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(English) In Brazil, Do Black Lives Matter?

In Brazil, Do Black Lives Matter?
05/23/2016 07:53 am ET | Updated 3 days ago
Fred Redmond
United Steelworkers Vice President for Human Affairs
A Woody Guthrie song says, “sometimes they rob you with a six-gun, sometimes with a fountain pen.”

That’s a good description of the legislative coup that is going on right now against the elected government of President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, where I visited last month to participate in a trade union seminar on racial equality.

A majority of Brazil’s 200 million people are of African descent. For decades, Afro-Brazilians have faced discrimination in one of the world’s most unequal economies. But under the government of President Dilma and former President Lula da Silva, things began to change. Massive social investment, legal reforms and strong labor unions helped bring 40 million Brazilians out of poverty. Government ministries were established to protect the rights of women and Afro-Brazilians.

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