Lula: Racial equality measures are a way of paying off historic debt

The debt came as a result of racism, the president argued

Published on 20/11/2023 - 15:21 By Paula Laboissière, Andreia Verdélio - Brasília

Unveiling a new package of racial equality measures on Monday (Nov. 20), Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva referred to the efforts as the payment of a historic debt.

“What we’ve done here today is pay off a historic debt that white supremacy has built up in this country since it was discovered. We just want to recompose the reality of a democratic society,” he stated.

The set of 13 actions—presented by Racial Equality Minister Anielle Franco in partnership with ten other ministries and federal bodies—includes national initiatives, the recognition of quilombola territories, grants for exchange programs, cooperation agreements, inter-ministerial working groups, and other plans that guarantee or expand the right to life, inclusion, memory, land, and reparation.

“Everything we’ve signed now is like planting a tree. For this tree to work, it has to be planted. It has to be watered. It has to get sun. It needs fertilizer. And you are the fertilizer for a public policy to work,” he said. “These things we’ve signed here, in order for them to work, you must demand that they work,” the president declared.

On November 20, Brazil celebrates Black Awareness Day.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Graça Adjuto

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