The introduction of the Racial Quota System in education as a form of Affirmative Action not only provides black and poor students with the opportunity to get specialization in the Brazilian universities but also challenges a lot of young people to identify themselves as white or black. On the one hand, the usage of the Racial Quota System in a country with great racial diversity is a kind of racism and discrimination when people should divide themselves into two opposite groups. On the other hand, quotas can give poor young people an opportunity to receive a good education and compete within the job market successfully. However, young people have different visions of the problem and negotiate their racial identity in the new context from the perspective of many factors, paying attention to the contrasting issues of racial discrimination and equal opportunity.
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Josie DeSouza is inclined to identify herself as black to receive the chance to start a new life, study business administration and move from the slums of Brasilia. Thus, it is typical for her to discuss herself as a black, and she states that the new quota system is a good opportunity for poor people to get an education, and those persons who are against the system are rich men. That is why Josie’s identity is the chance to help herself to change her future life.
Rafael Mendez attends the private school Galois. He is brought up in a family of engineers, and he also plans to become a civil engineer. Rafael focuses on the negative sides of implementing a Racial Quota System in education. The young man will be a general applicant because of his racial identity, but Rafael explains his opposition to the system with references to increasing the level of racism and discrimination in society. He prepares much for the examinations and tests and hopes to enter the University of Brasilia, but the problem is in the accentuated division of society into blacks and whites.
Karinny DeSilva concentrates little on her racial identity, and she plans to use the concept to gain some benefits. Thus, Karinny is a light-skinned girl, but she is ready to identify herself as a black to enter the university with the help of the Racial Quota System. Karinny is a very purposeful girl and she can use every opportunity to achieve the goal. She agrees that the system makes accents on the racial differences, but it is possible to use the benefits of the system. The problem of identity is not critical for Karinny. Nevertheless, there is the problem that the girl does not look black.
Jolanda DeSantos is used to reaching the goals using only her own knowledge and abilities. Jolanda has the opportunity to use the quota system benefits, but she rejects to use it because she does not agree to identify herself as black and as a result to put herself in the definite racial frames. The girl knows much about job racial discrimination, but she will not use the quota system because it is also a kind of discrimination in relation to whites who have to apply without any benefits. Thus, according to Jolanda, the factor of identity should not matter much in the discussed situation.
Karen Dimarco belongs to the middle-class whites and attends Galois private school. The girl wants to specialize in medicine and she prepares much for the examinations because it is difficult to compete while entering the university. Her family is used to paying for what is necessary for life, but identifying themselves as white, the members of Karen’s family argue why the black people should receive some benefits in the situation when equal opportunity is accentuated.