Brazil often presents itself – or is presented from without – as a bastion of racial harmony, the rainbow nation made flesh. In some ways, this view holds sway: few countries have diversity written into their DNA in the way that Brazil does. This land is African, indigenous, European and a million other things all at once, and celebrates its melting-pot identity with some verve. Frictions have flared through the ages, but assimilation has been the norm.
Yet things are not as rosy as they can seem. It has struck many that Brazil’s great social division – the staggering wealth gap that consigns millions of people to slum life with others swan about in gross opulence – is demarcated along racial lines. Poverty in Brazil is largely, although not exclusively, black (and 'Indian') poverty. With income bleeding into education, there is at the very least a notable inequality of opportunity.
In my latest Yahoo! Eurosport column, I offer a few thoughts on race and racism in Brazil in the wake of two notable incidents last week. Click here to read it.