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Ear to the Ground

Brazil’s President Says Whites Caused Global Crisis

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Posted on Mar 27, 2009
Silva and Brown
AP photo / Eraldo Peres

Britain’s visiting Prime Minister Gordon Brown, right, shakes hands with Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during a welcoming ceremony at the Alvorada palace in Brasilia on Thursday.

During a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in Brasilia on Thursday, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made the startling assertion that the current worldwide economic catastrophe was caused by “white people with blue eyes.” Perhaps that last detail was thrown in to graciously let brown-eyed Brown off the hook.

FT.com:

Speaking in Brasília at a joint press conference with Gordon Brown, the UK prime minister, Mr Lula da Silva told reporters: “This crisis was caused by the irrational behaviour of white people with blue eyes, who before the crisis appeared to know everything and now demonstrate that they know nothing.”

He added: “I do not know any black or indigenous bankers so I can only say [it is wrong] that this part of mankind which is victimised more than any other should pay for the crisis.”

Mr Brown appeared to distance himself from Mr Lula da Silva’s remarks. “I’m not going to attribute blame to any individuals,” he said.

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By European with blue eyes and dark hair, November 21, 2010 at 9:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

1st of all - he is white (probably descendant of
Portuguese people).
2 nd to all Americans - Hispanic is NOT a race - you
are either white,mixed(white and amerindian as most
mexicans are) or amerindian.
3 rd Brazil speaks Portuguese and not Spanish.
4 th Generally speaking even in Europe people from
Spain,Portugal,Greece and Italy are darker than
Germans,English and Nordic nations.

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By RTE, April 3, 2009 at 8:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lula is right…only white people could have caused this problem.  Specifically, white men.  After all, they invented modern banking and money in the first place.  And printing, racism, planes, trains, automobiles, genocide, space stations, soap operas, ink pens, greasy fried food, snow, communism, capitalism, muskets, atomic bombs, artificial hearts, gonorrhea, penicillin, Barney Frank, Ronald Reagan, economic exploitation, Oxfam, war and post it notes.
Meanwhile, women and the world’s non-white majority busied themselves inventing love, happiness, family values, tolerance, spooning, laughter, smiles, sunshine, cooperation and anything that tastes good.  No wonder Lula, Hugo Chavez and others have such monster chips on their shoulders.

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By jack, March 31, 2009 at 7:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Of course the comment was racist. Does it also have historic resonance? Of course. If you were to divvy up the carbon footprints on cultural lines and attribute obligations accordingly then Lula has a point.
Bottome line is now that every human needs to do more than their fair share right now to reduce global warming pollution or it won’t matter what color eyes you have, your society will be falling down around you and your children will be impoverished.

The G20 must act courageously and decisively.

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By lester333, March 30, 2009 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

THIS IS A PROGRESSIVE WEB SITE.  WILL YOU REPUBLICANS STOP SPOUTING YOUR GIBBERISH.

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By Nancy Detroit, MI, March 30, 2009 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Blue eyes, baby boomers! 

I have blue eyes and I’m a baby boomer.

I didn’t have anything to do with this problem.

How in the heck did everyday average people get lumped into being white people who caused the problem?

What are you thinking?  Let’s gas up the showers, line us up and take care of the problem? Would that make it better?  Then what, will it be people with another shade of skin, or specific feature who are the problem.  Then will you teach them a lesson when things go wrong.

How about if we all just buy a gun and then run out into the streets and execute people we don’t think deserve to live. Make it fair. Then what, after a week of killing do you think we’d be in a better place? 

What is wrong with some of you?  Some of you talk like you think this guy made a reasonable point.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 30, 2009 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Bea Moreira, March 30 at 10:32 am #
(Unregistered commenter)

Lula only said that so he can be seen as the defender of the minorities. He talks talks but does nothing to really change the social injustice in Brazil (and I’m Brazilian). The best thing he did was to continue the policies of his predecessor, whom he also called elitist, FHC. Lula is pretty dumb, even the people that like his policies say he’s dumb.
He’s forgeting that there are many blue-eyed people, including Brazilians, who are in no way at fault.
Racism goes BOTH ways…I can’t believe my president said that.

