Even though Brazil’s antigay President Jair Bolsonaro cancelled his upcoming U.S. visit to receive the “Person of the Year” award from the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce on May 14, he plans on visiting Dallas, Texas to “speak to business and civic leaders at a May 16 event hosted by the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth,” according to New York Daily News.
Bolsonaro recently told the press, “I couldn’t visit a city where its highest-ranking official, the mayor in this case, was acting like a radical, preparing and encouraging manifestations of the worst kind against my presence.” He added, “If I can’t be welcomed in New York, we will be in Texas, as everything has been worked out by former President Bush [and Texas Senator Ted Cruz].”
Bolsonaro is mistaken if he thinks Dallas will give him a Texas-sized welcome. In fact, since news of his visit hit the web, social media users have begun circulating the hashtag #TexasCancelBolsonaro. Others are planning protests.
Dallas activists have launched a “NO to Bolsonaro in DFW” Facebook page and planned a May 15 protest. The groups QueerBomb Dallas, Reform Dallas, Take Back Oak Lawn and Transgender Pride of Dallas are helping organize both.
Activists have also launched a petition against Bolsonaro’s visit which lists his attacks on Brazil’s educational system and environmental cleanliness, his support for extrajudicial killings and torture and his outspoken prejudice against Afro-Brazilians, LGBTQ people, Indigenous communities and women and religious and political minorities.
The petition says, “We cannot allow [Bolsonaro] to be honored on Texas soil due to his abhorrent violations of human rights. We call on all the representatives and residents of Texas, as well as the businesses, schools and organizations that operate here, to vehemently denounce Jair Bolsonaro’s plans to travel to Texas between May 14th and May 16th.”
Reuters reports, “The World Affairs Councils of America is a non-profit group that has existed in some form for roughly 100 years with more than 90 affiliates around the United States. They are non-partisan and do not take positions on policy, according to the organization’s website.”
The Council’s chief executive said, “Through events like this, we offer our members the opportunity to hear directly from individuals who hold positions of significance in the world. We look forward to hearing from the president of the largest country in the Southern Hemisphere and the fifth-largest country in the world.”