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The Dominican Republic’s Dehumanization of People of Haitian Descent

 

Black dominicans

As of  7 p.m. today thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent are rendered stateless and considered eligible for deportation. But let’s rewind back to September 23, 2013, The Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic retroactively rescinded the citizenship of persons of Haitian lineage born in the Dominican Republic from 1929 until present day. That is about 200,000 Black Dominicans who were striped of their citizenship in 2013. The 2013 ruling shows how the Dominican Republic outwardly devalues Haitian life.

Now the June 17th deadline is the next chapter of the Dominican Republic’s plan to continue the dehumanization of their own people of Haitian descent. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines dehumanization as the following:

to treat (someone) as though he or she is not human

This is exactly what the Dominican Republic is doing, by taking away people of Haitian lineage citizenship they have very few rights if any. We can look into history and see many examples of similar actions. For example, the Apartheid in South Africa in which the rights, associations and movements of the majority black inhabitants were deprived by the minority rule. Or The Holocaust, where the Nazi’s first actions of dehumanization against the Jewish people were rescinding their citizenship, making them people of no nation. We know all to well how this ends. Violence has already risen in the Dominican Republic from robberies, beatings and even lynchings.

Many nations have spoken against this deadline and even the Pope has spoken out urging this country which shares the island of Hispaniola with the country of Haiti, to find another way.  In the early 20th century, tens of thousands of migrant workers from Haiti were hired to work in Dominican sugar cane fields and often stayed after the harvest. Now many who have never been to Haiti and call DR home are not citizens and face legal deportation.

The one thing that makes this story touch me is that this is happening in 2015. The Apartheid ended 21 years ago, the Holocaust ended 70 years ago, however in today’s world nations are still taking the same actions that lead to these dark times in history. These actions birth more poverty, more violence and the ramifications run deep for many many years to come.

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and has still not recovered from the 2010 earthquake. How can this financial crippled country take so many deported Black Dominicans?  Will they arbitrarily deport people who look Haitian? What happens if people refuse to leave? What happens once they get to the border of Haiti? There have already been reports of people going to apply for residency getting snatched up and sent to the border of Haiti.

So what can you do? I support an economic boycott of the Dominican Republic. I have friends and family that have visited but I have no plans to visit and support a country that so outwardly violates the human rights of their own people on a judicial level. I hope more nations and corporations speak against these racist laws and actions and boycott in their own way, because money does talk. Whether you choose to join in an economic boycott of the business and tourism industry of the Dominican Republic or not. I urge everyone to share this story, continue the conversation and learn the facts.  Click Here to link to the official White House petition.

One fact for sure is the Dominican Republic needs to restore human rights to their people of Haitian descent. Discrimination against Haitians and their descendants in DR is nothing new and it’s time to correct the course. Your lineage should never give any country the right to displace, discriminate and dehumanize.

MLK Jr. said is best:

A threat to injustice anywhere is a threat to injustice everywhere

To the government of the Dominican Republic, let’s move forward not backward, change the course of history and make the future better for all Dominicans including those of Haitian descent.

My prayers go out to the many in DR who face such tough times. We live in such a hard world and I pray for all who face struggles just because of their lineage.

Keep hope alive & GET MOBETTER!!!

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