Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 40

Thread: NY times article - Ramona Hernández

  1. #1
    Gold
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    7,719
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default NY times article - Ramona Hernández

    In today's NY times there is a profile about Ramona Hernández from the Dominican Studies Institute at the City University of New York.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/28/ny...28profile.html

    You'll need a user name and password to access the article.

    What I found interesting, is the statement that Dominican's cling to their identity in a way that other groups do not. Here is a short quote: "A 2003 analysis by the institute said, for instance, that if current trends continue, Dominicans will outnumber Puerto Ricans in the city by the end of the decade. The Dominican population surged 51 percent in the 1990's, to 554,638, while the number of Puerto Ricans fell 12.8 percent, to 789,172, Dr. Hernández said in a study written with a Columbia University researcher, Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz.

    Dominicans from Manhattan to the Bronx are clinging to their identity in a way, she said, that other Latino groups are not."

  2. #2
    Bronze
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    953
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Chris,
    Here is the more relevant quote as to why Ramona says that Dominicans are not assimilating as easily:

    "It is a sign, she said, of a community struggling for a foothold, not always fully accepted as Latino because many are black, but not embraced by African-Americans because of language barriers."

    I can (and have) debate(d) with Ramona on both sides of the issue. But that's an ongoing discussion.

    One thing I can say is that I am happy the NYT has redeemed her. I respect her taking a stance not to serve as a puppet leader to rubberstamp policies she does not believe in.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chris
    In today's NY times there is a profile about Ramona Hernández from the Dominican Studies Institute at the City University of New York.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/28/ny...28profile.html

    You'll need a user name and password to access the article.

    What I found interesting, is the statement that Dominican's cling to their identity in a way that other groups do not. Here is a short quote: "A 2003 analysis by the institute said, for instance, that if current trends continue, Dominicans will outnumber Puerto Ricans in the city by the end of the decade. The Dominican population surged 51 percent in the 1990's, to 554,638, while the number of Puerto Ricans fell 12.8 percent, to 789,172, Dr. Hernández said in a study written with a Columbia University researcher, Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz.

    Dominicans from Manhattan to the Bronx are clinging to their identity in a way, she said, that other Latino groups are not."

  3. #3
    Gold
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    7,719
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by deelt
    Chris,
    Here is the more relevant quote as to why Ramona says that Dominicans are not assimilating as easily:

    "It is a sign, she said, of a community struggling for a foothold, not always fully accepted as Latino because many are black, but not embraced by African-Americans because of language barriers."......
    I specifically did not want to quote that piece because of the "debate-ability" I think people get accepted because of their own behavior and their own community interaction... not because they get 'embraced'. Where is one going to get this level of acceptance and in New York no less. Don't know if it exists, no matter one's language, culture or color.

    I've been thinking about this diaspora of Dominicans and have good examples from my own home country - where a diaspora or 'brain-drain' is also taking place and has been for many years. It is interesting to contrast - I've met people from my country all over the world, and despite the always present complaints about a new country, new cultural behaviors and other such difficult stuff, somehow the people assimilate into a new culture, black, white or whatever. So, I cannot buy it, that the Dominican community in New York is struggling for a foothold because of "their color", "their creed", "their language" or something.

    Now I'm sounding critical. It is not that.. it is just that I've been thinking about this..... See why I did not want to quote that sentence.. I'm debating already

  4. #4
    Bronze
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    953
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It benefits some with the current leadership to promote that Dominicans are not assimilating or are mainly NY focused. This line of arguments prevents taking a more national approach on behalf of Dominicans.
    On the assimilation issue, I'll leave it at that.

    On being embraced...well this is a long debate issue. People tend to more easily embrace those who think like them or talk like them (in content), etc. So it's a catch-22, chicken and egg problem.

