“Most Racist” Article of the Year Goes to…

I’m traveling outside the U.S. right now, so more tuned into international news of racism at the moment. Along those lines, Jerome Taylor, writing at IndyBlogs, notes that the award for the “Most Racist Article of the Year” has just been handed out by Survival International, a human rights organization that campaigns on behalf of indigenous tribal peoples. The dubious distinction goes to the Parguayan newspaper La Nacion for an article about a group of indigenous Indians who had taken over a square in the city of Asuncion. Here’s Taylor’s description of the piece:

Comparing them to a “dangerous cancer, spreading bad smells, destruction and contamination” the article went on to call this particular tribe “Neo-lithic” with a “withered culture” and said they should return to the jungle to “carry on living with the animals”.

The “award” that Survival International will send the editors of the paper is a certificate inscribed with a quotation from Luther Standing Bear, of the Lakota Souix (UPDATED: with thanks to Bryce for the correction) a Native American author who died in 1939. The inscription reads: “All the years of calling the Indian a savage has never made him one.”

More about racism outside the U.S. in upcoming posts.


  1. Joe

    Clearly, in both North and South America indigenous peoples are not recognized for their long oppression at the hands of intruders from northern and southern Europe. It is they who ought to speak of the “bad values”of those people of European ancestry who killed off their tens of millions of their ancestors by disease and genocide, and made them subordinate to the European outsiders and their descendants.

  2. Vincenzo Lauriola

    I would like to propose Brazilian federal Deputy Aldo Rebelo for the 2009 award of most racist statement of the year:

    This week’s Brazilian magazine Veja quotes one of his most recent statements, referring to the Raposa Serra do Sol Indigenous Land demarcation, finally approved as continuous area by the Brazilian Supreme Court, which he has strongly campained against over the last year:
    ” The indians on the reservation have almost the status of an agouti, a paca” (two species of south american rodents).

  3. u/ you can’t say that about the federal brazilian deputy Aldo Rebelo it’s out of context and he is a decendent of indians.
    In his web site we can see the entire text with this words but there is nothing to do with racism

    please i ask that the people who decides the winner of the “prize” make a research to don’t blame inocent and working people.

    thank you

  4. Vincenzo Lauriola

    Anyone willing to appreciate my proposal can find abundant similar references, especially related to Aldo Rebelo’s position and iniciatives against brazilian indigenous peoples’ rights. Besides being one of the most prominent political figures who has been fighting against Raposa Serra do Sol indigenous land recognition over the last years, he is co-author of a law project which submits indigenous land demarcation to parliament decision, which would mean an end to indigenous land recognition, and possibly revision of lands already demarcated. As a matter of fact, he just won today, (environment day) a similar prize: that of “member of parliament enemy of the amazon”, awarded by the Braszilian Forum of NGOs and Social Movements for Environment and Development (FBOMS), Socio-environmental Institute (ISA), Greenpeace, Imazon, Friends of the Earth Brazilian Amazon, and the Landless Movement (MST). Check the website:


    A strong item on his CV towards other similar prizes… don’t you think?

  5. Vincenzo Lauriola

    You may also check

    Motivations for the enemy prize awarded to Aldo Rebelo:

    • Believes that indians are backward factors for Brazil, and is author of a law project trying to stop indigenous lands demarcation in the country
    • He strongly struggled in favor of 6 farmers who refused to leave Raposa Serra do Sol Indigenous Land
    • He voted in favor of provisional measure (decree) n. 458, criticized for for legalizing illegal privatisation of public lands in the Amazon, thus justifying and fostering illegal deforestation

  6. here is the lçaw project ion it self you may look at it


    “Submits to Congress the demarcation of land
    traditionally occupied by Indians.

    Bill No. 4791, 2009
    (Of Mr. Aldo Rebelo and Ibsen Pinheiro)

    The National Congress decrees:

    Article 1. The demarcation of lands traditionally occupied by
    Indians will be subject to the approval of Congress, in
    terms of the arts. 22, XIV, 49, X and 231 of the Federal Constitution.

    § 1. In assessing the demarcation, the National Congress to establish
    existence of the requirements referred to in art. 231 of
    Federal Constitution and may adopt it, determine steps
    Further, to hold public hearings to hear
    challenges, changing the area demarcated or reject it in whole or
    in part.

    § 2. In the range of border demarcation in the Council of Defense
    National will be heard prior to consideration by the Congress
    National under arts. 20, § 2 and 91, § 1, III and IV of
    Federal Constitution, subject to applicable law.

    Article 2. This law enters into force on the date of its publication.”


  1. Blog - Survival International
  2. Reactions to our ‘Most Racist Article of the Year’ award « a amazónia, os índios e eu: notícias & outras correspondências

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