Questions, comments or suggestions? email me at: croatianicitystuff@gmail.com
Don't miss out a chance to win in our monthly "Croatianicity" t-shirt draw!
As well as our monthly Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic fridge magnet give away!

Monday, 19 October 2009

The Blame Game, Olympics, World Cup & Putting Your Foot In Your Mouth.






 
"Lula"..The Brazilian President. (Not the soccer player) Does his demented logic explain the predicaments of today's crises? Is he not aware that his country was built on slavery? Doesn't he know that the overwhelmingly vast majority of police and military shooting people in the favelas are not blonde or blue eyed? Now those are some interesting statistics.





Well, It's been a busy week or so for me and I haven't any real exciting news to share, on the local front. However, lots of world stuff going on, and one piece of news that left me scratching my head again, was this one.  Brazil just won the rights just days ago to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in the city of Rio de Janeiro. I found this one strange, almost like the Obama-Nobel Peace Prize news item I posted Here. Mainly because of a certain few stupid statements echoed by Brazil's president, known popularly as president LULU. (His non-soccer real name is Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva), as well as other headlines coming from Rio itself.



It was only earlier this year when news sites and blogs across the net and tv-land were printing articles with headlines like "Brazilian prez blames financial crisis on white people with blue eyes" and similar bylines. (Luckily I'm exempt because my eyes are greenish-brown, but I did have blonde hair as a kid,. but according to him my father and some relatives are to be blamed for part of the crisis) Now, this is in addition to the well known fact that Rio is practically a war zone these days, with drug related killings on such a scale that it's not surprising when reading about it, and it's actually quite typical regular news.  Not to mention the poverty and 1000 or so slums that make up the population of around 6 million of the city. All one has to do is Google "Rio favela , "Brazil slum"" or "Rio drug gangs" or  "Rio drug war" to see what I mean.  On the other contradictory hand, a $5 billion project remaking Rio's port region for tourism ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games is going on. Many people don't know that Brazil took in nearly half of the approximately 10.7 million men and women shipped across the Atlantic from Africa, compared with about 645,000 taken to the United States. It abolished slavery only in 1888 - the last country in the Americas to do so - and the legacy weighs heavily on its descendants. Just Rio alone received more than 1.8 million African slaves, or 21.5 percent of all slaves who landed in the Americas, according to Mariana P. Candido, a historian at the University of Kansas. I could go on and on. (Interestingly, for some reason nobody much discusses the fact that many of the slaves brought to the new world were already slaves, numerous African tribes were constantly in conflict with each other and they would keep slaves of their own. Kill enemy tribes and then have their own slaves. Those particular slaves were then simply bought from those African tribes)

Anyway, after coming across some related articles and updating this post, I discovered that the crisis in Brazil is really nothing new or recent or about white people with blue eyes at all. I found out that the problems in Brazil are homegrown and actually started centuries ago because of their own policies and doings, all this centuries before any recent world economic crisis. (It seems like that big Jesus statue on the hill overlooking Rio is doing what the government there is doing to remedy things, as in fuck all. In 1950, only 7 percent of Rio de Janeiro's population lived in favelas; nowadays this number has grown to 19 percent or about one in five people living in a favela.)

It's ridiculous trying push Brazilian history onto Croatian history, attempting to define Croatians, from my particular viewpoint and position especially, or any other peoples history. That's just plain absurd. Croatians never had any part to play in the Brazilian slave trade or the construction of ghettos. Croatians haven't been smuggling drugs and weapons into Rio. Croatian police aren't the ones who have been shooting soccer players in the favelas for decades. Not one Croatian special forces or military police member has ever used helicopters, grenades or armoured vehicles against the poets and samba dancers in the favelas. Let's get real.......




"Lulu being...well....Lulu" 



What does his statement even mean? Brown, green and hazel eyed white people are exempt? I know of many white people who have blonde, black, brown and red hair, but they have brown or greenish eyes. Are they in the clear? If you get sunburned or tanned on the beach are you still a white person? (A few times I got sunburned so bad that I was red as a lobster for a week, but my ass was milky white, a walking freakshow for a week) What if you're wearing yellow cat eyes contact lenses? I need to know these things and the particulars about this topic.





