International Day of Tolerance: Religious intolerants will not pass

International Day of Tolerance: Religious intolerants will not pass
International Day of Tolerance: Religious intolerants will not pass

On the 31st of October, a son of a saint from my house was admitted to the Carlos Chagas Hospital, in Rio de Janeiro, with a condition of stroke (cerebrovascular accident). According to the buzios, his health condition would get worse.

I tried to get into the hospital on November 2nd to provide religious care and I couldn’t. We tried everything: lawyers, Alerj commission (Legislative Assembly of the State of Rio de Janeiro), police. No one was sensitive. The hospital director did not allow me to use half a minute in the ICU to try to do something spiritually with the patient.

Four days after the incident, after a black uprising on social media, newspapers, radio and TV, I buried my son, Jerônimo Rufino dos Santos Junior, in Cemitério do Caju.

I have never been in the situation of burying a member of my ilê — a word that, translated from Yoruba, a Nigerian language, means “house” and is used to name candomblé centers as a meeting place and ancestral home. I never even wanted to think about the possibility of burying a child. When we talk about family from an African perspective, it’s not about DNA, it’s about SoulDNA. And, from that perspective, a son is a son. There is a son younger than me and a son older than me too. But everything is son! And losing them, tears apart.

But I didn’t just lose an orixá’s son. I lost an incredible leadership that was just love. It was the person who welcomed those who arrived at the house for the first time. He was the one who charmed everyone with his baby tooth smile.

Jeronimo was a genius artist! His trumpet delighted in demonstrations of “Lula Livre”, in Carnival bands and in the charanga of Flamengo, his heart team. In life, he was Jerônimo do Trompete. In axé, Father Jerome of Ogun.

I am absolutely certain that he never thought that he would be the protagonist of a fierce fight against the damned religious intolerance. No one imagined that a black, fat, poor and candomblé Brazilian would be capable of so much commotion.

And I go further. The repercussions of the case opened Pandora’s box, from which came the most terrible comments, posted on social networks: “Mimimi”, “These people like to raise controversy about everything”, “This law is only in the minds of these people”, “CTI ? Spare me!

What do some think about us? That our people lack discernment? That we don’t know our rights? That we don’t have a soul because we’re not Christians? On the International Day of Tolerance, I say: respect our sacred!

Dealing with racism and explicit intolerance is killing Jerônimo once again. And he will die every time racism and bigotry knock on our door. At the door of the people of axé, at the door of the black people.

Now it will be like this! Racist, religious bigots will not pass!

The mayor of Rio de Janeiro had the sensitivity to launch a decree in favor of our cause, so that episodes like this do not happen again. Decree is not law, but it is already a victory! Xangô’s justice does not delay or fails.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: International Day Tolerance Religious intolerants pass