Hello, is this from the bookstore? I want two books in black, one in yellow and one in white

Para “fins estatísticos”, agora o prêmio Jabuti quer saber a raça dos que se inscreverem no concurso.

For “statistical purposes”, now the Jabuti prize wants to know the race of those who sign up for the contest.| Photo: Playback/ Twitter
Distance, politics and

life pushed us away, but before that, Sérgio Rodrigues and I were reasonably close. I mean, cariously

close, even though he is miner and I, from Paraná. The kind that says “come over to my house”, but never gives the address, you know? In addition to being extremely intelligent, not to mention his literary talent, Sérgio Rodrigues has always been a good conversationalist. I have the best possible memories of our conversations over a lot of beer at Bar Belmonte. And it is with them that I begin this text.

In these conversations, we usually had with the presence of a Third Element that, out of politeness and respect, I will keep anonymous. He was a friend (always in the Carioca sense of the term) also a journalist and also a writer. One day, after a lot of beer, codfish balls and shrimp pie, and to the surprise of everyone at the bar, the Third Element decided to say he was black.

Nothing in his face suggested that blackness. Light brown, come on. Beautifully mixed, as befits a legitimate representative of this land where by planting everything is possible. But black – and bragging about roots in deep Africa? Where had the Third Element gotten this one from? After a few more sips and laughter, the sentence was handed down: that was (fun) drunk talk. And the Third Element retreated to its undeniable condition of “light mulatto” – for which no one gave the slightest bit.

That was almost 20 years old. At that time, it was still possible to mock someone’s racial self-identification. It didn’t even cross our minds that the Third Element would suddenly see itself as black to gain some pecuniary, professional or social advantage. Or literary. Just two decades ago the world was simpler and you could sit at the bar table and just drink and laugh at the inconsequential nonsense we talked about.

(I don’t follow the Third Element’s work very much, but I know he’s there and he’s one of those who talk about genocide, massacre of the black population, which includes, and coup).

Race, literature, the Third Element and Belmonte before gentrification invaded my memory yesterday (), after that Sérgio Rodrigues has gradually informed that they are interested in the subject that the Jabuti prize now asks (requires?) that those enrolled inform their race. “I am very sorry to inform you that the Jabuti Prize for Literature now asks, in the registration form, what the author’s race is. That’s right: the Jabuti asks what the author’s BREED is. You read that right: the RACE. The Jabuti wants to know the BREED of the author”, he wrote*.

It is yet another measure by progressives to institute racial segregation in Brazil and make us more like the United States, where coexistence between different races has always been more complicated than here. And if you’re against it, you already know: it’s racist! I don’t know if the group that gathers to smell tallow musty has already canceled Sérgio Rodrigues for his lament – ​​which I share. I hope not.

Stupid chelonian

I may not even be a Gabriela Prioli, but I have some experience not only with the object popularized by Gutenberg, but mainly with the words that these objects carry within themselves. And that’s why I almost fall out of my chair when I realize that those who beat their chests to call themselves better & more enlightened people just because they read are the same ones who defend racial segregation as a way to fight racism.

I wonder what would become of our already very weakened national literature, marked by all kinds of sectarianism, if Jorge Amado was reduced to skin color (which, by the way, I can’t identify; you who have the Pantone palette handy!). Or if the work of Érico Veríssimo was forbidden to black people just because it takes place in Rio Grande do Sul (spoiler: there are a lot of Indians there). In fact, I dare to ask the learned imbeciles of racialism what would be the heroic and pure image of the Brazilian Indian without the pity (no pun intended) of the non-Indian José de Alencar. To editors and writers who submit to the slavery of identity, the mark of cowardice and intellectual dishonesty will remain. Of the soul

(yes, it exists!) delivered to a seductive exu, who promises them critically acclaimed bestsellers, as well as a nice trophy with the image of an intelligent and maybe smart, but not wise, chelonian.

After the racialists explained that the race of writers, translators, illustrators and capistas was being asked only “for statistical purposes”, Sérgio Rodrigues deleted the tweet and, with it, his lament. I will continue to regret it because, despite the bizarre justifications, the attitude of the organizers of the literary prize is symptomatic of a time that gives too much importance to race.

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