Lula's 'White People with Blue Eyes' Spices Up G20
Gordon Brown was visiting Brazil when, during a joint press conference with Lula, the Brazilian president came out and blamed "white people with blue eyes" for the world financial crisis. According to SkyNews, Downing Street says the remarks were meant for "domestic consumption", but I must respectfully disagree.
Brown was visiting Brazil in preparation for next week's G20 meeting to be held in London, which Brown will chair.
“This was a crisis that was fostered and boosted by the irrational behaviour of people who were white and blue-eyed, who before the crisis they looked like they knew everything about economics, but now have demonstrated they know nothing about economics,” he said, mocking the “gods of wisdom” who had had to be bailed out. “The part of humanity that is responsible should be the part that pays for the crisis,” he added.The Independent,
“This is a crisis that was caused by people, white with blue eyes. And before the crisis they looked as if they knew everything about economics,” he said. “Once again the great part of the poor in the world that were still not yet [getting] their share of development that was caused by globalisation, they were the first ones to suffer.Lula didn't rise from abject poverty by indulging in gaffes. Indeed, Lula's objective of Brazil becoming a world leader (not a far-fetched dream considering that Brazil is the world's ninth-largest economy, an oil producing country, a nuclear country, and the world's eighth most populous country) is first and foremost in ensuring that Brazil is, as Moisés Naím puts it,
“Since I am not acquainted with any black bankers, I can only say that this part of humanity that is the major victim of the world crisis, these people should pay for the crisis? I cannot accept that. If the G20 becomes a meeting just to set another meeting, we’ll be discredited and the crisis can deepen.”
in the debates concerning the rules governing international trade, energy, the environment, and the redesign of the international financial system.For decades, Lula has also been driving home a message that the world's poor are victims of the rich countries' irresponsible mistakes.
Bearing in mind that the G20 is about to start next week, and Lula is pushing for the the world’s biggest economies to provide $100 billion to boost global trade, in addition to greater regulation of financial markets and an anti-protectionism message, Lula's words are not words meant exclusively for domestic consumption. Instead, they are meant to drive the message that the world's poor people should not be forced to pay for the global financial crisis. Witness his words,
His colourful language served as a reminder of the diplomatic challenge Mr Brown faces to forge agreement among the 20 largest economies. “Our meeting in London has to be spicy, it has to have a bit of heat,” said the Brazilian leader — in stark contrast to Mr Brown’s repeated claims of an emerging international consensus.It's going to be a spicy G20, indeed.