A Review of “Race and Ethnicity in Brazil”

The Wikipedia article titled “Race and Ethnicity in Brazil”, overall is a thorough article that covers a wide complex topic. However, that does not mean it is perfect. The subsection on Race and Class has even been flagged by Wikipedia because there are many problems with it. First, there are statistics stated without a citation, which is against the rules of Wikipedia. Secondly, this section does not simply present the facts, which is the goal of the site since it is an encyclopedia, it synthesizes the facts and adds some opinion to them. This also violates the guidelines of Wikipedia.

In the talk section of this article there are many discussions going on, one of which is on the genetics section and whether it should be moved to a different article. The editors are suggesting that a new article be created titled “Population Genetics in Brazil”. They argue that it is not relevant in this article since it adds no information about what the races are and how they are defined. Even though they make good points I disagree with them because the genetic data allows you to determine more information about the racial makeup of the country. The genetic data provides objective numbers on racial makeup as opposed to census data which could be skewed due to false reporting and the subjective determination of race passed only on observation. The genetic data is not skewed like this since it is based on science not observations. For that reason, the genetic data is very relevant if not more relevant than the census data reported in other sections.

This article discusses many topics that we discussed in class. Some including Freyre’s construction of a racial democracy and how this is not really true. Also, the different classifications of race. We also discussed how after the abolition of slavery the government made efforts to “whiten” Brazil.