The 's Theory Of Racial Democracy Essay example

The 's Theory Of Racial Democracy Essay example

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When Gilberto Freyre present his theory of racial democracy in Brazil, he struck gold. His theory became the primary mechanism by which the country could exist under the idealized notion that racism did not exist because Brazil was a colorblind nation. Racial democracy permitted the Brazilian government to ignore massive repression under the veil of a racist free country. However, in 2001 the veil was uncovered as conversations proposing affirmative action policies in public university turned the entire idea of a colorblind society on its head. Naturally, Brazilians divided as opponents clung onto ideas of racial democracy and proponents took advantage of this opportunity to spark larger conversations on racial discrimination. In 2002, these conversations became law and since then, “quota systems have become the default affirmative action program” in Brazil (Telles). These systems guaranteed a certain percentage of university admission to black students. As controversial as this bill is, it has had an overwhelmingly positive impact, because it created a space for a marginalized and widely ignored race in Brazilian education. To understand how, we will look at the statistical success of affirmative action, and its success in stimulating much needed dialogue about race relations in Brazil.
The line that connects wealth, prestige and power to level of education is pretty straightforward in Brazil and beyond. Those who receive university education will make up a strong majority of the middle and upper class. It is no surprise then that a lack of representation of blacks in college reflects in their lack of representation in leadership roles. A primary example of this is racial representation in Brazil’s Supreme Court. Of the total 1...


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...ace was never a factor in Brazil, why have the most controversial affirmative action policies been “when the beneficiaries are Afro-Brazilian” (Santos, 146)? Discomfort about race cannot only be acknowledged when the privileged lose their advantage.
Ultimately, while affirmative action has come at its costs, it has been a beacon of opportunity for a race that has faced hundreds of years of limitation. We understood that these policies have had an overall positive impact by looking at the statistical improvements in black representation in public universities, and the dialogue these policies created about race. There is a global strive for the day when affirmative action will not be necessary because minorities will equally roam the halls of universities and offices with whites. However, until that day comes, affirmative action is not only helpful, it is necessary.

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