If Someone Is Black, He Is Suspect: Media Discourse and the Construction of Suspicion in a Brazilian Newspaper

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 10:00
Location: Hörsaal 4A KS (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Maria Cristina GIORGI, CEFET/RJ, Brazil
This paper aims to discuss how language produces a suspicion against black people, through analyses of the way their images are constructed by the media. The methodology used in this research comprises data published in Folha de Sao Paulo – one of the most important newspapers in Brazil – to serve as basis for the selection of the news which composed the corpus. The discourse analysis focused on the “representations” of black people done dialogically throughout the centuries, as well as stories told as truth in order to maintain power relations and perpetuate the differences as a justification to preserve exclusion and violence. Therefore, we intend to provide visibility to racism, which institutionalizes and naturalizes inequalities in the relation between blacks and whites in Brazil. This paper showed the omission of this newspaper about the violation of black people rights under the pretext of media’s neutrality, strengthening, this way, the negative representation of black people made by social, police and justice environments.  Even though Brazil considers itself as a non-racist country and spreads the myth of racial democracy, based on the miscegenation occurred during its history, we understand that the transmission of this kind of discourse tends to keep the privileges of the hegemonic group within a split society – still marked by the sequel of colonization, which even after abolition of slavery reserved subaltern positions for black people.