Is Brazil’s Race-Based Affirmative Action Program a Good One?

Topics: Affirmative action, Miscegenation, Black people Pages: 2 (596 words) Published: August 31, 2011
Is Brazil’s race-based Affirmative Action program a good one?

Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including race, color, religion, or national origin. In 2001, several Brazilian institutions established race-based affirmative action for the first time in Brazil. This action represented a major step in Brazil’s process of democratization and nation building, which went against Brazil’s long-held ideology of racial democracy. Affirmative action is a great idea due to the fact that it creates equal opportunities for people.

Brazil is dominated by a majority of only two types of races: afro- Brazilians and euro- Brazilians. There are also many mulattos in Brazil’s society. From the 16th through the 19th century, Brazil’s economy was based on agriculture and mining, which depended on a large African-origin slave population. During more than 300 years of slavery, Brazil was the world’s largest importer of African slaves, bringing in seven times as many African slaves to the country compared to the United States. In 1888, Brazil, with a mostly black and mixed-race or mulatto population, became the last country in the Americas to abolish slavery. Abolition in Brazil, though, did not create a rupture in the country’s racial inequality. Today, most Brazilians of all colors now acknowledge that there is racial prejudice and discrimination in their country, despite miscegenation and fluid racial classification. Nonwhites are the major victims of human rights abuses, including that from widespread police violence. On average, black and brown Brazilians earn half of the income of white Brazilians. It is very clear that whites have a higher position in society than blacks do. Affirmative action tries to open equal opportunity for the blacks and browns. Many whites are not in favor for this program because it favors blacks and browns more than it favors them even though they have a higher status already.

There is confusion about Affirmative Action’s...
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