Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.
I was born in Haiti and I spent some great times there as a child. When I was 8 years old, my parents arranged for us to migrate to the US. Every time I meet a Dominican in the US, I speak Spanish to them. We often say, we are neighbors (somos vecinos). I love my Dominican “neighbors” but I am very disturbed about what their leaders are doing to the people who have done some of the hardest work in that country. I hope Dominicans and all kinds of people will rise up and say, “This adverse treatment of people of Haitian descent cannot continue (Caribbean leaders consider sanction against the Dominican Republic – Haiti – MiamiHerald.com).”
I have seen a lot in Haiti. I lived there in the times of the Duvalier dictatorship. I was there when bombs were dropped on the capital, as people tried to overthrow that government. I had the opportunity to return in March 2010 to assist those who had experienced the devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of Haitians. Haitians have been through a lot.
Currently, it disturbs me to hear and see the atrocities being perpetuated against Haitians and those of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic. More than 200,000 Dominicans of Haitians descent are being stripped of their right to citizenship (Dominicans of Haitian Descent Cast Into Legal Limbo by Court – NYTimes.com ). Although they were born on Dominican soil, they are being treated as aliens. The worst is that most of them were born to parents who were brought over to work on the sugar plantations and to do other labor intensive tasks.
At one point, Haiti (Island of Hispaniola) was one. All the slaves that were brought over were from Africa. The French and the Spanish occupied the island. Haitians were enslaved by the French, while Dominicans were enslaved by the Spaniards. Both countries have African ancestry, they are genetically linked. No matter how you put it, there is “black” on both sides of the Island . Unfortunately, there has been a continued campaign to descriminate against those exhibiting the traits of their darker, African, ancestry. Those in power have had a long history of creating and pushing negative propaganda designed to paint their darker relatives as primitive, uncivilized and insignificant (sound familiar?).
The Dominican Republic actually had a campaign where 20,000 – 35,000 Haitians were massacred in October, 1937 by order of the then, dictator, Rafael Trujillo (Windows on Haiti: The River Massacre ). Trujillo identified those to be executed by seeing how they pronounced the Spanish word for parsley, perejil. Whoever did not roll the “r” was executed. They were identified as “Haitian.” They had been killed because they were dark-skinned and not “white.” Trujillo got his inspiration from Adolf Hitler. He and his followers tried as much as possible to create a nation that was mostly white or light-skinned in appearance by removing any “black” presence among them (Haiti: Antihaitianismo in Dominican Culture).
State officials of the Dominican Republic (Dominican Republic breaks off Haiti talks over immigration ruling | Reuters) have launched a campaign that served to dehumanize those of Haitian descent. They have made massive efforts to demonize dark-skinned inhabitants of their country. This is a very dangerous and evil practice. They have stripped their darker relatives of their citizenship and many have been attacked and killed. The Dominican government has taken the first steps to “legalizing” the genocide of a people. So what is the next step? Currently, any dark-skinned individual is called, “Haitian,” and is usually mistreated. This is ironic, considering the fact that most Dominicans are seen as “black” or Afro-Latino by the world at large.
Haitians have been slaughtered in public (Haitian Man Slaughtered “Live” In The Dominican Republic). No one with any heart for humanity should close their eyes to what is occurring in the Dominican Republic. They have also allowed them to be robbed of their hard-earned money and no justice has been given on their behalf. Dominican officials have allowed mobs to attack dark-skinned Dominicans and have allowed those defenseless people to be murdered by those mobs. They are being treated as the “undesirables” of the country, just like Hitler did to the Jews during World War II.
I dare say, if the world does not open its eyes to this scheme, it is possible that we will have another genocide (bigger than the one from 1937). Remember, Adolf Hitler, he robbed the Jews of their citizenship. He devised a way to identify and label them among the population (they had to wear a star) and they were called, “rats” and likened to them as well. Anyone who saw those wearing the star mocked those people and mistreated them, just like Dominicans of Haitian descent are being mistreated. This is not a coincidence. Eventually, Hitler had the “final solution.” The Jews were removed permanently – they were killed by shootings, hangings and gas chambers . Will there be a “final solution” in the Dominican Republic like Hitler had one? During World War II, this occurred while the whole world watched. After that sadistic and state-sanctioned genocide, the Jews and everybody with a conscience said, “Never again!” If anything like what is Happening to the Dominican-Haitians was occurring to Jews in this day, there would be a huge outcry because more than anyone else, the Jews know the signs of state-sponsored genocide and actions that can hint of such a genocide.
We cannot let this mistreatment of a people in the Dominican Republic continue any further. We all need to say, “This will not happen here!” I will not let it happen. I hope as you read this, you say, “I will not let it happen under my watch!” We must let the leaders of the Dominican Republic know that we all see what they are doing and we do not agree! We must all send a message to them that we will not support their country in this decision. We must put pressure on the legistlators in the US to confront this racism and oppression (http://ohsaynation.com/#!compose?&campaign=1&t=156).
As we mourn the death of the great leader, Nelson Mandela, we must remember the power that a community standing together has in being able to make a change in the interest of the oppressed. Right now, the darker skinned Dominicans, those of Haitian descent, are being oppressed and they need us to rally on their behalf. We must send a MESSAGE to the heads of State in the Dominican Republic and to regular citizens who sit idly by, and tell them, “This is not acceptable!” We must speak on behalf of those who are losing their voice. We must send a message to the suffering Dominican-Haitians that we are resolved to speak on their behalf. They must know that they have friends who will speak for them and fight for them. We must let them know. The Dominicans of Haitian descent must know that they have support from the “outside.” They must understand that their hope for relief and justice is not in vain.
I was at a store and I picked up an avocado. I found a large one that I wanted to buy. I looked for the price and noticed that it was from the Dominican Republic. I quickly put it down. I could not support a country which treats its people like garbage. I can’t say like dogs or pigs, because those animals have received better treatment than what the Dominicans of Haitian descent are receiving.
The tourism industry and exporters of Dominican products must know that we are aware of what their officials are doing and we will not support such acts of cruelty and inhumanity. We must make this a discussion that is so LOUD that they will seriously reconsider and repeal the constitutional provision (Sentencia TC/0168/13 | Tribunal Constitucional de la República Dominicana) designed to strip away the citizenship of Dominicans of Haitian descent. My first act of BOYCOTT and PROTEST ( Dominicans Protest Move to Revoke Haitians of Citizenship | Voices of NY) was to refuse to buy an avocado of Dominican origin. What will your act BOYCOTT and PROTEST be???
Daily Kos: If you are black, get out: The crisis of statelessness in the Dominican Republic
▶ Haiti and The Dominican Republic – The Roots of Division (Massacre River) – YouTube
Petition | STOP DOMINICAN REPUBLIC VIOLENCE AGAINST HAITIANS | Change.org
Do not exploit the poor because they are poor
and do not crush the needy in court