She may be Time Magazine’s youngest-ever “Person of the Year,” but this is unlikely to impress Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who referred to the 16-year-old climate activist as “a brat” the day before she received the prestigious designation.
Bolsonaro’s insult came in response to Thunberg’s claim that “indigenous people are literally being murdered” for trying to prevent deforestation in Brazil. The teen took to her Twitter account to try and raise awareness for her cause:
Indigenous people are literally being murdered for trying to protect the forrest from illegal deforestation. Over and over again. It is shameful that the world remains silent about this. https://t.co/u1eLE8t0K4
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) December 8, 2019
As reported in the New York Post, In response to Thunberg’s online post, President Bolsonaro told journalists “Greta said that the Indians died because they were defending the Amazon. “It’s impressive that the press is giving space to a brat like that.”
In a move that signaled she was apparently unfazed by the Brazilian president’s dismissal, Thunberg changed her Twitter profile to describe herself as a “pirralha,” which is Portuguese for “brat.” However, this change was short-lived on the activists account, as it was soon no longer visible.
In being named Time’s “Personal of the Year,” Thunberg beat out some heavy competition. President Trump (Time’s 2016 “Person”), American soccer star Meghan Rapinoe, the anonymous “whistleblower,” and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were all reported as among the finalists, according to Fox News.
In their profile of the activist, Time describes Thunberg’s humble beginnings before attaining worldwide notoriety: Thunberg began a global movement by skipping school: starting in August 2018, she spent her days camped out in front of the Swedish Parliament, holding a sign painted in black letters on a white background that read Skolstrejk för klimatet: “School Strike for Climate.”
Thunberg would eventually become a household name this past Summer, famous sailing across to Atlantic to champion her cause and excoriate world leaders for their inaction on climate/environmental related issues: “How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, and yet, I am one of the lucky ones,” she famously proclaimed.
Written by Red Blue Divide editorial staff.