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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/21/11

Brazil vs United States on Color-Associated Parity

By Francis L Holland  Posted by Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   1 comment
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Francis Holland
Francis Holland
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Brazil has advanced in some ways that the United States Constitution and mentality may never permit. For example, if a white person calls a brown person a "tar baby" in Brazil and there are witnesses, the person insulted can go to the police and have the name-caller arrested. The reason that color-aroused injustice is not verbal in Brazil is that it is illegal to verbalize color-aroused antagonism.

So, you won't find as many people here who have been verbally insulted or blatantly discriminated against of the basis of their skin color. Here, people say, "I wish someone would insult me based on my skin color, because I need the money I would get in a settlement of the criminal charges."

That kind of discrimination is illegal and leads to the immediate arrest
of the antagonist. In the United States, anyone can call Obama or any Black person a severely color-aroused epithet, like "tar baby" and there will be lots of discussion but no legal action, because that verbal behavior is not illegal in the United States.

In addition, the Brazilian Supreme Court just determined that gays can marry anywhere in Brazil or overseas and have all of the legal rights of a heterosexual couple. I'd say that the US is still struggling with this issue the way it struggled with Blacks' rights 50 years ago, and the US will not completely bring gay/straight marriage parity until between 10 to 50 years from now.

Even then, it will not be illegal to publicly and blatantly insult gays based on their sexuality, but it is already illegal here. The US will probably never make it illegal to stop a gay couple on a crowded street and scream, "You f***ing fa***ts." That behavior is illegal in Brazil, because the right to not to be insulted is given legal protection while the "right to insult" on the basis of color and/or sexuality does not exist.

Whites in the United States say that it is important that they be able to say what they think about Black people, even in the most offensive and public ways. Whites in Brazil (and Blacks) have accepted that they cannot say whatever comes into their heads about people's skin color groups, and this makes the society more tolerable on a day-to-day basis.

Of course, statistics show that Brazil has a long way to go before achieving economic and political parity between people who have light colored skin and those whose skin is brown. But the road there is more tolerable when the people whose skin color is favored are not at liberty to insult us blatantly and openly on the basis of our skin color, as they are now doing in the United States.
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I am a 63 year old American child and adolescent psychiatrist and political refugee in New Zealand. I have just published a young adult novel THE BATTLE FOR TOMORROW (which won a NABE Pinnacle Achievement Award) about a 16 year old girl who (more...)
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