White Consciousness Day – 11/07/2021 – Ana Cristina Rosa

Since November 20 was established the National Day of Zombie and Black Consciousness (Law 12,519/2011), one question has become recurrent: why dedicate this date to the celebration of blackness? The answer always seemed obvious to me, but the insistence on the questioning makes it clear that it is not. But it is possible that the memory of some of the many episodes involving racial issues in Brazil in recent months may help to clarify the issue.

Amazingly, Companhia das Letras managed to release a book about the childhood of abolitionist Luiz Gama describing scenes in which black children jumped rope with chains in the hold of a slave ship, finding fun playing as Job’s slaves as they followed towards enslavement. Bizarre, crude and cruel, and surreal.

In Rio de Janeiro, a black surfing instructor was accused by a white couple of stealing an electric bicycle while waiting beside their own bicycle in front of a mall in the South Zone.
In Rio Grande do Norte, a quilombola was tied up, dragged along the street and attacked by a white merchant for having thrown a stone at the door of the bar of the man who had denied him a plate of food.

In Rio Grande do Sul, a group of anti-vaccine protesters entered the capital’s city hall carrying posters illustrated with the swastika and attacked black councilors who, among other things, were called “trash”.

In Ceará, a black police chief was expelled from Zara, a store that maintained a specific surveillance code for black people.

In football, a national passion, there were numerous cases of racist demonstrations across the country.

For these and others, in addition to the Black Consciousness Day, it may also be the case to also create the White Consciousness Day, a date dedicated to reflection on the privileges of Whiteness. Maybe help the part of the population that has been comfortable for centuries to distil hatred and manifest inhumanity to act with clarity and respect for diversity.

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