    The fact that many Dominicans have a color inferiority complex causes problems when you enter American society and politics. Many old school immigrants (not just Dominicans) love to hate on African Americans and use derogatory names and love to differentiate themselves from African-American. This is what I call a sell-out. The fact that many buy into the stereotypes just doesn't help build healthy social and political coalitions. Others feel that their only options is to become the stereotype because they fit into it since they are black/mixed, urban and young males.

    Many postings here exhibit "the anti-black" mess as well. It's about trying to be more racist than the old school racist themselves. The consequenses are that these people are turning into the Clarence Thomases of Dominicans. Just pitiful.

    This is why Ramona's stance was sooo important. I respect the fact she dissented. I can't say I agree with her in content since I would need to do research on the impact of the said policy, but I can agree with her on principle.

    I personally think that a sell out tactic will get Dominicans no where fast. It keeps us fighting for peanuts and only (maybe if that) affecting a 20 block radius called Washington Heights when in fact we are now a nationwide entity.
    But I know some want to keep it like that because they benefit from it.

    Peace

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris
    I specifically did not want to quote that piece because of the "debate-ability" I think people get accepted because of their own behavior and their own community interaction... not because they get 'embraced'. Where is one going to get this level of acceptance and in New York no less. Don't know if it exists, no matter one's language, culture or color.

    I've been thinking about this diaspora of Dominicans and have good examples from my own home country - where a diaspora or 'brain-drain' is also taking place and has been for many years. It is interesting to contrast - I've met people from my country all over the world, and despite the always present complaints about a new country, new cultural behaviors and other such difficult stuff, somehow the people assimilate into a new culture, black, white or whatever. So, I cannot buy it, that the Dominican community in New York is struggling for a foothold because of "their color", "their creed", "their language" or something.

    Now I'm sounding critical. It is not that.. it is just that I've been thinking about this..... See why I did not want to quote that sentence.. I'm debating already

  5. #5
    Regular
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    96
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    This is kind of a silly thread in general.

    To me it's quite simple:

    Most Dominicans head to New York because there is a huge Dominican population. Many of us don't necessarily want to leave their culture behind, as we truly love our country and culture, but wish to earn more money. So we go to "Nueva York", and basically live in another, albeit much richer, Dominican city.

    The DR has a very rich culture, and a very nice pace of life. Being a former resident of 181st St. in Washington Heights, I can proudly state almost any Dominican can feel completely at ease in the Washington Heights area straight off the airplane from Santo Domingo. It may be New York, but it's still the Dominican Republic. And that's the appeal. Dominicans have completely taken over a portion of the city and made it their own.

    I think the majority of Dominicans in New York simply want to improve upon their existing lives, and make some money to send back home to family members....then eventually save enough to move back to the DR. I don't think Americans who live an EXTREMELY fast paced "goal oriented" life may understand that the goals of the majority of Dominicans are much lower. Most Dominicans don't aspire to be Donald Trump, but just the guy down the street with enough money to eat.

    You would think after reading that Times article that the Dominican situation is unique. Quite frankly, it is no different than the large (although not as large) populations of Haitians, Jamaicans, Russians, Chinese, Vietnamese, Mexicans, Salvadoreans etc in the Boston to Washington DC corridor. It's just an article in the Times because Puerto Ricans and Dominicans make up a large chunk of the voting percentage in NYC.

    However, I do find it interesting that the whole concept of "assimilation" in the US seems to mean "abandon your culture completely and become a generic WASP". If you look back at the concept of the US being a melting pot it was purely amongst Western Europeans. Their cultures and skintones were similar enough to meld. So of course, the oddities of their cultures began to disappear slowly over many generations.

    Dominicans have a very unique culture, and don't have the "benefit" (if you could call it that) of 10-12 other ethnicities in the US who share many similarities. So get used to the concept of the independent Dominican in the US, quite frankly we take pride in it.......
    Last edited by GilbertArenas; 12-28-2004 at 03:04 PM.

