating  all vestiges of racial discrimination in law, and even inventing the rather dubious reverse discrimination concept, normally known by its euphemism of "affirmative action".  The racial harmony I speak of is noy of laws but of everyday customs. There are more mixed marriages in Brazil, and in fact the Brazilian "whites"  often have  black blood in their dna, which  explains the darker hues of skin color in  the Brazilian population.  Brazilians highly prize the beauty of  mulatas, who are immortalized in uncountable number of popular songs.  There is a saying  that the best invention of the Portuguese are the mulatas. All of these cultural tidbits point to very relaxed racial attitudes existing in Brazilian society.

Ronald Hilton 2004


last updated: February 10, 2005