******************************

Welcome to the club….

We had 8 years of saying that with President Botch.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 30, 2009 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

Dumb like Bush, is very dumb.  Hoepfully the President of Brazil was not born with a silver spoon up his ass.
Actually I would hope him to be smart only because of a background as a Union Representative. Is his mind open to the people on the street, as opposed to following special interests.  Though usually, as in our government, the selected few are usually in the pockets of the elite, unless you go to Cuba and look at Castro.

How can his statement be deemed raciest, he did not call the bankers a group of honkies, isn’t Portugal considered a white country?

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By Nancy Detroit, MI, March 30, 2009 at 11:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is this a cry for attention?

What a dumb thing to say.

Racist idiot.

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By Bea Moreira, March 30, 2009 at 7:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lula only said that so he can be seen as the defender of the minorities. He talks talks but does nothing to really change the social injustice in Brazil (and I’m Brazilian). The best thing he did was to continue the policies of his predecessor, whom he also called elitist, FHC. Lula is pretty dumb, even the people that like his policies say he’s dumb.
He’s forgeting that there are many blue-eyed people, including Brazilians, who are in no way at fault.
Racism goes BOTH ways…I can’t believe my president said that.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 30, 2009 at 4:12 am Link to this comment

lester333, March 29 at 8:45 pm #

TO: Inherit The Wind

You are the racist putz.  Asian bankers are clones of US you idiot.
*************************

How do you figure? Asian bankers ain’t blond haired or blue eyed.  So…a clearly racist remark isn’t racist, but the guy who names it as racist is?  You must come out of the FolkTruther school of illogic.

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By rollzone, March 29, 2009 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

hello. i totally agree with the man. if the blue-eyed elitists caused this financial storm: then they ought to suffer the consequences of their actions; and not the poor working slobs that had nothing to do with it; but are going to be asked to bail them out. gambles are risks that lose, and losses are just the way it is. move on you wealthy financial loser maggots; and leave us working people alone.

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CJ's avatar

By CJ, March 29, 2009 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment

Correcting my own self regarding my initial comment…

Lula de Dilva was referring to ongoing economic crisis. He would be, of course, quite right to note that crisis is of American and European origin. Since those nation-states remain economic top-dogs still busily devouring pups who would be top-dogs, according to indigenous elites born of cooperation with colonial powers.

Still, he forgot that even if vast majority of the world’s ruling elite is Caucasian (mostly brown-eyed, by the way), that does not mean that vast majority of Caucasians (no matter eye color) are in positions of power.

De Silva conflates class and race, which is always a mistake—of “infantile leftist” sort. If his point was for domestic consumption, so much the worse.

He forgets too that Brazil is hardly socialist, that Rio and Amazon region more broadly are home to some of the most impoverished people on the planet; and yes, that he is himself of Portuguese descent, thus long of Brazilian elite whether ex-factory worker or not.

And that government of Brazil has yet to assume responsibility for Amazon “backyard,” as cattle ranchers are (wink, wink) allowed to continue to slash and burn. No doubt because northerners are willing to pay up for base resources after having used up their own long ago.

It’s a little too easy to point a finger at likes of ranchers when they’d otherwise be starving. But such is the damage global capital leaves in its wake. Devastation everywhere so long as price per share continues to rise. On the Brazilian stock market too.

De Silva would do far, far better to point a less-hypocritical finger at actually responsible parties, a number of whom are not Caucasian, regardless of eye color.

Forget what would be racism were remark not made by one of victims of racism, despite his own heritage, since just because he’s Latin American. De Silva is grossly in error when he conflates race and class. As an ex-factory worker, he should know better than ever to utter such a stupidity—to the degree the remark serves only to distract from the reality of power relations. Well, unless he prefers for his own political ends not to point his finger at what most matters?

