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Brazil votes affirmative action for blacks and minorities in federal universities

Friday, August 10th 2012 - 07:57 UTC
Full article 16 comments
According to the census 51% of Brazilians are black or mixed race According to the census 51% of Brazilians are black or mixed race

The Brazilian Senate has approved an affirmative action bill that reserves half the spots in federal universities for high school graduates of public schools, and distributes them according to the racial makeup of each state.

The Senate’s news agency says the bill that was approved earlier this week now goes to President Dilma Rousseff, who is expected to approve it.

The reserved spots will be distributed among black, mixed race and indigenous students proportionally to the racial composition of each state, the official agency said.

Sen. Paulo Paim said the bill will benefit most Brazilian students because private schools account for just one of 10 students.

The Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that it was constitutional for universities to use racial quotas.

Brazil has more citizens of African ancestry than any nation other than Nigeria. According to the census 51% of Brazil’s 192 million people are black or of mixed-race.

Backers say the use of scholarships, quotas and other policies aimed at getting more blacks and mixed-race Brazilians into universities is needed to right the historic wrongs of slavery, centuries of stark economic inequality and a society in which whites are overwhelmingly in leadership roles in government and business.

‘‘The bill makes social justice with a majority of Brazil’s population,’’ said Senator Ana Rita. But Sen. Aloysio Nunes Ferreira voted against the bill, saying, ‘‘it straitjackets universities because it violates their management autonomy”.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

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  • Alexei

    A very bad idea. Brazilian Federal universities were the best in South America. Admission was based on merit. So-called 'affirmative action', in this instance, will be based on racial profiling. Standards will inevitably have to be lowered in order to admit applicants who would otherwise not qualify. This is not a victimless crime. Better qualified and more capable students will lose places they have rightly earned, and have their lives ruined.

    Aug 10th, 2012 - 08:47 am 0
  • The Chilean perspective

    This may sound like a bad idea but you have to keep in mind the severity of the situation. The coloreds in Brazil will never be able to fully participate in their countries prosperity unless they get a leg up and since no ones gonna do it, it falls on the government to take the drastic action necessary. Some better qualified students WILL miss out but tough luck its the least they could do considering the centuries of hardship these downtrodden people have endured. Hey and I'm no bleeding heart Commie, I'm a conservative but credit where credit is due. Good one Brazil.

    Aug 10th, 2012 - 10:20 am 0
  • Eddieposted

    State discrimination against the european minority will be bad for Brazil.

    Aug 10th, 2012 - 10:43 am 0
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