What once seemed totally impossible is now a reality. That could be said of Brexit, of Trump, and now, of Jair Bolsonaro, the recently elected far-right President of Brazil. “The once inconceivable election of the 63-year-old populist provocateur on Sunday represents a hammer blow to Brazil’s left and to millions of progressive Brazilians appalled by his hostility towards black, gay and indigenous people as well as the environment and human rights,” the Guardian reports. And that just scratches the surface.
This former army captain has threatened to imprison his opponents, denies climate change, and has said that he’s proud to be homophobic. But perhaps it’s best to let him speak for himself. Here is a glimpse of Bolsonaro, straight from his own mouth:
“Because women get more labor rights than men, meaning they get maternity leave, the employer prefers to hire men … I would not employ [women equally]. But there are a lot of competent women out there.”
“I would not rape you because you are not worthy of it.”
“If a gay couple came to live in my building, my property will lose value. If they walk around holding hands, kissing, it will lose value! No one says that out of fear of being pinned as homophobe.”
“The lightest Afro-descendant there weighed seven ‘arrobas’. They don’t do anything. They are not even good for procreation.”
Terrified yet? You can learn more about his most vitriolic statements in this chilling New York Times piece.
Opinion: Fascism has arrived in Brazil – Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency will be worse than you think https://t.co/Z3s3Z0SxUM
— The Independent (@Independent) October 29, 2018
While Bolsonaro’s success in Brazil is upsetting enough, it’s also a worrying sign that the far-right movement is in full swing globally. Nationalist and far-right parties have been gaining momentum across Europe, Donald Trump is president, and now the biggest economy in Latin America has a far-right leader. It’s spreading. If there’s a moment we need to wake up and start addressing this as a global issue, it’s right now.