Then today, even more news than usual concerning the escalating drug wars and battles with police. With police helicopters being shot down, just like out of a Vin Diesel or James Bond movie-film. So anyway, my question is this. Who is he going to thank now, that since those same dastardly evil blue-eyed white people are going to be assisting in funding his Olympics as well as the competitors and spectators that will be attending in about 6 years time?  Also funding brand spanking new stadiums for the World Cup, all the while keeping the non-favela areas safe and clean so that the favela people don't ruin the show and fireworks and so crash the non-favela party and tv-friendly areas.  I don't know the question to these and other mind-boggling questions, I just hope those blue-eyed white people in the meantime don't cause some other world catastrophe.





Come to think of it, those guys in the front row have eyes that look sort of blueish and their hair definitely looks blondish if you ask me. Brazil is the world leader in gay horse fuck and scat porn videos yet the Brazilian president has no comment about this, only those foreign blue eyed or blonde miscreants. Image and article: www.telegraph.co.uk.





I shudder to think what the backlash would have been if the Croatian President or Prime Minster, heck even a Croatian well known sports figure or singer, said something similar, like blaming the world economic crisis or any other crisis on red haired people with big ears, brown haired people with zits on their forehead, black haired people with lisps...whatever . Alas, I guess we'll never know, but we still have about 6 years for more memorable quotes from Lulu. Personally, I think it's just a publicity stunt in a way, to save his and Brazil's political image and historical policies and then deflect internal problems which reach far back, to newer and different scapegoats. Lulu "the blamer" is pointing fingers everywhere except where he should, inward at the system of his country over the centuries. Time to learn a little history about his own country first before inventing brand new boogymen to be the sacrificial scapegoat. His country's internal problems have been going on for centuries it seems, long, long before the current world financial crisis, and it is directly related to most of Brazil's current internal crises. You'll see what I mean. Below is an article that shines a little more light on what I'm talking about. Below that some more eye-opening facts to consider......







Extra police to battle Rio's drug anarchy





Is the Brazilian president right, or does he need his head examined? Has he spent too much time in the sun and now has irreversible brain damage? Have too many coconuts or a piece of that bearded statue thing fallen on his noggin and now he's living in a fantasy world? Why the contempt and hatred against European womens volleyball and soccer teams? Why so much disdain directed against women skiers and women hockey players?








RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil has deployed an extra 4500 police as bloody clashes with drug traffickers left 17 people dead over the weekend in the 2016 Olympics host city. Jose Mariano Beltrame, Rio de Janeiro  state's security chief, said reinforcements had been moved to Rio in an effort to calm tensions in the city's sprawling, impoverished favelas, or slums. Saturday marked a bloody first when drug dealers shot down a police helicopter in the Macacos slum near Maracana stadium, killing two officers.





In 2012 there were over 100,000 murders in Brazil, that's almost 13 times more than all the Croatian soldier deaths during 5 years of the Croatian War of Independence between 1991-95. During that same period of 2012 there were 526 murders in Italy and just over 700 in Germany. Compare those numbers and then think about it. 



I can assure you, even without adding more....um...oh, I'll just call them..graphic and head scratching images here, that the big Jesus character statue overlooking large parts of Rio should have been made looking like this and it would make much, much more sense. 



Image:www.blogs.reuters.com



Image: www.channel14.com






More violence erupted on Sunday in the Jacarezinho favela, where two suspected drug traffickers were killed during a shootout with police, and police searched drug suspects in nearby favelas (pictured left). Civilian and military police were on alert on Sunday and leave was cancelled, Mr Beltrame said. The Justice Minister, Tarso Genro, offered Rio's authorities an elite army unit for emergencies, but so far Rio's state governor, Sergio Cabral, has declined.





When scenes like this are a daily and regular occurrence for over 3 decades, I don't think blonde, purple, green, yellow, red or turquoise haired or whatever eyed people around the world are your problem or to be blamed.






Brazil urgently needs to find new investment and to streamline its bulky bureaucracy as it prepares to host the world's two biggest sporting events - the 2016 Olympics and 2014 soccer World Cup. Brazil has promised to invest in a slew of new projects, but public safety and transport will require major outlays. Agence France-Presse  



Related article: www.channelnewsasia.com





Could this guy be Brazil's saviour and have the answers to the worlds economic woes? Perhaps. Blast them with the grenade of righteousness.






Updated 2014:  This following excerpt of information from a New York Times article I felt sheds more light about this "blame game", or as I like to call it, finding a scapegoat,  being espoused by the Brazilian president. This below information is also just a few months before the 2014 World Cup. It gives more insight to the actual causes and catalysts of these modern day favela's and related problems, it seems they really have nothing to do with blonde haired and blue eyed people whatsoever, but on the contrary is of their own making from long before the current economic crisis and how they deal with it...



RIO DE JANEIRO —

Sailing from the Angolan coast across the Atlantic, the slave ships docked here in the 19th century at the huge stone wharf, delivering their human cargo to the “fattening houses” on Valongo Street. Foreign chroniclers described the depravity in the teeming slave market, including so-called boutiques selling emaciated and diseased African children. The newly arrived slaves who died before they even started toiling in Brazil’s mines were hauled to a mass grave nearby, their corpses left to decay amid piles of garbage. As imperial plantations flourished, diggers at the Cemitério dos Pretos Novos — Cemetery of New Blacks — crushed the bones of the dead, making way for thousands of new cadavers. Now, with construction crews tearing apart areas of Rio de Janeiro in the building spree ahead of this year’s World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, stunning archaeological discoveries around the work sites are providing new insight into the city’s brutal distinction as a nerve center for the Atlantic slave trade. But as developers press ahead in the surroundings of the unearthed slave port — with futuristic projects like the Museum of Tomorrow, costing about $100 million and designed in the shape of a fish by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava — the frenzied overhaul is setting off a debate over whether Rio is neglecting its past in the all-consuming rush to build its future. 

“We’re finding archaeological sites of global importance, and probably far more extensive than what’s been excavated so far, but instead of prioritizing these discoveries our leaders are proceeding with their grotesque remaking of Rio,” said Sonia Rabello, a prominent legal scholar and former city councilwoman. The city has installed plaques at the ruins of the slave port and a map of an African heritage circuit, which visitors can walk to see where the slave market once functioned. Still, scholars, activists and residents of the port argue that such moves are far too timid in comparison with the multibillion-dollar development projects taking hold. Beyond the Museum of Tomorrow, which has been disparaged by critics as a costly venture drawing attention away from Rio’s complex history, developers are working on an array of other flashy projects, like a complex of skyscrapers branded in homage to Donald Trump and a gated community of villas for Olympic judges. At the same time, descendants of African slaves who live as squatters in crumbling buildings around the old slave port are organizing in an effort to obtain titles for their homes, pitting them against a Franciscan order of the Roman Catholic Church that claims ownership of the properties. “We know our rights,” said Luiz Torres, 50, a history teacher and leader in the property rights movement. With the slave market’s ruins near his home as testament, he added, “Everything that happened in Rio was shaped by the hand of blacks.” Scholars say the scale of the slave trade here was staggering. 

Brazil received about 4.9 million slaves through the Atlantic trade, while mainland North America imported about 389,000 during the same period, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, a project at Emory University. Rio is believed to have imported more slaves than any other city in the Americas, outranking places like Charleston, S.C.; Kingston, Jamaica; and Salvador in northeast Brazil. Altogether, Rio received more than 1.8 million African slaves, or 21.5 percent of all slaves who landed in the Americas, said Mariana P. Candido, a historian at the University of Kansas. Activists say the archaeological discoveries merit at least a museum and far more extensive excavations, pointing to projects elsewhere like the International Slavery Museum in the British port city Liverpool, where slave ships were prepared for voyages; the Old Slave Mart Museum in Charleston and Elmina Castle, a slave trading site on Ghana’s coast. “The horrors committed here are a stain on our history,” said Tânia Andrade Lima, the chief archaeologist at the dig that exposed Valongo, built soon after Portugal’s prince regent, João VI, fled from Napoleon’s armies in 1808, transferring the seat of his empire to Rio from Lisbon. The squalid wharf functioned until the 1840s, when officials buried it under more elegant docks designed to receive Brazil’s new empress from Europe. Both wharves were eventually buried under landfill and a residential port district, called Little Africa. Many descendants of slaves settled where the slave market once functioned, with African languages spoken in the area into the 20th century. While the district is gaining recognition as a cradle of samba, one of Brazil’s most treasured musical traditions, it was long neglected by the authorities. Black Consciousness Day is observed annually in Brazil on Nov. 20 to reflect on the injustices of slavery. In 2013 Ms. Rabello, the legal scholar, pointed out, Rio’s hard-charging mayor, Eduardo Paes, who is overseeing the biggest overhaul of the city in decades, did not attend the ceremony at Valongo, where residents began a campaign to have it recognized as a Unesco World Heritage site.

Today, nearly half the population of 192 million defines itself to census-takers as black or part-black, and despite antipoverty programs that have raised their income by 56 percent on average, they still earn only 57 percent as much as whites.  Rio officials say the rediscovery of Valongo is a chance for the country to face its intentionally obscured history. Complicating the debate over how Rio’s past should be balanced alongside the city’s frenetic reconstruction, some families still live on top of the archaeological sites, occasionally excavating Brazil’s patrimony on their own. “When I first saw the bones, I thought they were the result of a gruesome murder involving previous tenants,” said Ana de la Merced Guimarães, 56, the owner of a small pest control company who lives in an old house where workers doing a renovation first discovered remains from the mass grave in 1996. It turned out Ms. Guimarães was living above a dumping ground for dead slaves that was used for decades, until around 1830. Estimates vary, but scholars say that as many as 20,000 people were buried in the grave, including many children. Ms. Guimarães and her husband opted to stay in their property, opening a modest nonprofit organization on the premises, where visitors can view portions of the archaeological dig. The authorities have plans to build a light-rail project on their street, which may lead to more discoveries. “This was a place of unspeakable crimes against humanity, but it’s also where we live,” Ms. Guimarães said in her home, complaining that public agencies had provided her organization with little support. Washington Fajardo, a senior adviser to Rio’s mayor on urban planning issues, said that some important steps had been taken at the archaeological sites, including the designation of the slave port as an environmental protection area. And he said that a plan under consideration would create an urban archaeology laboratory where visitors could view archaeologists studying material from the sites. Mr. Fajardo also emphasized that at another new venture in the port, the Rio Art Museum, residents of the area make up more than half the staff. Continue reading the main story Spicy crab linguine with mustard, creme fraiche and herbs An inspired lunch puts brunch to shame Good Irish coffee starts with the cow Continue reading the main story Advertisement “We’d like to do more,” he said, referring to the slave cemetery. “It’s complex because there are people living on top of the site. If they want to stay, we have to respect their wishes.” Throughout Rio, other discoveries are being made.

Near the expansion of a subway line, researchers recently found relics belonging to Pedro II, Brazil’s last emperor before he was overthrown in 1889. And near the slave port, archaeologists found cannons thought to be part of a four-century-old marine defense system. But none of the discoveries have been quite as striking as the unearthing of the Valongo wharf in 2011 and the earlier excavations of the cemetery under Ms. Guimarães’s home. Beyond the large stones of the wharf itself, archaeologists found items that helped reconstruct the daily lives of slaves, including copper pieces thought to be talismans and dominoes used for gambling. Between the slave port and the cemetery, visitors can also view the Ladeira do Valongo, where the depots of Rio’s slave market once horrified foreign travelers. One visitor, Robert Walsh, a British clergyman who came to Brazil in 1828, wrote about the transactions. “They are handled by the purchaser in different parts, exactly as I have seen butchers feeling a calf,” he said. “I sometimes saw groups of well-dressed females here, shopping for slaves, exactly as I have seen English ladies amusing themselves at our bazaars.” 

Slavery’s legacy is clear across Brazil, where more than half of its 200 million people define themselves as black or mixed race, giving the nation more people of African descent than any other country outside Africa. In Rio, the large majority of slaves came from what is now Angola, said Walter Hawthorne, a historian at Michigan State University. “Rio was a culturally vibrant African city,” Dr. Hawthorne said. “The foods people ate, the way they worshiped, how they dressed and more were to a large extent influenced by Angolan cultural norms.” Brazil abolished slavery only in 1888, making it the last country in the Americas to do so. Now the relatively relaxed approach to the archaeological discoveries is raising doubts about how willing the authorities are to revisit such aspects of Brazilian history. “Archaeologists are exposing the foundations of our unequal society while we are witnessing a perverse attempt to remake the city into something resembling Miami or Dubai,” said Cláudio Lima Carlos, an architect and scholar of urban planning. “We’re losing an opportunity to focus in detail on our past, and maybe even learn from it.”....So the question of  "Who's to blame?" goes back centuries and reaches a whole new level.






Featured post

And The Croatian City To Be A European Capital of Culture In 2020 Will Be...(Drum Roll).....Rijeka

The coastal city of Rijeka was officially designated to represent Croatia as the European Capital of Culture in Europe for 2020. T...