Ways to End a Race

There are several ways to do away with black people.

The first one, the cruelest, is under torture and hateful beatings. A public lynching, with assistance under the sun, beer and passivity. If a black man is being beaten to death, he has done something. In fact, black people are always doing something wrong.

So it was with Moïse Kabagambe, who was working in Rio de Janeiro at a beach kiosk. His mistake, his petulance… his folly was not to recognize his place, when he charged two days’ pay for his work. For what? He was brutalized by five barbarians who destroyed him with pieces of wood and a baseball bat. One of the killers said that he “decided to vent his anger” and that he hit the Congolese man with a baseball bat.

But today, in any Brazilian city, young men are tied to posts, in a recovery of the old pillories. The new slaves are beaten, while communicators on television approve and gain money and fame for stirring up the masses to lynch criminals. They have done something.

In the second and frequent way, blacks are killed, preferably black children, by the most elementary terrorism of “stray bullets” in the slums and poorer communities. Black boys and girls, very black, light black, mixed race black, but always black. These are crimes without criminals, of deaths without investigation, because it is natural to die because of the nature of color and place. Something these children have done.

In the third way, with a mild appearance, but equally infamous, blacks die because of contempt, neglect, or the simplest disregard. Such was the case of the little boy Miguel, son of the housemaid Mirtes. There, we had the revelation of the horror of class injustice in Brazil. And in his crime, the prevailing custom of killing blacks among Brazilians. Of this typical death, we cannot even talk about tragedy, such is the vulgarization of how black life is annulled.

Minutes before the child Miguel fell, Madam was painting her nails at home. She had been left with the little son Miguel by the maid Mirtes, who had gone out into the street with the mistress’s dog. The child was left to play with the madam’s daughter. But Miguel’s misfortune was to have too much love for his mother. When she was gone, he began to cry, begging for her shelter and lap. But why did the little boy, besides loving his mother, suddenly miss her affection so much? He did! The fact is that the boy, stubborn, rebellious, “full of wills” – as if he were not the son of a black woman – bothered her so much that the boss had no choice but to leave him to his own devices. Bad luck, bad luck, bad luck. In other words: do you want your mother? In the images of the video, the madam appears taking the condemned man to his destiny as a little black boy. She leaves him alone in the elevator of the skyscraper in Recife. And she goes back to her beautiful fingernails. Suddenly, a thud, a small bang. Bones when they hit the ground, coming down from a good height, sound like bombs.

A third way to get rid of black people is to mistake them for muggers. They don’t have to be armed or carrying a stolen object. But some they do, always. Because they steal more than material values: they steal the patience of those who see that color. So don’t ask why an honest, hardworking man is mistaken for a thief without ever stealing. Can’t you see that he is black? If he didn’t steal, he will. If he didn’t, one of his cronies did.

I wrote above that there are several ways to end a race. Then, in the first paragraph, I said that there are several ways to wipe out blacks. But here I must make a caveat: there are several ways to do away with people with black skin. In Brazil, black is a color. If someone is descended from black people, but has a light skin, he is not black. He can even be promoted to the role of a beater and murderer of his race. For a danish dog, everyone to him. Even the brunette dogs go up, because they don’t possess the evil of being black. They just possess the bad, angry rage of ending up with a legitimate black man. Thus, they end up in their own soul, which they consign to hell. For all fire is too little for racists.

Uriarano Moto is author of the novel “Never-Ending Youth.”