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Tuesday, March 1, 2016


As Salvador kicked off Carnival, residents of Cabula...gathered to commemorate the murder of twelve black people on Feb. 6, 2015.

Brazilian newspapers called "The Cabula 12" would be bank robbers and glorified the police officers as heroes. Yet, once more the victims of these police shootings were mostly black and poor black as Amnesty International says they are at least 80% of the time. Autopsy reports show, according to one article, that these "bank robbers" died on their knees with their hands on their heads. A secret video tape of what looks like a hospital corridor shows that three of the "robbers" have bullet holes in their backs.

Brazil's population is 50% of that of the United States. "Yet Brazil's police have managed to kill "more people in a five year span than U.S. police have killed in the last 30 years."

“The numbers are equivalent to a country at war,” said Hamilton Borges, a black liberation leader and founder of the anti-police violence movement Reaja ou Sera Morta, meaning “React or Die.” “In Brazil, and especially in Bahia, it is dangerous to be black.”

...Days after the massacre, protests erupted in slums throughout Salvador. Family members broke their silence and spoke to the media. During the carnival, a popular Afro-bloco group staged a die-in honoring Cabula and the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. Countless murals dot the city with the words: “We will never forget those killed in Cabula.”

Cops in Brazil
Image Source: Twitter
 It sounds like a new day is dawning in the black areas of Brazil. 

Black people in this country need to take notice of the fact that black people in other countries are looking at us.
We, as Black Americans, have power that those in Brazil don't, power that those in France don't.

We, with our whole 13% and American ideals,  have the ability to make ourselves heard in this country and also on the world stage. And we've probably had this power, without most of us being very aware of it, since Civil Rights Leaders used television so effectively to show how the United States was treating black people in the 1950s and 1960s.

I consider the willingness of the protests in Brazil to stand up another victory for Aliza Garza, Opal Tometi, Patrisse Cullors and their entire Black Lives Matter movement. And if the Black Lives Matter first function is to act like a spotlight, then let us all turn our eyes to the south, toward Brazil, and lift up their struggle.

If the U.S. can be embarrassed into treating us better than the did prior to the 1960s, Brazil can be embarrassed into stopping it's police force from murdering black people at will.     

Read More On the deaths of The Cabula 12