Racist and Murderous Supermarket in Brazil

Once again we witnessed with naked eyes the brutal murder of a black man. João Alberto Silveira Freitas was beaten to death by two white security guards, Magno Braz Borges, and Giovane Gaspar da Silva, from the supermarket chain Carrefour (one of them a temporary Military police officer without training). He was dragged out of the supermarket and onto the parking lot. In the parking lot, he screamed for help while other people passively watched that scene as if it were any day.

This grotesque and criminal scene only makes the extermination of the black population in Brazil evident, and the normalization of white domination in our society. In a note on the crime, the vice president of the republic, Hamilton Mourão, stated more than once that it was just a case of “unprepared security guards” and that “there is no racism in Brazil”. As did the multi-million dollar Carrefour chain, which, in its “apology”, never touches on the issue of racism, seeking to minimize the damage and also treating the situation as an isolated incident, not an expression of a structural and systemic problem in Brazil.

In view of the countless cases of racism, which do not receive the proper treatment by the institutions, it is evident the insufficiency of only discursive positions on social networks. Practical anti-racist actions by an organized civil society are needed, which can put pressure on the streets and require companies and state agencies to have an adequate position.

It is known that racism in Brazil is structural and a constituent of the machine that sustains capitalism. This means that there is no possible horizon for a concrete break with racism in this form of socioeconomic organization. The military police, as protector of the state and capital, are harmful and an essential arm of the genocide of black Brazilian people. Black men and women, who historically built this country, are excluded from all political decisions that impact their lives.

Therefore, as long as we do not occupy and strengthen forms of participatory and direct building, which debate and give alternatives to the daily problems faced by black people, we will continue to be at the mercy of this racist system. The anti-racist struggle needs to be deeply connected with the anti-capitalist struggle, a system that subjugates black families by placing them in a state of misery and young blacks as “reserve labor”, when it does not kill them.