It is March 2023, five years since the political assassination of councilor Marielle Franco. In Brazil, we live in a transition from the Bolsonaro government to Lula, rebuilding the ruins that the extreme right left in institutional politics, although it is still permeated in society.
Marielle Franco was a black woman, human rights defender, LGBTQIA+ activist and councilor elected by PSOL with more than 46,000 votes and author of the Lesbian Visibility Law Project. The day after her murder, there were countless defamations, insults and slander against Marielle. There were even accusations of links to drug trafficking.
It is enough to remember the case of the judge who distributed fake news and hate speech on social media. Acquitted, the judge stated that she was “fooled by a campaign of rumors on the networks”. Now, where is the responsibility of the person who contributed to this network of lies and hate?
:: Case of Marielle: ‘My mother should be remembered for her trajectory, not for the unanswered crime’ ::
This episode goes back to Hannah Arendt’s concept of the banality of evil about Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem. Wouldn’t the judge, armed with knowledge and legislation, be aware of the effects and consequences of spreading rumors about a black woman who publicly loved women?
This was not an isolated case of hatred towards Marielle Franco. Under the justification of parliamentary immunity, countless politicians used their networks to expand and promote hate speeches against an elected black woman.
They wanted to murder his memory, mock mourning, disrespect his legacy, tear apart the imaginary. We are experiencing a collective trauma, a grief that has pierced every black woman like an arrow that does not stop bleeding. Many of us homeless. Even in the face of this scenario, social networks and the media itself were a mainstay of disrespect to her memory.
Read more: “In a serious country we would not have an investigation dragging on for 4 years”, says Marielle’s mother
And to this day we see this kind of action. Survey carried out by the Agency land no Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube e TikTok shows that platforms have failed over the years to curb false narratives created in 2018 and maintain hate speech and lies against Marielle. The study also points out that the attacks extended to her sister, Anielle Franco, current Minister of Racial Equality.
The intellectual Lélia Gonzalez already pointed out: “Black women are the main focus of social and sexual inequalities in Brazilian society. This is where these two types of inequality are concentrated, not to mention class inequality. What we realize is that, in our society, social, racial and sexual classifications make the black woman an object of the most serious stereotypes”. by society, both on social media and on the streets.
In relation to black LGBT women, these narratives amplify during the electoral period. According to the “Information Ecosystem Analysis (IEA) of the black LGBTQIAP+ population in the city of Rio de Janeiro”, carried out by DataLabe with Internews support, 54% of the people interviewed stated that they feel that hate speech increases during the electoral period.
In addition to this escalation of political violence, there is information in the survey that reveals the “terror of physical, sexual and psychological violence”, affecting the participation of black LGBTQIAP+ in the electoral process. According to the analysis, “there were subjects who stated that they did not feel like going to vote, given the various attacks that a portion of the population suffered, especially black people and LGBTQIAP+”.
:: Marielle Franco: Rio MP appoints members to investigate councilor’s death::
The racist thought and structure that produce and/or disseminate these narratives are based on a process of disengagement and dehumanization of the black population, preventing the exercise of citizenship and political participation. This process of dehumanization stems from a long and violent process of colonization and enslavement that is reflected in the media and social structures.
There is still a long way to go for us, black LBTQIA+ women, to be able to access and remain in politics and spaces of power without risking our lives. For this, firm action by the State is needed in the social and economic regulation of digital platforms that cannot trivialize highly disseminated racial, sexual and gender violence.
In this process of struggle and resistance, we have black LGBTQIA+ popular and community communication in order to expand our imaginaries and build a society where we can affirm and echo our identities without being targets and fuel for violence. We Black LBTQIA+ women will not be stopped.
*Camila Marins is a journalist, studying for a master’s degree in public policies in human rights at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and editor of Revista Brejeiras.
**The opinions expressed in this text do not necessarily represent the position of the newspaper. Brazil in fact.
Source: BdF Rio de Janeiro
Editing: Mariana Pitasse
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