Brazil: Why Some Afro-Brazilians May Vote for a Racist Candidate

Writing for The Root,  journalist Kiratiana Freelon examines the quagmire of why some Afro-Brazilians may choose to vote for a de facto racist candidate even though it appears it would be against their interests. In the article, “It’s Complicated: Why Some Afro-Brazilians Are Willing to Vote for a Racist Presidential Candidate Whose Calling for More Police Violence,”  she discusses the presidential run of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s white, hard-right presidential candidate, who received the endorsement of white supremacist David Duke. There is fear that Bolsonaro, who is in the lead over opponent Fernando Haddad, may reverse the advances made by Afro-Brazilians over the last 50 years. Bolsonaro is a proponent of using police violence to stymie rampant violence in Brazil. Freelon writes:

“At least half of the country’s blacks plan to vote for Bolsonaro because they say he promises to wrangle in Brazil’s rampant crime, promote family values and end corruption.

The support for Bolsonaro is divided among blacks in Brazil. Those who self-identify as Pardo (brown/mixed-race) and Preto (black), make up more than 50 percent of Brazil’s population of 210 million. According to various polls, anywhere from 31 percent to 47 percent of blacks in Brazil intend to vote for Bolsonaro. So does this mean that up to half of Brazil’s blacks might vote for a racist candidate? Yes, but like everything in Brazil, it’s complicated.”

Find out how a country that is more than 50 percent “mixed” or “black” and has seen unprecedented social and economic growth over the last 15 years may make this problematic choice at the polls at The Root.

This post was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire. Follow her on Twitter @Ntellectual or @TheBurtonWire

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