By 20:56 , , , ,

I'm not going to write about the elections in Brazil per se because I'm sure you all read blogs all week that have talked all about how Dilma was elected the first female president and is Lula's PT successor... blah... blah... blah. Not saying I think it was a bad thing either. I voted nulo, in other words, voted for no one, or cast a "blank" vote. I'm not prepared to vote for 2nd best.

What I want to talk about though are the online xenophobic repercussions that have been going on post-elections that you may or may not have heard about.

One thing that's always pissed me off about Paulistanos has been the overall sense of superiority many have towards the rest of Brazil. I have even compared them to [North] Americans in a previous post. Another annoying thing they do is call anyone and everyone who's from the North or Northeast or remotely dresses or acts a certain way, or listens to forró or pagode, as baianos. It's basically the equivalent of ignorant New Englanders who call all who live in the south, hicks, or all Latinos, Mexicans (Disclosure: I use this because I have heard both before many a times whilst living in New England).

Well, this past week, Paulistanos, people from many southern states, and even fellow mineiros, have blown me away with their xenophobic comments regarding the elections. A number of people have been publicly posting on Twitter and other online social networks and in comments that those from the Northeast are ignorant and stupid, shouldn't be a part of Brazil, and are the only reason Dilma was elected.

*deep breath*

Ok, now I don't know about any other countries, but racism in Brazil is against the law, and you can get up to 5 years in prison for it. There's a Tumblr blog called Diga Não à Xenofobia, which shows many of these comments. One of the most "famous" cases of comments and which has been the catalyst to many of the comments as it was one of the first was by a LAW student in São Paulo where she tweets, "Nordestino não é gente. Faça um favor a SP, mate um nordestino afogado!" (Nordestinos aren't people. Do São Paulo a favor and drown a nordestino!)

This is one of the many.

On a positive note, however,there has been a counterstrike where people who are from the Northeast have been tweeting their pride! I have been involved in this movement, even though my family isn't (my grandfather's family is though!) simply because I love Nordestinos and the Northeast of Brazil! Many people who made the offensive comments have also apologized after realizing what harm they've done after seeing sites like the one linked above.

Now all I want to know is... where all these racist people go on vacation, because I can bet at least half of them will be spending Carnaval in Salvador or Recife, both northeastern cities!

This whole situation has left me perplexed... On one hand, I am horrified by some people's actions. On the other, I'm also so happy to see so many people here passionately and fervently against racism and xenophobia.

What do you think of all of this?

ps - sorry to leave you all with this revolutionary "note" on the weekend!

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