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Racial quotas in Brazil require browns identify themselves as negro

On April 25, 2012, the Brazilian Brown-Mestizo Movement  (Mestizo Nation) was in the Federal Supreme Court (STF) and made remarks on the condition of amicus curiae against the adoption of racial quotas and the racist nature of the requirement that brown candidates interested in racial quotas identify themselves as negro.

Min. Carlos Ayres Britto There are two friends of the court, amici curie therefore, registered to speak in a manner consistent with the postulation that the applicant of the ADPF. Then, applying to them the third paragraph of Article 131 of our Rules of Procedure in combination with the second paragraph of Article 132, are only two, each will speak for the time up to fifteen minutes. The folding time is done, dividing by two gives 15 minutes for each of the friends of the court. So, in order, I call Dr. Juliana Corrêa Ferreira who will speak by Brazilian Brown-Mestizo Movement.

Adv. Juliana Ferreira Corrêa Honourable President, Minister Carlos Ayres Britto, Honourable Ministers, Honourable Ladies, other authorities. As a representative of the Brazilian Brown- Mestizo Movement I did not come here today before this Court to say the obvious: that the quota system encourages the segregation of students by the color of their skin, that confronts the principles of equality and human dignity. I will not talk about the absurdity of a Racial Court that only prejudice browns, because it was brilliantly exposed by doctor before me, Dr. Roberta. Today I will dedicate to an innovative perspective. Regarding the last census conducted in 2010, many reports were released, some erroneously claimed that the negro population, with the percentage of 50%, exceeded those reported as white, 47% – as Brazil, excellencies, were a bicolor nation where only exist negros and whites. We forget, then, of all: the yellows, the indigenous, the cafuzos, the mamelucos, the caboclos; forget all, because Brazil is divided between negros and whites. Now, excellencies, the reality is that the search of the census conducted in 2010 showed that the Brazilian population is composed of only 7% of negros. So who would the other 43%? What are these? Whence come? These are the brown or denominated mestizos. Browns make the miscegenation as popularly known as Brazilian. And I take and I recall one of the greatest sociologists that Brazil has ever had, Gilberto Freyre, who said that the Brazilian people, the greatest virtue is the miscegenation, not the wound, is the main virtue, the miscegenation. Thus, excellencies, brown is not negro. Brown is brown and negro is negro. Browns are mulattoes, descendants of negros and whites. Browns are cafuzos, the descendants of negros and indigenous. And above all, excellence, browns are caboclos spread throughout Brazil and that only in my state, Amazonas, comprising 77% of the population, descendants of indigenous and whites and that nothing, nothing, have no connection with the afrodescendants. How fit brown caboclos in negros? It is a nonsense without size, it is a true excrescence. So we can not simply consider browns and negros as equals or that brown is inserted into the negro category. Making such a claim, and deny the mestizo ethnicity, it is also racism. However, excellencies, unfortunately this is not the position of the national policy of setting up the rules as this shares of UNB, that requires “to compete for reserved vacancies through the quota system for negros, the candidates must be black or brown, declares himself negro, and opt for the system of quotas”. Remains the absurdity that the applicant must submit, to deny their own identity, its own color, to get a benefit. Ladies and gentlemen ministers, imagine if all the browns had to deny their color to achieve a benefit? We would not be facing a true racial genocide, extinguishing the brown population, the brown ethnicity, disappearing with 43% of the population? The quota system of the UnB contradicts the teachings of their own founder, anthropologist Darcy Ribeiro, who said so in his book ‘The Brazilian People’: “The Brazilians are a mestizo people in flesh and spirit.” The legality of the UnB quota system symbolizes a setback not only within the country, because in some states, including Amazonas, Roraima and Paraiba, are recognized by law the Day of the Mestizo, but also internationally. We can not forget that Brazil was a signatory to the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, organized by the UN, culminating in the Durban Declaration which, inserted in the topic of combating intolerance, item 56, recognizes the existence of the Mestizo population and condemns discrimination they face, especially the subtle nature of this discrimination can make it denied its existence. Just as with the requirement of UnB. Therefore, it is clear that the quota system seeks the denial of the Mestizo ethnicity making the candidate declare himself as of another color than their own, characterizing the related intolerance. Indeed, the UN itself chose the Brazilian Brown-Mestizo Movement to participate in the World Review Conference of that text. And I say further, excellencies, Canada has expressly recognized the Mestizo identity, ethnicity as a native population. If the UN, Canada recognize, why Brazil, the country characterized by diversity of peoples, creeds, religions, ethnic groups, want to deny the Mestizo identity? This sets, as well as intolerance, racism itself. Ironically the same who is trying to fight.  Excellencies, which is discussed here does not relate only to public universities or those receiving social benefits or not. What is at stake today is whether this Supreme Court will make the extinction of the Mestizo identity, the statistical disappearance and the denial of more than 80 million Brazilians. Your excellencies, which we only ask here today is the right to be recognized brown as brown, Mestizo as Mestizo, not negro. I conclude my speech by saying a little story, I will risk even identify my young age before this court, experienced court that, in another day, is making history. When I entering public university, quota system existed and in the first day of my class I remember that the teacher asked each one a little about yourself and if it was newcomer by quota or not. Does it promote equality, democracy, excellencies? The Brazilian Brown-Mestizo Movement did not believe it. I, at the time as a student and now as a  professional, either. Thank you.

Min. Carlos Ayres Britto Thank you for your excellence.

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