The Dominican Republic, a country made up of wondrous beaches, breathtaking mountain backdrops, a sweltering desert and extraordinary architecture with many lavish European-owned resorts is in the middle of a clusterfuck. You read it correctly. A CLUSTERFUCK!
Usually, I’m a bit more eloquent but I need to be understood. No sugarcoating. No kind words. Haiti and the Dominican Republic have shared a tumultuous relationship for at least 300 years. La gente del caribe sabe eso. On June 17th, the Dominican government is moving forward to deport at least 100,000 Dominicans (this number is conservative) to Haiti. Notice that I did not say BACK TO HAITI! Almost all of them have no birth records even though they were born in the Dominican Republic to parents that came from Haiti to work the sugar cane fields and were not birthed in hospitals and therefore never issued birth certificates. What’s most disgusting, though not surprising, is that they are all BLACK or as the Dominican government so graciously describes them as “dark-skinned Dominicans with Haitian facial features”.
Haiti is a country that most of the deportees have NEVER known. They’ve no ties to the country other than having a connection by a relative. They’ve spent THEIR ENTIRE LIVES in the Dominican Republic. SON DOMINICANOS. How does a country strip away its own citizens’ patria?
On September 23, 2013- the Constitutional Court in the Dominican Republic issued a bogus order to audit all of the nation’s birth records back to June 1929 to determine who no longer qualifies for citizenship i.e Haitian- descent Dominicans. This idiotic law has left hundreds of thousands of Dominicans with no homeland. Because this particular group of Dominicans are the offspring of Haitian migrant workers with no documentation, they are “in transit” and need a visa to be in the country.
Let me get this straight! A person that was born in DR and has lived their whole life in this one country is “in transit”? Get the fuck outta here! This is absurd. Afro-Dominicans should be up in arms over this foolishness. The country is made up of primarily people of AFRICAN-descent-NOT SPANISH OR INDIGENOUS as so many Dominicans would like for you to believe.
The most upsetting piece of all of this is the law can’t be appealed. There’s no case to plead. Where is the global outrage? APPARENTLY, BLACK LIVES DON’T MATTER IN SITUATIONS ASI!
Edward Paulino, a historian, at John Jay College who has studied the relationship between the two countries described the situation best.
“The Dominican Republic is at a crossroads. What does it mean to be Dominican in the 21st century? It is a country of immigrants, but no other group is like the Haitians, which arrived with the cultural baggage of a history of black pride in a country that chose to identify with the European elite.”
Ironically, this could be detrimental to Afro-Dominicans with no blood ties to Haiti. In poor towns like Azua, Barahona, San Pedro de Macoris, y Sosua where home births happen more frequently, these same people, who seemingly support this travesty of justice, can be deported based on aesthetics. The extreme racism against ANYTHING AFRICAN in DR is no secret but this is some Trujillo 2.0 shit. (The self-hating piece of shit, Trujillo, was of Haitian-descent as well).
This past February, anti-Haitian sentiment resulted in the lynching death of a Haitian immigrant in Santiago. A lynching that took place not in the US but the Dominican Republic. There was no uproar or civil unrest. In fact, people walked past his hanging body like he was a mango ripe for the picking. They ogled him. They were indifferent. They left him there. Yeah, I said it!
LOOK AT THIS IMAGE! Don’t look away. Take it in. That image triggered sadness for me. I could not imagine the terror that he lived in his final hours. He was 19 years old and
shined shoes for a living. He was beaten, bound and then hung. His ONLY crime was being Haitian in a nation that didn’t want him there. This hatred makes my own blackness tangible. Podria pasar en mi pais tambien? Do my husband and his brothers have to worry about their black skin when they go to their own black mother’s birthplace?
I am weak with anger from the ignorance and indifference of this country’s people. I am ashamed for my daughter and husband. I DO NOT SUPPORT A PLACE THAT GIVES BLACK LIFE NO VALUE.
Does this sound familiar?