We can not do more. ‘How the death of a 5 year old child has black domestic workers in Brazil to fight for better treatment Inspired

We can not do more. ‘How the death of a 5 year old child has black domestic workers in Brazil to fight for better treatment Inspired

On June 2, with schools of Pernambuco Brazilian northeastern state closed due to COVID-19 pandemic, Mirtes Renata Santana de Souza brought her 5-year-old son Miguel to work with her. worked Santana, 33, and his 60-year-old mother Marta both girls for a rich white family: the hackers Sérgio, the mayor of the small town near the city of Recife, the wife SARI Corte Real and their two children. The family lived in a luxury high-rise Recife promenade overlooking the fifth floor. Around noon, Santana went to go to the family dog. While a manicurist nails Court was doing Miguel said he wanted to see his mother. He stopped in the elevators of the building and running the Court continued to make out. But in the end, it will be 5 years in only one elevator, presses and after CCTV footage appeared on the tower button on the top floor before the doors closed. (Court remains only mimed touch the button and did not shine as it would be if enabled). Miguel went down to the ninth floor. Then he fell from a balcony, 114 meters, on the ground outside the hall, where his mother and a caretaker house they found him moments later. And ‘he died shortly after arrival at the hospital. The tragedy has caused a sensation in Brazil last month, as the media reported breathlessly every turn, from the details of the police investigation to the State emotional interviews with both Santana and Court. After newspapers published an open letter from the Court asking forgiveness Santana, Santana, who was “inhumane” to make such a request. “We know that they would not treat the son of a friend that way,” he wrote. “They have done so with my son as if he had less value if it could be subject to any kind of violence,” the son of the maid. “On July 14, Pernambuco prosecutor announced Court benefited from” renunciation of a vulnerable person worthy of death, “a crime has 4 to 12 years in prison for a row. A complicating factor in the prosecution, and public anger is that happened during the pandemic. Santana was not his son to work day because it meant death in Pernambuco state officials had not declared at home, at work, apart from caring for elderly or disabled people as “essential” during his COVID- 19 Lockdown. the case has a lightning rod for anger over a wider form of social injustice in Brazil become. and ‘to employ still common, central Brazil and upper-class families a full-time girl. the South American country has one of the the world’s largest populations of usangestellten-has more than 6.3 million, according to the government by the end of 2019. About 95% of women and over 63% are black, like Santana. historians say this establishment is a direct result of slavery, Brazil in 1888, the last country in the Americas to get it abolished. Domestic workers only reached the same legal status as other professions in 2013 and advocates say they remain underpaid and regularly mistreated, work informally with seven in the 10th Neither Santana nor the Court felt that the Court was racist against Santana or his son , lawyers for both women say TIME. But in the details surrounding the death Miguel, see the activists with the dynamics of a country that fails to predict how his story has continued the life of Brazil’s 211 million people to the module, these are 56% blacks or biracial. “Many still exist there is no racism in Brazil, because it is so well structured that sometimes do not even realize that you are suffering from it,” says Luiza Batista, 63, a black former domestic worker and the president of the Union National association of home workers (FENATRAD). If Miguel helped galvanize protests in both Black Lives Matter against systemic racism, and a motion to strengthen protection for domestic workers during the pandemic. “When I heard of Miguel, I felt that our life people do not really have any role,” says Batista. was “We have always treated differently, inhuman. We can not take any more.” In the coming weeks because of Miguel’s death, the pandemic had already put a spotlight on the systemic racism in Brazil. The first confirmed death of COVID-19 in Rio de Janeiro was the Cleonice Gonçalves, a black domestic workers. He had contracted the virus from her boss rich, who had recently returned from a trip to Italy, officials said Reuter officials. As in the United States and elsewhere, COVID-19 proportional Brazil’s poorest communities and black hit, including domestic workers who live in the neighborhood in the outskirts of towns tend, in the long way, unsafe swings and poor health and hygienic infrastructure health. Found a ratio of national research institute Fiocruz June “huge differences” in COVID-19 mortality of different races and classes, with a black person who can not four times more likely-College Education dying read the virus after the contract like a white person. Many of the 26 Brazilian states, the local quarantine measures imposed to prevent the spread of the virus by limiting the activity that is not “essential work” is considered -despite the opposition to quarantine measures by President Jair Bolsonaro. At least four states, including domestic work in the category “essential.” Batista, the union leader, sees this term as deeply unjust country slowness rights provided work for domestic workers extend and low pay have not received (an average of only $168 by the end of 2019 a month). “If you ask the company to appreciate our work, our rights are denied,” he says. “But when it comes to serving, society judges our work considerably. It ‘very inconsistent.” The lawyer’s official recommendation at the Brazilian Ministry of Labor that domestic workers should be allowed home with “living wage “, while COVID-19 mitigation measures are in place. But less than half of the employers surveyed the Locomotive Research Institute said that they did. Of those who employ a domestic worker of free base, without a contract, he has had 39% let them go, while 23% said that their employees during the normal operation of the pandemic was still working. For employees with a contract, 39% of employers said their employees work still came. Batista says that some expectation among employers that domestic workers continue to do their work, mirror image, a culture of slavery, servitude, which remains in Brazilian society. “Think about the people, the woman at work in my house when I’m paying, then they should be here, has the risk I do not. ‘” At no time did we see that the person with empathy. “Court lawyer Pedro Avelino says the case has nothing to do with racism or discrimination. The families were very friendly, he says, adding that Santana, his mother and her son all came home court in Tamandaré, the city where her husband Sergio is hacker to remain mayor for two months during the first pandemic in Recife back. “Miguel was very well treated. The time he spent in Tamandaré was a treat for him, playing all day with [the Court] children in the pool, playing musical instruments. “He points out, Santana and his family was in the room, no room of the maid-even if he’s home. He also says that in the construction of Recife, the Court son turned 6 recently allowed, but use the lift. And despite the debate on racism triggered by the death of his son during the pandemic, Santana, Miguel’s mother believes it was not linked to “social inequality of the race comes,” his lawyer Rodrigo Almendra tells TIME. But Almendra, who is white, has argued that structural racism is still in play, embedded in social and economic dynamics between the two families. “it ‘a lack of care, is in a black boy on the left is a massive building to walk while his mother is a dog . “for activists, the case of Miguel, a clear distillation of the systemic inequalities that very different life for working class mostly black Brazil and predominantly white elite. the building fell out Migu and was one of the “Twin Towers”, which were cited by the two luxury residential block, the target of controversy and legal battles to sprawl in Recife. Although Santana worked in wealthy few private homes, according to Brazilian media, listed on the local government website in Tamandaré Santana as a municipal employee, on public pay book. (Lawyer Court declined to comment on the matter.) The authorities of the state are claims and hacker faces impeachment request to investigate. He publicly acknowledged in April that hackers had tested positive for COVID-19, while Santana and his mother for his family in Tamandaré at home continued to work. “There are so many elements of our past, in this case in the structures that [support] it,” Bianca Santana, 36, writer and activist, says St. Paul. “If time-traveled today from the 19th century in Brazil that race relations would be very similar.” Culture of Brazil’s domestic work is directly linked to its history of slavery, experts say. By the time Brazil 132 years ago, slavery was officially ended, which had imported more African than any other country in the Americas 3.6000000 to 4.7000000 of slaves. But after the abolition leaving authorities mostly former slaves to be presented separately Larissa Moreira, 28, historian of the African Diaspora Center at the Federal University of São João del Rei in Minas Gerais to study. “There has never been a black person effort in the integration into the labor market,” he says. “A black person not as a man began to be seen just because they were stopped a slave.” With little ‘education and racism widespread among employers, many free blacks were people in the same kind of work as slaves had done, sometimes even on the same farms and houses, where they were enslaved. For many women, especially blacks, housework was the only option. At the beginning of the 20th century, people seven out of ten former slaves were domestic workers, says Moreira. Race and housework was so closely intertwined in Brazil that the ads in the newspapers of the early and mid 20th century, explicitly seek “a black for the domestic cleaning work,” he adds. Although an important source of employment for black women, was a form of second employment rate long considered the housework. Until 1972 it was not registered with the authorities, employers and should not sign a work permit (which had been introduced in other sectors in 1930) is required. it was only in 2013 that a law for domestic workers on how other professions have the same rights, past, including a limited working day to eight hours, overtime pay and social security contributions by the employer. Today, domestic workers say they are fighting to make sure that employers support these rights, working with 4.6 million informally without authorization signed or the free base. This slowness has been closely linked to the rights of domestic workers with the manner in which Brazil race approached after the abolition of slavery, says Moreira. Instead opened with systemic racial inequality, in the late 19th century, the leaders of Brazil figured stretched a new identity for the country as a so-called “racial democracy” -a community founded on the harmonious fusion of indigenous, white European and black African cultures. At the same time, political and cultural elites promoted support a “whitening” policy of the population that blacks should have children with white Europeans and their descendants, generations of Brazilian products increasingly lighter biracial skin. “As a result, we get a different type of racism have compared to the US, where white supremacy have been clearer,” says Moreira. racial inequality in Brazil is strong: whites accounted for 44% of the population but hold 79% of seats in the Senate and, on average, earn 74% more than black or biracial Brazilian. “But there is still this idea of ​​proximity, a [black] is like part of the family maid. This is perverse because it legitimizes the abuses,” said Moreira. In the case of housework, it points out that the media “Ask white Chef Oh can you stay more than two hours? Can you come this weekend? ‘And the extra work can not be paid because it is a family thing.’ And ‘it was common before the law in 2013 to live for domestic workers six days a week in small, often windowless’ girl’s “and its disposal to their employers 24 hours a day. Domestic workers also suffer serious injury. Santana, the writer says with stories of beatings, sexual abuse, child labor and domestic work, said her mother, grandmother and neighbors in her slum neighborhood, and then surrounded by their students grow as a teacher were in adults. One afternoon in 1960, has brought as Santana grandmother’s mother and uncle of the house of his employer, a man offered the children a chocolate bar, it turned out the soap. “My mother still tells the story with a pain so deep, because it was a situation so much humiliation and cruelty to a child,” he says. “This type of work is the site of so much violence. It leaves scars.” The abuses, such as those that occur again. In 2016, Joyce Fernandes, a domestic worker-turned-rapper started sharing a Facebook page “I, domestic workers,” witnesses of domestic workers about their experiences. The site, which was adapted into a book last year, breaking with the degrading behavior of stories and exploitation by employers. After FENATRAD, reports of abuse have increased during the pandemic. It is said that many domestic workers were moved under pressure with their families employer during quarantine. Some try overlapping anger Miguel to turn on the death and the exploitation of domestic workers during the pandemic in concrete changes. “Justice for Miguel” adoption is now a rallying cry, not only in Recife, organized protests outside the apartment building where he died, but in the country, a law that pushes to ban domestic work is classified as “essential . “in the first week of July, hundreds of lawmakers have sent a letter of movements of public life and social justice to the Brazilian chamber head urging MPs to vote the law for printing, Miguel’s death” a sign of the urgency ” Action required. execution of a campaign of Rio de Janeiro, a group of eight children of domestic workers, “For the life of our mothers” for domestic workers unpaid leave to calling. Your petition has been signed by 130,000 people, and have raised thousands of dollars for grants to workers who have been defined by their employers during the pandemic. similar units elsewhere small Fundraising, including a program for donors emerged a free domestic workers during the pandemic of San Paolo sponsors. Juliana Frances is the daughter of a black domestic workers and began “For the life of our mothers.” She says Miguel cases young blacks activists in Brazil hit hard, because for many of them, it feels personal. “It is I’d be,” said the 30-year-old. “Every time a child, I went with my mother at work, with my godmother, and I was left alone [at home]. I crossed the street alone, while my mother, someone to clean the bathroom.” The color working class women are increasingly less dependent on domestic work, though. Frances, the first to go to college to his family, is part of the younger generation, which benefited from the expansion of social programs in Brazil in the early 2000s the leftist government of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva used the profits from a boom of poverty reduction target of the raw materials, and to expand access to education, says Mauricio Sellman, visiting scholar of Latin American cultural studies at the University of Dartmouth. “For the first time in 2018/2019, one had the first generation of graduates who actually representative of the class and race in the general population.” Shift than Brazil right under President Bolsonaro, and a series of economic crises from 2014, funding for these social programs has been cut. For Frances, an equally important change is rooted structural racism attitude generations of Brazil. “My friends and I talk all the time, but my mother’s generation was forced to keep his mouth shut socially culturally, this idea akzeptieren, Rassendemokratie ‘, that have discouraged the debate,” he says. “So now, when I talk to her about it, I see that she is really unpleasant.” Although blacks people are protesting for decades and mobilization against racism in Brazil, Frances says the events of the last months of a pandemic, Miguel death and Black Lives Matter protests “when unprecedented revolutionary”, one created for the mainstream debate Brazil. “I think in 2020, is the first time that we have, there are a lot of people who have seen the recognition of a racist country, and we need to talk about it. This is crucial.” Santana, the activist from San Paolo , he says there is another reason that the discussion of Brazil open tender forever. During and after his election campaign in 2018, Bolsonaro, the right president, made a series of explicit racist remarks about the indigenous and black Quilombo communities of Brazil, founded by former slaves -undermining more than ever the idea of ​​racial democracy. He put some white Brazilians racist “authorized” to express, he says. “It ‘was important for the exposure of what people think and feel, and now we are in an increasingly explicit conflict [Racism],” he says. “Be ‘, it feels like we are on the cusp of an explosion.” Image Copyright
Paulo Paiva-DP

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