Vinicius Jr. reacts to racist attacks in Real Madrid’s match against Valencia in the Spanish league. (Photo: reproduction)

After frying the eggs, what was left is the following: Just Vinicius Jr. touch the ball on Spanish lawns for the myth of racial superiority to be demolished a little more. And again break out against someone of black color more hatred and intolerance.

“Attacks against the player range from the perception of impunity to venting the difficulties that contemporary societies are going through”, says Zulu Araújo, doctor in International Relations, master in Culture and Society and former president of the Palmares Foundation in the 2nd government of President Lula.

“Much of this hatred is awakened by the revolt of those in the stands, due to their economic, social and even emotional situation, in the face of the success of someone they consider an inferior being”.

In this chat with DCM, Araújo tells how, deep down, a good part of our western history was forged by force. By submission. By the subjugate. for the hate.

Read the interview:

DCM – Is there a wider pattern of racial discrimination in Spanish society that could be contributing to these incidents of racism in football?

Zulu Araújo – There is a great deal of cynicism from Europeans and Spaniards in particular in addressing the racial question in their domains. This is because both European and Spanish racism are inherent in the formation of these peoples.

Racism and discrimination by Europeans against non-white peoples around the world justified not only colonization, but also wars and the enslavement of millions of people in Africa and the Americas.

Since 1550, after a Debate in the Company of the Indies, between two great Spanish Catholic priests, Bartolomeu de Las Casas and Juan Ginés Sepúlveda, Spain has adopted racism and violence as moral and legal mechanisms for its conquests.

It was called the Just War. Approved by both the Catholic Church and the Spanish Empire.

The result of this was the death of more than 30 million indigenous people in Latin America, with 20 million in Mexico alone commanded by the Spanish genocidal Hernan Cortez, who is sung in prose and verse by the Spaniards to this day.

Also, let’s not forget: it was the Europeans who were responsible for introducing the transatlantic slave trade.

Vinícius Jr’s case is not isolated in stadiums, but the feeling is of loss of control of the situation.

The phenomenon of racism in football stadiums is not something new or strange to the collective manifestations of peoples who had a fascist background, such as Spain and Brazil itself.

It is the result of the understanding that has been spread for centuries by European countries that whites are superior beings, that their religions are superior, their morals are superior and that is why they have the divine mission to command humanity, based on their interests.

This is not a thesis formulated by ignorant or malicious people. It supported colonialism, invasions and wars by Europeans against the rest of the world and capitalist development.

It is a thesis of the European elites and that continues to this day.

Vinicius Junior is nothing more than a catalyst for this racist hatred, because unlike the other players, also victims, he decided to face it and not minimize the seriousness of the issue.

He is a brave young man who deserves not only our respect, but our full support.

What social factors contribute to the manifestation of racist acts at sporting events?

Are many. They range from the perception of impunity to venting the difficulties that contemporary societies are going through.

Zulu Araújo (Image: personal archive)

This hatred is often awakened by the revolt of those in the stands, due to their economic, social and even emotional situation, in the face of the success of someone they consider an inferior being.

But I believe it to be something more complex and that it is closely linked to the process that the European elite, in the first moment and the North American one later, developed to justify the capitalist expansion in the world.

To this end, it relied on the collaboration and active participation of religions of Christian origin, which even announced that non-whites did not have a soul, were not human beings and that, for this very reason, they could not and should not be treated as such.

Let’s not forget the scientific racism that scientifically affirmed and justified, for almost three centuries that the white race was at the top of the human pyramid.

How does racism affect not only the players directly involved, like Vinícius Jr, but also the black community as a whole?

Since football is a collective sport that attracts crowds all over the world and generates social, political and economic advancement, anything that takes place in this space has global dimensions.

Therefore, it affects not only the player, but the player’s family, fans, sponsors and the sport as a whole.

We cannot forget that football is the most popular sport in the world, because of this not only the black community is affected, but society as a whole, particularly those who are anti-racist.

Therefore, reacting strongly against racism in football is more than a right, it is the obligation of all those who fight prejudice.

What are the social consequences of this incident for Spain’s image as a tolerant and inclusive country?

Doll of Vinicius Junior hanged on a bridge in Madrid (Image: reproduction)

The consequences will depend a lot on the degree of force and mobilization that the protests against racism in Spanish football have around the world, in particular in Brazil.

The response has to be the size of the one that occurred with the murder of George Floyd.

Because what they are doing with Vinicius Jr is a racial murder in the public square.

I repeat, Spain as a whole, not even La Liga least of all, are innocent of this episode, they know the seriousness of it and are deliberately misrepresenting it.

Racism in Spain is something constitutive of the nation and for this very reason needs to be faced on a daily basis by the competent authorities, particularly in its collective manifestations.

We have to ask the Spanish Government, the Spanish Football Federation, Spanish society to put an end to this growing wave of attacks that has been taking place.

How can the media and social media influence public perception and response to racism in football?

They are the great communication tools of the contemporary world, so we have to use them intensely, correctly and responsibly.

Without Fake News, but alerting society to the crime that is racism, to the damage it causes to human beings of any race or ethnicity and the hatred it conveys when it manifests itself.

Vinicius Junior needs to have in each of us who are anti-racists, an ally in his fight, because this fight is not just his, but of all those who want to live in a fraternal, respectful and minimally egalitarian society.

What measures or policies can be effective in combating and preventing future similar incidents?

Firstly, club officials need to take responsibility for organized fan calls, which have been a hotbed for the spread of violence around the world.

Second, sponsors need to disassociate their brands from racist manifestations.

Third, governments, through their legal and police institutions, and sports organizations, through their institutions, need to rigorously identify, prosecute, and punish the perpetrators of these criminal attitudes.

And finally, we need to have educational campaigns at all levels to combat racism in football.

The Brazilian government hinted at the possibility of using the Penal Code to apply Brazilian law against racist attacks on the Real Madrid player: is this a way forward?

Governments can do a lot, but they can’t do everything.

Governments can promote processes of inclusion in the labor market, combat religious intolerance, regulate and support the remaining communities of quilombos, punish racists, etc., but even so, for us to have a safe and free environment, it will take a long time.

Racism is pervasive in Western societies.

In order to reach this stage, which is still in the field of utopia, we will have to count on the support of society as a whole, in addition to an agile and efficient system for the punishment of any and all racist acts, and this will be a collective construction.

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