sábado, 15 de setembro de 2007

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/shows/brazil2/index.html Brazil in Black and White WIDE ANGLE Lawyers from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the oldest and most influential civil rights organization in the United States, visit Brazilian civil rights leaders in Rio de Janeiro, including lawyer Humberto Adami (pictured here), to discuss the legal challenges of affirmative action. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/shows/brazil2/index.html WATCH THE VIDEO U.S.-Brazil Connection Segment Transcript NARRATOR IN RIO, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY HUMBERTO ADAMI HEADS LEGAL EFFORTS TO SECURE THE RIGHTS OF AFRO-BRAZILIANS. ADAMI We grew up believing the myth that we were equal to everyone. But the statistics in Brazil show this isn’t true. This country is composed of a pyramid and the base is black. The higher up the pyramid you go, the more the country looks like Denmark. NARRATOR HE HAS MADE IT HIS MISSION TO ATTACK DISCRIMINATION IN CORPORATE BRAZIL THROUGH CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS. ADAMI I’m bringing litigation against 5 major private banks, who employ only 2% Afro-Brazilians. These numbers are worse than what you could encounter in the United States under Jim Crow or in South Africa under apartheid. The racism here is exactly the same or worse. But everyone denies it or argues that it doesn’t exist. So it’s an enemy that’s very hard to fight. NARRATOR ADAMI IS CALLING IN REINFORCEMENTS – VETERANS OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION LAW. HE’S HEADING TO THE AIRPORT TO MEET TWO SPECIAL CONSULTANTS ARRIVING FROM NEW YORK. ADAMI Affirmative action began 40 years ago in the United States. What were the solutions they found to these same problems that we might be able to use here? NARRATOR VICTOR BOLDEN AND MELISSA WOODS ARE LAWYERS WITH THE NAACP, THE OLDEST AND MOST INFLUENTIAL CIVIL RIGHTS ORGANIZATION IN THE UNITED STATES. ADAMI We know the NAACP passed by these problems many years ago, so we want to have examples how to solve this. BOLDEN Sure, we’ll talk about it. I don’t know if we’ve solved anything. I think litigation leads to more litigation. U.S.-Brazil Connection Segment Transcript 2 ADAMI Brazilian society imports McDonald’s, hot dogs, television, Fox, and they never complained about those American-isms. So, the only thing that people complain is when you see affirmative actions to benefit black Brazilians. In the United States, the black population is 12%. Here it’s 54%. BOLDEN The reality is, certainly in the United States and in Brazil, is a past of racial discrimination and racism. And in the United States it wasn’t simply directed at poor people, it was directed specifically at black people. WOODS We’re here. NARRATOR 40 CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYERS HAVE GATHERED FOR A TRAINING CONFERENCE ON THE NEW LEGAL ISSUES BRAZILIANS FACE WITH THE COUNTRY’S AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROGRAMS. ADAMI These are the lawyers who are doing the day to day work in various parts of the country, bringing to court affirmative action cases. ADAMI (to conference guests) Good morning everyone. Let’s begin. BOLDEN Thank you, Humberto, for inviting me here. NARRATOR BOLDEN REMINDS THE BRAZILIANS THAT AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IS A SLOW, STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS – AND NOT ALWAYS WELCOMED. BOLDEN Although it began in the area of employment and government contracting, affirmative action extended to education as well. The slow pace of desegregation after Brown v. Board of Education prompted colleges and universities across the US to create programs designed to increase minority enrollment significantly. These programs recognized not just the lack of African-American students enrolled in school, but also Latinos, Native Americas, and Asians as well. As affirmative action programs grew in numbers, so too did legal scrutiny of them. U.S.-Brazil Connection Segment Transcript 3 FEMALE LAWYER We have difficulty because we are a country that is highly mixed without clear rules of racial classification. Have there been discussions of this type in the United States, about mixed-race identity? BOLDEN We allow people to identify themselves how they wish to be identified. And if they identify themselves as part of a racial group that would benefit from affirmative action, the institution would take that into consideration. MALE LAWYER What is your personal opinion on the success of affirmative action policies in political and economic terms? WOODS Affirmative action programs have been successful. First of all it gets the people to talk about the inadequacies that have happened in the past and the need to remedy those inadequacies. Also affirmative action programs have increased access to education and to the elite universities. BOLDEN I think there’s a responsibility on the parts of African-Americans to feel a connection to Afro-Brazilians. To the extent that you’ve been helped in dealing with issues of oppression that those that you also see oppressed, you have an opportunity and an obligation to provide assistance. BOLDEN That’s nice. WOODS Oh wow, I didn’t notice those before. BOLDEN That’s what I’m saying. NARRATOR AMERICAN-STYLE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION MAY CHANGE BRAZIL OVER TIME. UNTIL THAT HAPPENS, IT REMAINS A NATION WHERE RACE, POVERTY, AND LACK OF OPPORTUNITY STILL GO HAND IN HAND. ADAMI During the monarchy, there was a law that prohibited freed slaves from being nominated for administrative, ecclesiastic, and military positions. Still today we find ourselves filing cases with the Public Ministry to investigate racial inequality in the army, the foreign U.S.-Brazil Connection Segment Transcript 4 service, and the Catholic Church. Sometimes it feels like we still live under Portuguese colonization, where a group of chosen few had all the advantages, while the others paid.

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