Bolsonaro protesters made signs at Resource Center on Tuesday to picket outside World Affairs Council office on Wednesday and at the Old Parkland reception on Thursday. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

Jorge Baldor, a gay man who chairs the World Affairs Council of Dallas, is behind the invitation to homophobic Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to receive an award after venues in New York refused to host the event and the mayor of New York refused to welcome him.

Two protests are planned by LGBT, labor and other groups who oppose Bolsonaro’s homophobia, racism, sexism, anti-environment, anti-indiginous and other heinous statements and positions.

The first is today, (Wednesday, May 15) at 4:30 p.m. outside the office of the World Affairs Council at 325 N. St. Paul St.

The second is during the award ceremony where Dallas World Affair Council will honor racism, sexism, homophobia and other hate speech from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Old Parkland, 3819 Maple Ave.

Resource Center and other organizations have asked the World Affairs Council to cancel the event. City Councilmembers Philip Kingston, Adam Medrano, Oar Narvaez, Mark Clayton, Scott Griggs and incoming Councilmen Chad West and Jaime Resendez wrote to World Affairs Council’s president and board chair about their disappointment in the invitation and have asked Mayor Mike Rawlings not to participate.

May 14, 2019
James N. Falk
President and CEO
Jorge L. Baldor
Chairman of the Board
World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth
325 N. Saint Paul Street, Suite 4200
Dallas, Texas 75201

Dear Mr. Falk and Mr. Baldor,

We are writing to express our profound disappointment that the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth is hosting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at an event here in the diverse and welcoming City of Dallas. Providing President Bolsonaro a platform dangerously normalizes his authoritarianism and shows tacit support for his discriminatory actions, words, and policy positions. President Bolsonaro does not reflect the values of the City of Dallas. We urge the World Affairs Council to disinvite him immediately.

President Bolsonaro’s regime represents a deep disdain for democracy and civil society, and an unprecedented attack on Afro-Brazilians, women, indigenous peoples, and Brazil’s working-class majority since the dark years of Brazil’s military dictatorship. He has given his police and military carte blanche to kill if they feel “a strong emotion.” In the nation with the highest murder rate of LGBTQ residents, President Bolsonaro has expressed hatred of and advocated for violence against members of the LGBTQ community. Tomorrow school teachers, students, and university faculty across Brazil will be on general strike against President Bolsonaro’s proposed thirty percent budget cut to education. We should be in solidarity with those who suffer under his leadership.

In addition, the AFL-CIO issued this statement:

With the rise in authoritarian and fascist regimes across the globe, we encourage the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth to rethink its policy of hosting any head of state to speak. History may not look kindly on these leaders or the organization. Bolsonaro’s 30 percent cuts. The Mayor of New York just rejected a Bolsonaro visit, and Dallas should do the same.

— David Taffet