O president of the Independent League of Samba Schools (Liesa)Jorge Perlingeiro, questioned the racial identity of Portela carnival worker Antônio Gonzaga. The situation happened during an episode of the podcast Only if it’s nowwhich is presented by Perlingeiro, and aired on Monday the 13th.
The program welcomed Gonzaga and André Rodrigues for a chat about what the school was planning for Carnival 2024. During the conversation, the duo was asked about what Portela’s plot represents for Brazilian blackness, on behalf of Semana of Black Consciousness.
In response, Gonzaga said: “We are two black carnival workers, who are working together for the first time.” At this point, the following dialogue took place:
“Are you black, black?” asked Perlingeiro. “I am,” Gonzaga replied. “We need to paint you, because you are very light,” commented the presenter, who continued: “Is your mother black? And your father?”.
Embarrassed, the boy replied: “My mother, not my father.” “I immediately saw it. You’re not all that black,” said Perlingeiro. “But I’m black and from a black family,” Gonzaga finally replied.
After the video was published, the comments area was filled with internet users disapproving of the Liesa president’s attitude, which was considered racist. On social media, Portela’s official page, whose plot next year will be A Color Defectpublished a note repudiating the moment.
“GRES Portela is an institution founded by black, poor and suburban people over a hundred years ago. Our principle is to fight against prejudice of any kind, as well as unconditional support for diversity. Over the decades, we have helped lay the foundations for the construction of a multiple and plural ‘samba world’,” he wrote.
The school also said that it shows solidarity with carnival participants Antônio Gonzaga and André Rodrigues and everyone who participated in the podcast.
“We continue our journey together towards a society in which skin color is not a defect, which is far beyond a carnival parade”, he finally highlighted.
Late in the afternoon of Tuesday, the 14th, Jorge Perlingeiro used social media to apologize to “those who happened to feel offended” and said he was making “a joke”.
“Suddenly some people felt, I’m not saying offended, but suddenly harassed because I was talking about something linked to blackness, talking about racism. And that [o racismo] It never happened in my life. I’ve been a communicator for 55 years, I’ve been dealing with samba singers for 55 years, obviously the majority of them are black, people who are part of my life, men, women. That doesn’t matter, the color, what matters is the relationship and the importance”, said Perlingeiro in a video published on Liesa’s networks.
On Twitter (X), Antônio Gonzaga did not mention the episode directly, but spoke about the black struggle beyond the month of November, considered Black Consciousness Month in Brazil.
“My voice is ink and pen. It’s about identity, understanding, literacy and affection. That beyond November, black consciousness will be a continuous battle. A color defect is not for nothing,” she wrote.
Source: Redação Terra