He asked me," Is it OK if I call in a Haitian"

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bob saunders

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Two examples. My little girl is quite dark-skinned. She goes to quite a nice school and one day a few years ago one of the kids bullied her, saying she was ugly because she was black and she would always be unhappy because no man would ever love her. And of course I went mad and called the head teacher, who investigated, and called me back and said "the other girl said she was ugly because she was Haitian. She thought xxx was Haitian, and we corrected her, she knows that she's Dominican now and she's apologised". So basically kids are being taught that it's fine to be racist towards Haitians.

Last weekend we drove through a really poor barrio in Cibao, and my friend who was driving was saying "look they're all Haitian, and they live like rats don't they. Basically laughing at how poor their houses are. And he's a teacher as well, intelligent, has a masters in math. This stuff is absolutely embedded in Dominican culture, you don't come across many Dominicans who like Haitians, at least I don't. I"m not saying it's right, I'm just saying that it's there.
It is there in every society to some extent to fear, distrust or hate that which is different. I see every day high school kids walking home from school or hanging out with each other. Lots of Haitians and Dominicans mixed together without issues. Always there will be those that have either learned bad behaviors from their families or peers. Nothing in the world will change that, but it can be minimized with teaching tolerance.... etc. We had a Haitian woman come into pay for her child yesterday. She could not write nor speak Spanish, but she understood enough to understand what the Office staff were telling her. She pulled out her cellphone, looked at a name and painfully and slowly printed her name where she had to sign the acknowledgement of payment. I am sure she just copied the letters without knowing what they were. She was treated with dignity and after she left nobody had anything negative to say. Perhaps in another office she would have been treated different, but our staff has been selected for their diplomacy. We will not tolerate hatred in any form.
 

MoJoInDR

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I agree that this exists, an anti-Haitian sentiment. The political history runs deep.

At the same time, I have to say that it’s often different on a one-to-one basis. There are several Haitians who have lived in our campo area awhile. They’re accepted, they date/live with Dominicans and work with them.

My wife, who was born in Haiti to Haitian parents, has family in the DR... They've been perfectly accepted by even high-nosed Dominicans for the 40-50 years they've lived there... But they do not look like black Haitians... And therein is an inkling of the root of the problem.
 
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NALs

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This stuff is absolutely embedded in Dominican culture, you don't come across many Dominicans who like Haitians, at least I don't. I"m not saying it's right, I'm just saying that it's there.
That's because it has always been a small minority that have that look and that's without counting the one's that are descendants in full or partial with Haitians. The difference between now and the time when there was not a large presence of Haitians is that a typical Dominican would meet one with that look and it never crossed their minds if they are Haitians or even mixed with Haitians, just another Dominican with not very common looks. Back then most with that look were Dominicans, so assuming they were Dominicans was right most of the time. Now the complete opposite is true. While most people seen now with typical "Haitian looks" or that looks mixed with typical Haitians, in most cases they are either Haitians or mixed with Haitians. But the vast majority doesn't mean all. That same small minority of before that are Dominicans with that look or mixed with Haitians are still there and they never had to do with Haiti or Haitians. Just that now they were the majority with that look (within the minority they are) while today they are grossly outnumbered by actual Haitians and Dominicans of full or partial Haitian descent.

The irony in all of this is that there are many Haitians, themselves a minority, that look like "typical Dominicans" and most people will not think they are Haitians unless they say it or the speak. However, those Dominicans that have nothing to do with Haiti or Haitians now and in the past will find many people that think they are either Haitians or Dominicans mixed with Haitians.

Iisn't as if the Dominicans are simply making this up. There is a logic to this and that is that most people with a "Haitian look" or look mixed with Haitians are Haitians or descend from Haitians. But most doesn't mean all and it's that small part that leads some to make a false assumption. Many times that look is just a random appearance on one individual, as all or most of his or her siblings (of the same biological parents) will have a more "typical Dominican look." And, of course, the people that knew them and grew up with them will know the obvious, but life goes beyond the family/neighbors since childhood/grow up bunch.
 

NALs

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I agree that this exists, an anti-Haitian sentiment. The political history runs deep.

At the same time, I have to say that it’s often different on a one-to-one basis. There are several Haitians who have lived in our campo area awhile. They’re accepted, they date/live with Dominicans and work with them.
There is a difference between being anti-Haitian because you hate the Haitians vs being anti-Haitian because you don't agree with the current migration policy (which seems there is no real migration policy in practice.) The second one will have anti-Haitian feelings directed towards Dominican politicians (for obvious reasons) but have no problem with Haitian individuals. The first one the hate doesn't permit them to treat a Haitian except in situations where you are in a higher position (wachiman vs resident of the building he "protects.")


This happen a few years ago when I was at the family house of a then woman from La Vega I was beginning to date. There were three things.

First, the entire family was composed of whites and light skin that are still considered white by many in the DR. The woman I was starting to date responded to a comment I made about one of her cousins who brought to the house her boyfriend that looks like a black man here, there, everywhere. He was the darkest person there to the point that if you were ask who is so-and-so they are suppose take something to, you would say "el moreno" and everyone would know who it is, no "which one" question. Well, she told me that that was one of the few times she took him to that house and then the bomb, she said that the first time she took him to the house, no one knew her boyfriend was a black man until they saw him. During the entire time they were there he was treated with no difference from anyone else. However, one they left the grandmother made a face and said "ese negro" and then another face of disapproval. The joke was that her grandmother wasn't entirely well, but they said "para eso sí está bien."

The second time was another day seversl of her family members and myself were in the zaguan simply talking nonsense. Then the conversation took a turn regarding someone they knew since he was a kid. He was born very light skin but with time bevame very dark mostly due to extendive sun exposure. This was the exact words of one of her aunts: "qué pasó con ***, él era bonito y ahora parece un haitiano, ay no." The following day in the morning I was at the house and she was on the edge of the zaguan speaking with seversl of the Haitian men that worked in a small business they have right on the same property, but apart from the house. She wasn't giving them orders or anything, they simply stop as they arrive to greet "la doña" as she was in the zaguan and you have to pass by the side of that to reach the place where they would work. There I was watching that scene when the day before she made it clear she doesn't like the color of the dark Haitians.

Not related to what happen at the house at that time, but the convo included the same aunt from before and somehow the topic touched was wearing sun screen. She asks me if I wear sun screen and I said I usually don't. Her literall response: "ay no, eso no se puede. Yo me junto uno que me paso el día entero en la playa y no se me cambia nada" pointing at her arm, which in reality to her skin color which by all accounts is white. I take the issue there was not wearing sun screen for pretection from the sun, but rather to avoid getting a tan.

That's only some ocassions while visiting that family, but I have many other situations that through the years I have seen even within my own family, but never to the level as explained here. From an aunt-by-law saying that one of her friends said that thank God the son of her daughter has her color, because "la familia de él sí es prieta" and then my aunt-in-law was laughing at that and not a light laugh. She was the only one laughing, to the point that my auncle who is her husband responded "muchacha" and that was that. That happened at my uncle's house in Puerto Plata. There are many other examples.

That's not to say there is a huge issue that doesn't allow dark skin people into the family, but there is something "light" in the air, so to speak.
 

flyinroom

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Back to the OT, I really don't know why the contractor asked if it was ok to call a Haitian(?). Makes no sense to me.
It makes makes sense to me why the contractor might have asked "if it was okay to call in a Haitian".
Perhaps he knew, or assumed, that the Haitian in question was un-documented...no papers.
He may have been concerned that the johne could be held responsible for having hired an un-documented individual and preferred to give him the opportunity to make that decision.
He may have been being protective.
 
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cavok

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It makes makes sense to me why the contractor might have asked "if it was okay to call in a Haitian".
Perhaps he knew, or assumed, that the Haitian in question was un-documented...no papers.
He may have been concerned that the johne could be held responsible for having hired an un-documented individual and preferred to give him the opportunity to make that decision.
He may have been being protective.
Possibly, but in that case he should have told him he was talking about an illegal Haitian. Since, johnne stated that all his other workers were Dominicans, I'm thinking maybe the contractor might have thought he preferred Dominican workers and wanted to check first.
 

johne

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Possibly, but in that case he should have told him he was talking about an illegal Haitian. Since, johnne stated that all his other workers were Dominicans, I'm thinking maybe the contractor might have thought he preferred Dominican workers and wanted to check first.
Let's just drop this back and forth as I am very pleased with the contrator's decision to call. BTW the "Haitian" never showed up. I think what is happening here is ... are there any Haitians available???
 

bob saunders

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This is just anecdotal evidence, but half the workers fixing the park in Jarabacoa are Haitian. They are still there working. A number of the Haitian woman that work in the greenhouses still pass by me in the morning on their way to work, so perhaps it is spot enforcement.
 

NanSanPedro

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This is just anecdotal evidence, but half the workers fixing the park in Jarabacoa are Haitian. They are still there working. A number of the Haitian woman that work in the greenhouses still pass by me in the morning on their way to work, so perhaps it is spot enforcement.
Bob, in Jarabacoa, do you have frequent roundups of Haitians by Migracion? In Boca Chica, we have them a lot, but probably not daily. I'm guessing that our cities are similar in population, but given we are so much closer to the capital than you and not quite as isolated, our Haitians get more visibility than yours. Agree or not?
 

AlterEgo

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Bob, in Jarabacoa, do you have frequent roundups of Haitians by Migracion? In Boca Chica, we have them a lot, but probably not daily. I'm guessing that our cities are similar in population, but given we are so much closer to the capital than you and not quite as isolated, our Haitians get more visibility than yours. Agree or not?

Good question. I’ve never heard of any roundups near us. I’d bet we don’t have one legal Haitian, I’m sure they’re all illegal. At the same time, we don’t have hundreds of them, so maybe they concentrate where the most Haitians live???
 
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bob saunders

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Bob, in Jarabacoa, do you have frequent roundups of Haitians by Migracion? In Boca Chica, we have them a lot, but probably not daily. I'm guessing that our cities are similar in population, but given we are so much closer to the capital than you and not quite as isolated, our Haitians get more visibility than yours. Agree or not?
I know that the majority of Haitians working in the greenhouses, which are huge, are on work Visas. Many that live close to me I have seen their faces for more than five years, so I assume they have papers. Jarabacoa would be easier to hide in than Punta Cana or the Capital. Outside of town there are several Haitian shantytowns that seem to get raids regularly, but as far as in the Barrio close to me, rarely and the local Dominicans warn them and hide them.
 
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chico bill

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This is just anecdotal evidence, but half the workers fixing the park in Jarabacoa are Haitian. They are still there working. A number of the Haitian woman that work in the greenhouses still pass by me in the morning on their way to work, so perhaps it is spot enforcement.
All the workers doing the curbs and sidewalks for the municipality of Sosua and the ones that constructed the big "SOSUA" sign are Haitians.
The work would grind to a halt if they are all booted.

Looking the world over - the darker the skin the lower the caste.
The Filipino and Thai workers we had in Saudi all wore long sleeve jackets and wool masks and gloves to work in 120 heat - because being dark in thier countries was a sign of being a poor person.
There's black, blue black, mulatto or high yellow - all terms that were used to describe dark skin but different shades of it.

It all boils down to knowing the person. Many blacks you won't like, many you will - just the same as Gringos, Dominicans and others people are people.
I only find I can never relate to any Chinese. It's like they never try to be friendly and I reciprocate that.
 
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El Hijo de Manolo

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This is just descending into an abyss. These are life fundamentals folks. No one over 5 years of age needs this explained. People are quite aware of their prejudices, if any, whether it be over race or any other preconceived concept/ideal/notion. The best we can do is some version of what I know as the "Set-aside prayer". And by prayer I don't imply religion - it can be done as a mediation or whatever floats your boat. Trust me, I do a 5 min Set-aside before I log into any Zoom call!
 
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