Lula likens Bolsonaro's Independence Day ceremony to the Ku Kux Klan – MercoPress

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MercoPress, en Español
Montevideo, September 18th 2022 – 05:35 UTC
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva likened the incumbent Jair Bolsonaro's Independence Day parade (Sept. 7) to a Ku Klux Klan show in which the current head of state just “lacked the hood.”
According to the leftwing leader of the Workers’ Party (PT) who is ahead of Bolsonaro in all polls for next month’s elections, the national celebrations marking the Bicentennial of Brazil’s Independence resembled those of the American supremacist group.
In a campaign meeting in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, Lula underlined that “there were no blacks, there were no browns, there were no poor, there were no workers” and defended the labor legislation, particularly the one regarding household work passed in 2013 under then-President Dilma Rousseff, also of the PT, who was Lula’s successor.
“Do you know who voted in 2013 against the labor rights of household workers? Bozo! The current president of the republic” when he was a federal deputy, recalled Lula, who has a 44% voting intentions against Bolsonaro’s 34%, according to a Quaest poll released earlier this week, which also showed that the Liberal Party (PL) had narrowed the gap from July’s figures but would nevertheless not prevail in October.
Bolsonaro – who has improved his projections in the southeastern states of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Minas Gerais – replied early Friday by publishing on his Twitter account a video featuring a black man supporting him during the rally in Copacabana. “It seems that the ex-convict felt excluded after that video,” Bolsonaro joked about Lula’s time in jail. “Perhaps because he saw millions of Brazilians wearing yellow,” he added.
Congressman Carlos Bolsonaro (Republicans-RJ), the president’s son, posted a video of Lula’s speech saying that the former president could not hide his “hatred for the people he cannot control.”
Did he burn a cross? I'm aware that thousands of Confederates fled the US at the end of the Civil War to settle in Brazil, as it was still a slave state, and that to this day their descendants like to dress up in Confederate uniforms and fly the Confederate battle flag, but I've never heard of them reenacting Klan ceremonies…
Samuel Johnson's well known observation, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” may still hold true, but seems to have morphed into 'racism is . . .”. Celebrating the independence of the great nation of Brazil should not be an occasion to hijack the event for political or ideological purposes by either side.
Ambrose Bierce, my favorite American author, has an observation on Johnson's famous statement in his “Devil's Dictionary”…

“PATRIOTISM, n. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name.
In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first. ”
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