Luiz Valerio de Paula TrindadeJul 2, 2021
No Laughing Matter
Race Joking and Resistance in Brazilian Social Media
Vernon Press 2020
No Laughing Matter: Race Joking and Resistance in Brazilian Social Media (Vernon Press, 2020) examines the social phenomenon of construction and dissemination of colonial-like racist discourses fostered against upwardly-mobile black women through disparagement humour on social media platforms, adopting a fresh and innovative perspective. In this book, Luiz Valério P. Trindade explores the idea that disparagement humour might not be as exempt of social impact as the jokers might believe, and that, in fact, this kind of humour reveals the hidden facet of deep-seated colonial ideologies still present in Brazilian society despite being hailed as a unique model of a post-racial society. The author argues that these ideologies establish and naturalise superior social positions and symbolic privileges to whites while undermining and delegitimising black women's upward social mobility. Social media platforms enable the proponents of these beliefs not only to engage in the practice of online hate speech but also to attract a considerable number of like-minded people, creating a long-lasting echo chamber effect in the cyberspace. This way, they manage to amplify the reach and reverberation of their racist discourses in the online environment in ways not commonly seen in Brazilian offline social contexts.
Candela Marini is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies and Spanish at MSOE University.