Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

David Duke Supports Brazilian Presidential Candidate

Former grand wizard of the KKK David Duke announced his endorsement for the racist, misogynistic, and extreme-right Brazilian frontrunner in this year’s presidential elections, Jair Bolsonaro

Marisela Trevin

October 18, 2018
Facebook Twitter Share

Image credit: Blog do Esmael

During his radio program on October 9, former grand wizard of the KKK David Duke announced his endorsement for the racist, misogynistic, and extreme-right Brazilian frontrunner in this year’s presidential elections, Jair Bolsonaro. “He is a European descendant. He looks like any white man in America, in Portugal, Spain or Germany and France or UK. He is talking about the demographic disaster that exists in Brazil and the enormous crime rate that exists there, like in the black neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro. He sounds like us. He is also a very strong candidate. He’s a nationalist,” said Duke, excited that “nationalist movements which are basically pro-European are definitely sweeping the world, even in countries you never thought of.”

Riding a wave of rising anger in Brazil against the traditional party system amidst a prolonged recession, high crime rates, and widespread corruption, Bolsonaro won the first round of the Brazilian elections last October 7 by a wide margin, and his once insignificant political force Social Liberal Party (PSL) is now poised to become the largest force in Congress, following legislative elections held alongside the presidential vote. With the second round of the elections less than two weeks away, Bolsonaro was quick to reject Duke’s endorsement. “I reject any type of support coming from supremacist groups,” wrote Bolsonaro in English on his Twitter account. “I suggest that, for consistency, they support my adversary, the candidate of the left party, who loves to segregate the society.” He added that Duke’s statements were offensive to Brazilian people, “the most beautiful and mixed race people in the world.”

The moderate image Bolsonaro is now attempting to project in the lead-up to the second round of the elections is belied, however, by the inflammatory rhetoric on which he built his career on the fringes of political life in Brazil until his recent rise the polls. Just last year, at a speech he gave at a Jewish club in Rio, he said that quilombolas, the descendants of Afro-Brazilian slaves who escaped from slave plantations and founded their own settlements, “are completely useless; they’re not even fit for procreation.” When asked in 2011 what he would do if his son fell in love with a black woman, he answered “I don’t run that risk because my sons were very well educated.” And in a country in which indigenous peoples suffer daily attacks on their land, with the assassination of their leaders, Bolsonaro said in an interview earlier this year “If I take office, the Indians will not get another inch of land.”

But oppressed racial groups in Brazil have not been his only target. Bolsonaro has made no bones about his misogyny, explaining in 2015 that women must earn lower wages because they get pregnant and saying to a woman lawmaker in 2014 that she didn’t “deserve” to be raped because she wasn’t attractive enough. Bolsonaro is also notorious for his anti-LGBT views and has said that he would rather his son die in an accident than have a gay son.

With regard to immigration, the political leader has said that Brazil cannot be an open-border country. In the context of a brutal attack last August against Venezuelan immigrants at the Brazilian border in Roraima, he stated that the UN should create “concentration camps” for refugees and immigrants in Brazil.

Equally disturbing are the laudatory remarks he has made about Brazil’s military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985, going so far as to call it “glorious” in statements made in 2015 and asserting that under the dictatorship Brazil enjoyed 20 years of order and progress. “The mistake of the dictatorship was torturing and not killing,” said Bolsonaro, who is himself a former army captain.

Bolsonaro’s hateful rhetoric has stoked a climate of political violence, mostly against supporters of Fernando Haddad, the presidential candidate for the Worker’s Party, whom he will face in the runoff on October 28. The recent politically motivated attacks have ranged from verbal assaults to beatings and stabbings, and at least two attacks were fatal. On October 16, a transgender woman was knifed to death in downtown São Paulo by assailants who yelled out Bolsonaro’s name, and on October 7, capoeira Master Moa Katendê, an activist for the defense and promotion of black culture, was stabbed 12 times by a PSL supporter.” The 12 stab-wounds to Maestro Moa’s body came directly from the mouth of Bolsonaro, his party, and his allies, who promote hatred against blacks, northeasterners, and immigrants,” said Marcello Pablito, leader of the Brazilian black people’s organization Quilombo Vermelho.

In a country in which a large part of the electorate is black or of multiple racial backgrounds, Bolsonaro has been toning down his rhetoric in recent weeks, calling for unity among blacks and whites. But although David Duke’s endorsement of Bolsonaro could be seen as detrimental to the political leader’s efforts to win the runoff, the parallels between Bolsonaro’s ideology and the political positions held by Duke, a misogynistic, anti-immigrant white supremacist, are unmistakable.

Facebook Twitter Share

Latin America

Brazilan President Jair Bolsonaro, seen in Brasilia, Brazil in April.

Against Bolsonaro’s Coup and Reforms — For Demonstrations and Strikes without Bankers and Businessmen

Left Voice’s co-thinkers in Brazil answer a cynical class-collaborationist effort to channel Brazil’s working-class discontent into the election campaign of Lula’s Broad Front ticket. The latter represents the interests of the bourgeoisie and bosses who are tired of Bolsonaro and his threats of a coup should he lose his reelection bid.

Central American migrants in a caravan going from Chiapas to the U.S.

New Migrant Caravan Heads to the U.S. — Open the Borders

Central American migrants left in a caravan from Chiapas, Mexico headed for the United States. We need to fight for full rights and freedom of movement for migrants.

Three Weeks of Historic Mobilization in Panama Against Inflation and Inequality

Panama has been paralyzed by major demonstrations, roadblocks, occupations, and strikes in several sectors. The uprising is rooted in rising prices, corruption, and inequality that has grown since the beginning of the pandemic.

Mateo Falcone

July 26, 2022
Protesters in Santiago, Chile. Some are holding a big PTR banner.

For an Independent Working-Class Voice on Chile’s Newly Proposed Constitution

Left Voice’s sister organization in Chile, the PTR, is opening the pages of its newspaper for a “collective exchange” on the country’s new constitution being proposed for a September nationwide referendum. The aim is to reconstitute the working-class struggle for popular demands that emerged from the uprising in October 2019.

MOST RECENT

Several Fordham adjuncts standing with their fists in the air.

Fordham University Hates Adjuncts

Fordham University remains committed to paying adjunct faculty far less than a living wage, depriving them of health benefits, and discriminating against faculty in the Graduate School of Social Services.

Olivia Wood

August 8, 2022

Gaza and Al-Aqsa Under Attack in Latest Zionist Israeli Military Onslaught

Over the weekend, the Gaza Strip was attacked by Zionist Israeli military forces and Al-Aqsa Mosque was stormed by ultra-nationalists. We need international solidarity in the streets for Palestine, demanding that not a penny more of imperialist governments’ money go to Israel.

Emma Lee

August 8, 2022
A slightly blurry photo of a crowd of people all raising their fists.

Subalterns, Postcolonialists, and the Specter of Capital: A Polemic from Marxism

The theories of the “postcolonialists” condemn us to the mere repetition of local resistance with no way out of the brutal plundering of people by imperialism, multiple repressions, and exploitation. The socialist strategy is a tool to eradicate the society based on this brutality.

NYPD Violently Arrest 5 Abortion Rights Activists at a Clinic Defense

On Saturday, five people were violently arrested protecting abortion access in NYC, while NYPD protected anti-choicers attempting to harass patients.

Molly Rosenzweig

August 6, 2022