Skin Color / Hautfarbe / Cor da Pele / Color de Piel

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Discrimination based on Skin Color is a form of prejudice or discrimination in which people are treated differently based on the social meanings attached to skin color.

Racism is the dependence of social status on the social meaning attached to race; colorism is the dependence of social status on skin color alone.

There are more than 75 million people of African descent living in Brazil. However, despite its large black population it was also, officially, the last country in the western hemisphere to abolish slavery, in 1888.

The country is a democracia racial, a racial democracy. This official story was built on the idea that from the day slavery ended, Brazilians of all colours were equal. The Brazilian elite, almost entirely white, declared the country uniquely equal and, in effect, postracial.

It was ‘invisibilization’. The discourse was that we do not have race in Brazil, so you do not have race problems in Brazil, and you do not need to discuss the inequality. The first census after the end of slavery, in 1890, asked not about race, but about colour. Brazil became what is sometimes called a pigmentocracy. Marcelo Paixão

56% of Brazilians identify as Black – largest population of African descent outside of Africa – yet Black people make up just 18% of congress, 4.7% of executives in Brazil’s 500 largest companies, 75% of murder victims and 75% of those killed by police.

Black is beautiful, but white – white is just easier.

There are a disproportionate number of mostly European descent elites than those of visible African descent. There are large health, education and income disparities between the races in Brazil.

A recent study even finds that skin color is a stronger predictor of social inequality in Brazil than ‘race’ and highlights that socially perceived Skin Color and ‘race’ are not the same thing.

There is a big difference between races and colors, and what is expected – what is your role, basically – is based on your Skin Color.

Most people in Brazil say there is not a racism problem, an that is the root of the issue: People are not addressing it. And it is evident that many Brazilians have roots in Africa. Still, it was not something people ever talked about. Brazil is combating many kinds of inequality, but one of the world’s most diverse nations is still just beginning to talk about racism.

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