Black sociologist Jorge da Silva (2008) argues that what happens in Rio de Janeiro is a “scheduled genocide and ethnocide” (1). In his view, it is ethnocide because of the imposition by the dominant group of its value to whom they consider different but can become similar. It is also genocide, however, because the dominant group understands that among those who are different there are those who cannot change, leaving extermination as the only possible solution (5). Silva comprehends as a solution a deep debate within the Brazilian society about racism and the negation that exist a social democracy there. In his view, the absence of discussion is the main tactic of the state and the elite to do not solve the problem.
Scholar João Costa Vargas (2010) argues that anti-black genocide in Rio de Janeiro and throughout the African Diaspora is a race-based and constant process. […] It is important to notice that genocide is not synonymous with murder. Vargas calls attention to William Patterson‘s (1951) analysis that genocide is multidimensional. According to Vargas,
Another important issue to consider is the intentionality of genocidal state violence. Critiques of the genocide approach to state violence are built on the difficulty, practical impossibility, of proving the state‘s intention to practice genocide. On this issue, Vargas suggests that,[t]he multidimensional perspective on genocide is expressed in deadly physical violence, institutionalized discrimination by and in the police, courts, and legislatures; psychological terror, economic and political marginalization, and militarization (4).
For Vargas, there is no need to search for intentionality in order “to comprehend that what really matters are the results of such (in)actions, results that are unquestionably racialized and gendered and produce massive harm and death” (4). He affirms that genocide can be seen in everyday forms of discrimination and that the concepts of symbolic violence and the genocidal continuum allow us to understand genocide as the historically persistent erasure of those deemed less than human.”[i]f we were to divert our attention to the search for intentions, or if we did not adopt a systemic and incremental perspective on genocide, such phenomena would appear disparate in space, time, and nature, and there would be no genocide to be accounted for. (5-6)