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By johnnyfarout, March 29, 2009 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

…slack jawed pale bug eyed big carbon footprint 24/7 fossil fueled SUV sushi chompin’ white monied blue eyed baby boomers…

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By will carr, March 29, 2009 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

if it were not for the white people in this world many of you third world country clowns would be starving. You morans are just jealous of America. Suck it up losers.

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By cyrena, March 29, 2009 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment

By johnnyfarout, March 27 at 8:16 pm #

...and here I thought it was all caused by “monied” baby boomers…!

~*~

You’re not far off the mark here johnnyfarout, it was just caused by blue-eyed WHITE monied baby boomers…

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By JJJJJJJ, March 29, 2009 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lula is a horse’s ass.  Who’s claim to fame is that he holds famous barbecues at his residence.  He has done nothing to improve Brasil.

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By lester333, March 29, 2009 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

TO: Inherit The Wind

You are the racist putz.  Asian bankers are clones of US you idiot.

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By jackpine savage, March 29, 2009 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

Well, we crackers have pretty pretty much made a hash of the world.  But the comments here mostly prove that the truth hurts.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 29, 2009 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

Why are people making excuses for this racist putz?

I guess he never heard of Asian bankers either.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 29, 2009 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

Would it be safe to say, greed is not a monopoly specific to one culture? In this case the power brokers were specific to one group of selfish wasps cloned from American societies elite?

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By Folktruther, March 29, 2009 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

Most of the oppression of humanity the past few centuries have been caused by White Old Rich Men (WORMs).  But that does not mean that all WORMS identify with oppression.  I happen to be a WORM myself, except for the ‘rich’ part, and even that if one considers the world population.

But I am a WORM who has turned.  Just as Engels, a capitalist, identified with humanity and the working class that he conceived would liberate it, so many of us WORMs have also turned toward humanity.  In any case we are not a homogenious grouping, and those of us who are, are in the historiczl process of losing the power gained through Western capitalism.  Freeing us to identify with the earthWORMS of the earthpeople of the world.

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By will carr, March 29, 2009 at 9:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Look at he advanced countries developed by hispanics and blacks and why are they beating down the door to gain entry into the United States. This is just a jealous statement because it their minds they (blacks and hispanics) believe they are inferior. If the shoe fits wear it, amigo.

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By prole, March 28, 2009 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

Lula is so full of shit his eyes are brown!

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By Senator Longhorne, March 28, 2009 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

..his comment is partly metaphor, far less blatant than that which one sees when eyeballing the US Senate. Talk about entitlement (including their government health care). This bag of assholes truly is the cause of most of the world’s misery.

At least he’s presiding over a Brasil in which only half of the cars have to use gasoline as fuel.

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By Shift, March 28, 2009 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

Da Silva is clearly referencing the invader occupier elites who have killed and economically enslaved the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil for over 500 years.  After five hundred years of genocide, it should be no surprise that rhetoric such as “blue eyes” is employed.  It pales by comparison to the greatest genocide in the last millennium.  Get some perspective.

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By Stephen Smoliar, March 28, 2009 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

In the context of prgill’s background, I tried to do a whose-ox-is-gored analysis at:

http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2009/03/high-wire-chutzpah.html

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By jlaw, March 28, 2009 at 8:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

greed is a human condition. white people with blue eyes are arguably better at it. perhaps luiz you can explain the wholesale deforestation of the amazon river region. no greed their. luiz, your just another example that you dont need to intelligent to be a paid member of a government welfare system.

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By P. T., March 28, 2009 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

Lula qualifies his racism.  It is those with blue eyes who are to blame.  I guess he did not want brown-eyed descendants of Portuguese colonists to think he was talking about them.

