Meaning of Racial Prejudice

Meaning of Racial Prejudice

The racial prejudice is based on the existence of physical and socio-cultural differences, supposedly, make some better than others. People judge others because of their color, or rather, race .


This alleged superiority is sustained in the perpetuation of racial myths and false truths that are hidden in the form of stereotype , a type of image that we freeze in our memory and start to consider it as reality.

By incorporating biological characteristics, the racist stereotype is dressed in scientific clothing, a practice that became common in the 19th century, taking advantage of Charles Darwin’s discoveries about the mechanisms of species evolution.

The Count of Gobineau, through “ scientific racism ” stated that racial differences between peoples (white, yellow and black) were responsible for their economic, technological and social differences, making white people superior to other races, which justified their dominance about the latter.

Subsequently, studies on human genetics point to the existence of minimal differences between the races , which have a common ancestor, since we are all part of the Homo sapiens group.

In fact, when we talk about prejudice, we are talking about intolerance , a tendency to disrespectfully treat everything that we consider different or distant from what we call normal.

Racial prejudice in Brazil

In the past, it was common to see black Africans accompanied by beautiful Nordic blondes or from other parts of Europe. There was not the slightest prejudice between these couples or in relation to them. For Brazilians, however, it was unprecedented and scandalous; jokes were made implying that the success of blacks was due to the fact that they were very gifted anatomically for sex. A typical prejudiced view, which sought to disqualify the Negro and which hid, at times, a good dose of envy.

It is impossible to discuss racial prejudice in Brazil without associating it with the historical process of building Brazilian society , marked by a slave past linked to the mercantilist needs of its metropolis, Portugal.

The slavery in Brazil promoted a process of dehumanization , in which the slave was seen by the owner as a work tool, a product, something.

This dehumanization was strengthened with the religious justifications given for enslavement, when part of the Church claimed that the Negro was stripped of his soul.

The prejudice against the black was further reinforced by the historical reality , since, with the abolition of slavery in 1888, the black was not inserted in the wage labor market, nor in society, remaining confined in ghettos and peripheral areas.

The struggle of black people for social recognition and the full exercise of their citizenship intensified at the beginning of the republican period, which can be seen in movements such as the Vaccine Revolt , in Rio de Janeiro, which had the predominant participation of a black population and mestizo harmed by the process of urban revitalization of the capital.

Currently, it can be said that the black movement has been strengthening and articulating itself in order to combat racial prejudice and strengthen black identity , which, more than a condition of color or race, should be understood as a cultural issue, since it the one who claims to be black is inheriting the history of this group that was forced to move to Brazil to serve as labor on the large property.

However, the black movement still faces great challenges, as evidenced by the IBGE data from 2017, which reveals the existence of a discriminatory society , which differentiates the quality and remuneration of work by the color of the person. According to Pnad data, whites earn an average of R $ 1240.00 more than blacks

In Brazil, racial prejudice is fought with laws . Only education will be able to clarify to everyone, especially to whites, what it represented for the black race what was imposed on them by the slave trade. The Church believed itself with the right to catechize those who knew nothing about the Catholic religion. The Government did nothing, after Abolition, to give former slaves the conditions to study and earn a place in society.

Racial Prejudice