While American media works to keep us focused on the upcoming Presidential campaign, there is a mass genocide going on between two countries that we have very close ties to.
With the large amount of Haitians and Dominicans in America, how can the U.S. choose to turn a blind eye to an issue that is only getting worse? Read more about the horrific ‘social cleansing” in Dominican Republic below.
In two days about a quarter of a million people will be made stateless. They will have no homes, no passports, and no civil rights. There are several reasons for this, but the primary reason is racism.
At issue is a ruling by the Constitutional Court in the Dominican Republic to strip away the citizenship of several generations of Dominicans.
According to the decision, Dominicans born after 1929 to parents who are not of Dominican ancestry are to have their citizenship revoked. The ruling affects an estimated 250,000 Dominican people of Haitian descent, including many who have had no personal connection with Haiti for several generations.
What we are witnessing is one of the largest humanitarian crisis in the western hemisphere, except this one is completely by choice.
90% of Dominicans would be considered ‘black’ by American standards. So there is a huge difference between being considered moreno (brown) and negro (black). The Policia Nacional Dominicana are so underpaid and openly corrupt that being mistaken for being Haitian means having to bribe officers (which I’ve personally witnessed) or be arrested and possibly beaten. Being mistaken for being Haitian means being denied job opportunities, public education, bank accounts, and health care.
In other words, being black in the DR means being a second-class citizen with no legal protections. And now it means being stateless.
The Dominican government recently opened seven deportation centers near the Haitian border, and gave them the Orwellian name of “welcome centers”.
The Dominican government has also requested 36 large passenger buses “be made available for continued use”.
The US State Department has denounced the Dominican government for this plan, and pointed out that it is a gross violation of human rights according to the U.N. charter.
In February, Dominican-Haitian Henry Claude Jean (nicknamed ‘Tulile’), an impoverished shoeshine boy, was found lynched in a public park in Santiago, the DR’s second-largest city. His hands and feet were bound. The police were quick to blame it on the victim’s ‘criminal past’ and “rejected racism as a motive”, but it seems hard to believe that this is how criminals operate.
“For the Dominican authorities to rule out racism as a factor less than 24 hours after a man of Haitian descent was hanged in a public square is not just irresponsible policing, it is an outrageous example of discrimination endemic to the Dominican Republic,” McMullen wrote to HuffPost in an email. “And frankly it is all too reminiscent of the shameful denials of Southern officials during the decades of terror lynchings perpetrated against African-Americans here at home.”
The lynching came just one day after a protest in Santiago calling for the deportation of Haitians.
Dominican officials began refusing to grant copies of birth certificates to the Dominican-born children of Haitian immigrants in 2005. This was in violation of the American Convention on Human Rights.
After years of protests and legal haggling, the Dominican government began allowing Dominican-Haitians to get copies of birth certificates again, but the process was badly flawed. Thousands of Dominican-Haitians have gotten no response from application submissions even after nine months, as protesters claim.
In the Dominican Republican being born in a hospital is the exception, even for people with Dominican parents.
The US press has been largely silent on this rapidly approaching disaster. Even Human Rights Watch is silent on the issue. The pope has spoken on the issue, but to berate the Dominican Republic’s Catholic bishops for being silent on it.
Where will these people live in Haiti? Most of them have never been to Haiti. Haiti can’t even house all of its own people. Dumping a quarter of a million people on the border of the poorest nation in the hemisphere will quickly lead to a public health disaster.
Dominican hatred of Haitians extends back to 1822, when Haiti invaded and conquered the Dominican Republic and promptly freed the slaves.
In 1912, the Dominican government passed a law limiting the number of black-skinned people who could enter the country.
However, the racism peaked under dictator Rafael Trujillo. He was known for wearing makeup in order to make himself look more white. In 1937 he ordered the Parsley Massacre, also referred to as El Corte (the cutting) by Dominicans. It is unknown how many Haitians died in those five days, but it was in the tens of thousands.
President Joaquin Balaguer, Trujillo’s right-hand man, and the dictator that the United States installed in 1966, claimed that the Haitians were trying to invade and that their secret weapon was “biological.” As Balaguer put it, Haitians “multiply with a rapidity that is almost comparable to that of a vegetable species.”
General Rubén Darío Paulino Sem, the guy in charge of the deportations, says the expulsion will start this Thursday, June 18.
Andrés Navarro, the foreign minister, says they will wait until August to start deporting.
Are you willing to give Dominican Republic your travel dollars while they’re lynching and mass deporting Haitians? Comment below #MakeAStatement