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By Leefeller, March 28, 2009 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

prgill,

Background history of the President of Brizal is appreciated, his comment though seems more flamboyant than necessary, does provide some logic, after seeing the Bankers meeting with President Obama yesterday, though maybe not blue eyed? 

It would seem more accurate to call them elite clones, for some reason I saw a vision of the first Republican on stage debate, before the last election.

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By prgill, March 28, 2009 at 5:32 am Link to this comment

Brazilian president, Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva is a former factory worker and labor organizer who became governor of Sao Paulo, the most populous state in Brazil, before incarnating the first truly “popular” presidency of Brazil since the 1985 peaceful transition from military dictatorship. 

Brazilian society has a terrible legacy of social exploitation, religious meddling in public policy and powerful landowners and industrialists with very little interest in promoting an educated and informed electorate. Powerful interest groups have little or no interest in “democratization” and blue-eyed bankers are very much a part of Brazilian social elites in the early 21st century.

Brazilian elites are deeply rooted in the European idea of progress and social justice. With the rise of the internatinoal system, Brazilian elites all too willingly accepted to mortgage their future at the alter of economic progress. In so doing they imported the social contradictions of their economic partners, with their struggles and counter-struggles. Cuba, Chile, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, El Salvador, Granada, Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Nicaragua are only a few of the “social revolutions” we have witnessed in our lifetimes—speaking from the vantage of a 1950 birth year.

Economic and material progress followed, of course, so that Brazil is today, the world’s 10th largest economy.

The train bound for prosperity left millions behind, however, being so much cheap labor and a pliant underclass, if only the elites could limit their organizational abilities.

Over the past 10 years Brazil has found a new voice and has taken its place among equals. Brazil and Argentina have led the move for a Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA or in a mix of Spanish and Portuguese, MERCOSUR) and positioned the region for enfranchisement from North American hegemony. All of which it to their credit.

That Brazil should speak out against strategies for encouraging indebtedness is appropriate. This does not however, ensure social justice, more equitable distribution of national wealth or protection for Amazonian bio-diversity. Nor does it ensure that a country’s leadership will do anything more than pay lip service to these pressing problems.

Politically, Lula had to send a message to his constituency. That message could be little more than a new distraction to divert popular attention from the very real social problems and legacy institutions inherited from, among others, white, blue-eyed bankers.

I hope not.

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By P. T., March 27, 2009 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

And the extreme right wing is blaming Jews on Wall Street and stupid white liberals who pressure banks to make bad loans in minority communities.  This all gets kind of complicated.

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By P. T., March 27, 2009 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

Hmm.  Right-wing talk radio hosts are blaming non-whites with subprime loans.

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By skulz fontaine, March 27, 2009 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment

Precedent Ignatz seems particularly “white” on surface appearance. Besides, we all know that the current ‘economic crisis’ is the fault of the Chinese. Wait a minute, North Koreans? Sudanese? Who in hell is currently vogue for that “axis of evil” crap-o-la? Wait a minute, it’s Eric Cantor’s fault. Yup! We’s got us a “winner.”

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By CJ, March 27, 2009 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

Whereas Portuguese and Spanish (i.e., Cortez) set forth only to see the sights. With absolutely nothing more in mind than whiling away time cruising the globe.

Perhaps Master (Lula) de Silva (a name that does not sound, say, Amaru, to me) knows something we paler types don’t: That only pale-eyed, more-whitish of skin color Portuguese and Spanish set forth to do a tad more than take in scenery. (Those Portuguese a particularly ruthless crew when push came to shove.)

Or maybe in Brazil, same as in the U.S., history’s long forgotten.

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By damian smith, March 27, 2009 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well most of the problems in the world are caused by white people.  Do not get mad at the President of Brazil for telling the truth.  You all need to admit that you all are some evil, hateful, greedy, nasty people.  To the President of Brazil keep up the good work and keep telling the truth.  Job well done Sir. Someone needs to tell the truth in this world.

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By johnnyfarout, March 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

...and here I thought it was all caused by “monied” baby boomers…!

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