  6. #6
    Bronze
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    953
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Gilbert,
    I am as much a proud product of NYC as you. The thing is I question how long NY will be the focus of Dominican immigration. We are both living proof that Dominicans do and are migrating out to other states at increasingly rapid rates. This is further reinforced by direct arrivals from the island (skipping NY) to this new location be it to Anchorage,AK, Salt Lake City,UT, Lawrence, MA, Providence, RI, etc.. Thus, I do not think that the NYC-focus mentality is not sustainable and is not right. At the end, if we do not prepare our generation to take on a nationwide approach it will hurt us in the long run. Why? Because given the inferiority complex about our color most WILL assimilate into American culture and this will in time come at the cost of us losing that which we all profess we do not wish to lose...our culture. Case in point are people like Felix Sanchez and Michele Rodriguez from CA with limited Spanish language skills and exposure to the culture other than the routine foods and music.

    I also believe that if Dominicans were to move out of NYC we would do much better financially; not making us, as Ramona has found, to be among one of the lowest income earners in NYC.

    Peace

    Quote Originally Posted by GilbertArenas
    This is kind of a silly thread in general.

    To me it's quite simple:

    Most Dominicans head to New York because there is a huge Dominican population. Many of us don't necessarily want to leave their culture behind, as we truly love our country and culture, but wish to earn more money. So we go to "Nueva York", and basically live in another, albeit much richer, Dominican city.

    The DR has a very rich culture, and a very nice pace of life. Being a former resident of 181st St. in Washington Heights, I can proudly state almost any Dominican can feel completely at ease in the Washington Heights area straight off the airplane from Santo Domingo. It may be New York, but it's still the Dominican Republic. And that's the appeal. Dominicans have completely taken over a portion of the city and made it their own.

    I think the majority of Dominicans in New York simply want to improve upon their existing lives, and make some money to send back home to family members....then eventually save enough to move back to the DR. I don't think Americans who live an EXTREMELY fast paced "goal oriented" life may understand that the goals of the majority of Dominicans are much lower. Most Dominicans don't aspire to be Donald Trump, but just the guy down the street with enough money to eat.

    You would think after reading that Times article that the Dominican situation is unique. Quite frankly, it is no different than the large (although not as large) populations of Haitians, Jamaicans, Russians, Chinese, Vietnamese, Mexicans, Salvadoreans etc in the Boston to Washington DC corridor. It's just an article in the Times because Puerto Ricans and Dominicans make up a large chunk of the voting percentage in NYC.

    However, I do find it interesting that the whole concept of "assimilation" in the US seems to mean "abandon your culture completely and become a generic WASP". If you look back at the concept of the US being a melting pot it was purely amongst Western Europeans. Their cultures and skintones were similar enough to meld. So of course, the oddities of their cultures began to disappear slowly over many generations.

    Dominicans have a very unique culture, and don't have the "benefit" (if you could call it that) of 10-12 other ethnicities in the US who share many similarities. So get used to the concept of the independent Dominican in the US, quite frankly we take pride in it.......

  7. #7
    Gold
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    7,719
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Seems to me from an outsider's perspective, that Gilbert has hit some nail on some head... The acculturation of Dominicans is slow, possibly because they do not have to adapt - as he says - for most the journey to New York is temporary, they are planning to come home and their's is a close knit community that feels like one still is in the DR.

    Possibly when there is a broader movement of Dominicans away from New York, acculturation will be easier?
    Last edited by Chris; 12-28-2004 at 05:50 PM. Reason: trying to fix a spelling thing but my English escapes me...

  8. #8
    Gold
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    7,719
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    double post -- by mistake...
    Last edited by Chris; 12-28-2004 at 05:50 PM.

  9. #9
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    16,740
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    We touched on that issue in the recent thread about Dominicans learning English: the fact that the first generation migrate with the intention of returning to the DR is one of the factors we discussed.

    It would have been interesting to have Gilbert participate in that discussion, it sounds like he would have had something to contribute.

  10. #10
    Gold
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    7,719
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Yes, reading that thread made me notice the NY times article... I guess my consciousness has been raised

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO