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Thread: Treatment of African Americans in the DR

  1. #31

    Default Re: Welcome back!!!!


    I never claimed (and never will) that there is no racial discrimination in the DR, covert or overt. I certainly would never argue that there's no discrimination against anyone Haitian or of Haitian heritage -- I have seen it with my own eyes and you may ask my Dominican friends how many times I have made them uncomfortable by pointing out this aspect of Dominican life & culture. I usually do not debate it with my Dominican family, friends and acquaintances, however, because I have found that most Dominicans cannot discuss the issue rationally and calmly. That, sadly enough, had much to do with why Pena Gomez was defeated -- a vicious rumor campaign (reportedly started by the Reformistas) that Pena would open the DR's borders wide to Haitian immigration if he became President.

    What I was saying in my earlier post was that to equate the DR's discrimination to apartheid-era South Africa was not just "a matter or geography." To say that actually is trivializing the evil of apartheid and overblowing the depth and pervasiveness of racial discrimination in the DR. Unlike the DR, apartheid-era South Africa was a legally-sanctioned and insitutionalized system of SEGREGATION at all levels, not just discrimination, and keeping people of color from positions of power and influence was OPENLY advocated and sanctioned policy. There were laws on intermarrying, there were travel restrictions based on race, there were no votes for blacks, etc etc -- none of which exists in the DR.

    The type and extent of discrimination in the two countries are not in the same league, frankly.

    Apartheid had to be repealed before Mandela could become Presidentin South Africa. Leonel Fernandez did not face such an obstacle in the DR, nor did (Mayor) Johnny Ventura or Rafael Alburquerque (Pres of Senate). And as I said in my prior post, most levers of influence in the DR are in fact controlled by non-whites. The one area still very clearly lagging is the Dominican business world.

    As for the Dominican community in the US, yes I am VERY familiar with the communities in NYC and NJ, as I have much Dominican family in both areas and a comadre in the former. I also hear similar communities are growing fast in Cleveland and Miami, and we're seeing the beginnings of one here in the Washington DC area. I can't wait to participate in Dominican Week activities next year. :-)

    Atentamente, Keith

  2. #32
    William Leslie

    Default Re: Welcome back!!!!

    Re: Pena Gomez..I had many friends in influential places such as well known WHITE lawyers and doctors in Santo Domingo and Santiago who were all for electing Pena Gomez and helped in his campaign and 'flew the flag' UNTIL he said 'THAT IF HE DID NOT WIN' 'then the country would burn'(a reference to violence and riots etc) and made inuendos that even if he did win he may take malicious actions agianst persons who had made it difficult for him. AT that point many influencial people began to worry that he might be somewhat unstable and vengeful. That along with the fear of opening the border to Haiti cost him his victory.

  3. #33

    Default Re: Welcome back!!!!


    Yes, I recall that videotape. I was living in SD at the time, and that speech was played over and over on the TV. It did unsettle many people -- even PRD party faithful -- and did much damage to his campaign.

    Regards, Keith

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