THE FORCED EXODUS OF DOMINICANS FROM D.R.
No typo, you read that right. The Dominican government has made plans to deport Black Dominicans to Haiti in spite of their citizenship. Ethnic and social cleansing is often the mark of a colonized people, an act that has been justified for centuries. With whiteness being the standard and ideal many ethnic groups across the world have been displaced or eradicated when their presence was viewed as an inconvenience or unjust imposition.
- May 26, 1830 | Trail of Tears - U.S. president Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act.
- May 31, 1921 | Tulsa Race Riot - 35 city blocks, home to the wealthiest Black community, are deliberately burned to the ground leaving 10,000 Black people homeless.
- 1941-1945 | The Holocaust - Expulsion of Jews in Nazi Germany and relocation to concentration camps which resulted in the deaths of nearly 6 million.
- February 19, 1942 | Japanese Prisons - Following Pearl Harbor, president Truman mandates that Japanese residents including American citizens, an estimated 120,000, be relocated to mass prisons during World War II.
- 1948-1989 | South African Apartheid - Forced segregation and relocation by the National Party.
- June 2015 | Dominican Deportation - Dominican government deports Dominicans with Haitian ancestry to neighboring Haiti.
Old habits die hard. Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean and are only separate due to conflict between France (modern-day Haiti) and Spain (modern-day Dominican Republic) during the 17th century as the two countries fought for control of the island. The conflict was settled by splitting the island in two, therefore the indigenous people for both countries are one in the same. The ancestors of Haitians and Dominicans are the Taíno people which is what makes the 'cleaning' of D.R. by riding one half of the island of Haitians incredibly disgusting and backward. When Haiti invaded D.R. and successfully ended slavery across the island Dominicans grew resentful after the 22-year occupation that followed. In order the distance themselves from Haiti around 1844, D.R. began to establish language, race, religion and traditions that are vehemently not Haitian. As a result, D.R. values Eurocentric features because they differ from that of the formerly enslaved Haitians. Race is what drives the social and economic hierarchy in the Dominican Republic with darker skinned people placed at the very bottom. Fast forward to 2015 and the Dominican government is planning to deport their own citizens of Haitian descent to Haiti rendering them homeless. But here is where this already terrible scenario takes a sick turn. How does the Dominican government distinguish between citizens with Haitian ancestry and those with strictly Dominican heritage? Skin color and facial features. Basically, if you look Black you're being ousted. An upwards of 250,000 Dominicans are estimated to be at risk of deportation. F*cked up, right?
Being that the people at risk are Dominican, it is assumed that they do not have ties to Haiti and would be without relief when they are removed from their homes. Also, Haiti has been in a constant state of economic and governmental turmoil that has worsened sing the earthquake of 2006 and cannot support an influx of displaced people coming against their will. Here is how you can help:
2. Boycott D.R. via tourism or otherwise.
Updates coming soon.