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samishiba's avatar

Why do people think everyone in Brazil is black?

Asked by samishiba (5points) September 21st, 2017

“You’re Brazilian?” ” Why are you not black?”

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28 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

You mean ignorant people and the adjective speaks for itself.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

The medias falsehoods

DominicY's avatar

Never heard that in my life.

JLeslie's avatar

Maybe some people do, but I don’t think most people do.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Welcome to Fluther! What makes you believe that this is a true statement?

josie's avatar

Why does it matter?

But clearly it’s because they have never been there.

snowberry's avatar

I grew up in Utah. When I was 16, I went to New York. When I got off the plane, someone approached me and said, “You’re from Utah, right? Is it true that Mormons have horns?”

Now if apparently normal people will ask you a question like that, there’s no explaining why someone would think all Brazilians are black.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Native Brazillians are brown like Indians because they ARE Indians. Whoever says that to you is stupid.

LDRSHIP's avatar

I always thought Brazilians had a good variety of skin color? Like I’ve seen the pale white look to the mixed and to the dark and black. Mostly because I’ve looked at Brazilian women for “research” purposes and I say they are very attractive but that’s besides the point.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Before modern times the gene pool was very limited.

Yellowdog's avatar

I have never heard anyone say or assume that Brazilians were black, African, Negro, whatever. Did Brazil ever participate in the African slave trade?

I would assume most of the population was “mesti├žo de indio”, that is, mixed Spanish or Portuguese white and native-American Brazilian. There has probably been a good influx of populations from all over the world, especially Europe, in more recent times,

I would personally expect an indiginous Brazilian to look kind of Native American with some Latino—more Native American looking than say a Mexican. I would LEAST expect someone of African decent to be native to the region unless their ties to Brazil were after the American civil war era.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Evidence suggests the original Brazilians came from the same place the North American Native Americans did…from Siberia, crossing the Bering Land Bridge in the first of two waves 20,000 years ago.
I read somewhere that it is estimated that the initial migration only consisted of about 50 individuals. They, and the North American and Mexican indiginous peoples remained untouched until thr 1500’s when the Spanish Invasion occurred. There wasn’t much room for great genetic differences between any of them.
And every single one was attractive, of course. Especially the women.

imrainmaker's avatar

Why does it bother you?Let them be ignorant.

johnpowell's avatar

Like @LDRSHIP I mostly care about Brazil for the booty in thongs. When I was about 13 a kid in my apartment complex was from Brazil. He was closer to white. But other than that I considered Brazilians closer to Mexicans.

jca's avatar

I never thought that. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard anyone say everyone in Brazil is black.

JLeslie's avatar

I know a ton of a Brazilians, and they come in every shape and size and shade. The usual ignorance I hear about Brazil is people thinking the primary language is Spanish instead of Portuguese.

After reading the answers above I have some things to add.

Brazil participated heavily in the slave trade. Slavery was legal there into the late 1800’s. The African slaves, and their descendants did mix with the native population, and I would assume also with the Europeans. I would expect that a large percentage of the Brazilian population has some black African in them, and I don’t mean .02% from 30 generations ago found by some $100 DNA test . When I say large percentage I don’t mean the majority either, I just mean significant enough to count. Brazil, like all of the Americas, is part of the “new world” where explorers and immigrants came in from all over the world.

Americans (USA) tend to stereotype people from a country based on the “type” that immigrated here the most in large numbers. 100 years ago the Italians who came usually were from southern Italy and Sicily and had darker complexions and dark hair. Most Mexicans coming in have a lot of indegenious blood. So, stereotypes form that are inaccurate or narrow.

My husband gets told he doesn’t “look” Mexican. He doesn’t have an ounce of indegunious blood. His family is from the Mediterranean area. Israel, Spain and France.

I have had the experience similar to @snowberry that when I went to school in MI for the first time someone asked if I had horns, and I had zero idea what they were talking about at the time (thank goodness). I also had someone ask how I could be Jewish if I had blue eyes.

I know several Puerto Rican’s who are “black” but some don’t identify as black. I’m sure on census and other forms they don’t write in black. Maybe now some do now that firms in the last 20 years break Hispanic down into black and white, but I bet a lot of them still don’t identify as black.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I don’t know anyone who thinks that.

Jeruba's avatar

What “people”? All people, or only some? Why do you believe they think that? Sounds like the same sort of mistake to me.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

LOL. This question, as worded, is loaded with so much insinuated fallacy and bare-naked subjectivity that it is unanswerable. And you did all that in only nine words. Amazing.

You must be able to do better than this, man.

What is it that you’re really trying to say?

Catnip5's avatar

Ah, ignorance among those who actually uttered that sentence.

Fun fact: A lot of people probably also didn’t know that there’s a sizable Asian population in Brazil too.

@JLeslie I found this interesting how it would seem that Brazilians are more open about their racial diversity than most other Latin America/Hispanic influence places. For example, with Dominicans, I hear that their racial identity often seems to be disputed. Some would even go so far to deny their African roots.

Rarebear's avatar

Before you ask the question “Why do?” you need to ask the question “Do?”.

JLeslie's avatar

@Catnip5 My experience is the US obsesses a lot about race. Not only race, but national origin. In the islands I doubt the government asks anything about race, but I don’t know that for a fact. My friends from the islands are very mixed and race is a non issue. I don’t know about the rest of Latin America. I know my husband is from Mexico and he finds the American history and fixation on race as very odd.

Plus, what if people do think Brazilians are mostly black? First, I don’t think most people do; second, those people don’t probably know a lot of Brazilians; and last, and most important, there’s nothing wrong with being black so who really cares? if someone says to you that most Brazilians are black you can educate them and say what I mentioned in another answer—Brazil is like the US, like all of the Americas, we are from everywhere.

Catnip5's avatar

@JLeslie Fair enough. A lot of the Americas (plus Australia and New Zealand) are full of mixed heritages in history. The concept of racial perspective, for mixed societies, can surprisingly differ between places like the US and other areas. Though the US also has a harsher history of racism and segregation than possibly other Americas. So in some ways, the attitudinal upbringing on race would make sense for a lot of Americans. I think that just takes a bit of context of a nation’s history to understand ‘why’, and vice versa. While other places, like the islands example, could embrace being melting pots of one nationality and race better. I’ve heard this seems true even among indigenous groups in some cases, unlike how it also took the Aborigines a while to get recognized by the rest of Australia.

JLeslie's avatar

@Catnip5 if you’re looking at history, the Portuguese did a tremendous amount of slave trade. I think over ⅓ of black slaves brought to the Americas went to Brazil. Check me on it, history is my worst subject, don’t rely on that statistic. Probably, a lot of Brazilians have some African routes not too many generations back. I don’t know how much mixing went on. In a lot of Latin America a lot of mixing went on.

jca's avatar

I had a cleaning lady who was from Brazil and if you didn’t know, you’d think she was Italian. Her skin was white like mine (and my father is Mexican so skin color is no way to judge, either). Lots of Germans went to Brazil and other South American countries after WW2, so they’re mixed in, also.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, a lot of Germans, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of Italians too, similar to Argentina.

Lucky1234567's avatar

I don’t think anybody thinks like this

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