Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

Politically incorrect Brazilians

The title of this post says everything: we Brazilians are not usually politically correct. Classism, xenofobia, racism, as well as comtempt for the handicapped, overweight, poor or ugly is more accepted than in the USA. 

When Brazilians are gathered in social situations, remarks that can be considered offensive fly left and right. At most, it raises an eyebrow or two, but frequently, it provokes laughter and camaraderie. We don’t have in Brazil acceptable  names to call certain minorities. It is common to hear white folks call a young black Brazilian “o pretinho” (the “blackie”) or a wheelchair -bound person “aleijadinho” (the “little crippled one” ). 

In a society which still has deep differences in class structure, the condescending and discriminatory tone used by many people is often seen as natural. When some people are perceived as “better” than others, this kind of speech is tolerated and even encouraged.  Despite all its recent economic success, Brazil still has a long way to go when it comes to respect to others who are different.


July 2, 2009 - Posted by | Difference between cultures

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