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tjmurray

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Aug 11, 2006
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I live in Santo Domingo. I work here and I've made my life here for the past four years. As with everything in life, there is the good and the bad. To me, this is one of the worst aspects of the capital and of Dominican culture as a whole.

Last night, two American friends of mine, who live and work here as well, went out for a night on the town in Santo Domingo. We first went to Coyote Bar on Paseo de los Locutores, then to Avenida Venezuela, where we stayed till the bars closed. From there, the afterhour party moved to Mint in the Hotel Napolitano on the Malec?n.

I walked right in the club: no questions. I am a Dominican/American, but I have light skin and look like a foreigner. My other friend is also Dominican/American; light skin but looks way more Dominican than me. He walked right past the ropes as well. My second friend is African American and was walking behind us...He was stopped at the entrance. He speaks little Spanish. "This is a private party", said the doorman.

I've been down this road before with other African American friends at several spots in the city. I don't make scenes. I usually just leave. This time I did something I was not proud of.

Because I had a few drinks in me and we had met other friends (OK girls) on Venezuela, they had already arrived at Mint and were waiting for us. All I wanted was to go in. So, instead of just leaving, I told the security guards that my friend was a visiting tourist from the US and that we were just here to have a good time. Sad. Can you imagine? Would it have mattered if he was a black Dominican? Or black any nationality for that matter? I just figured he would have a better chance if he was a foreigner.

There was no way. "A private party?", I asked over and over again. "At three in the morning?". I just got a lot of shaking heads: "No". We were forced to call it a night. Back home in Jersey, we call these moments "buzz kills".

I cannot speak for other sections of the country, but in Santo Domingo, this is a reality. It's such hypocrisy in my mind when there is so much African influence in this country. There is a gap in this mindset; a gap in this culture.

I'm venting since I just woke up. I make a living from informing visitors about Santo Domingo and we develop a guide to promote it to the world. As I said earlier in this post, everything has its good and bad. This is a negative aspect of our capital and greater Dominican culture. It puts me in a temporary "why am I here?" mood. Today, I'll go to the beach and try to remind myself.
 
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MrMike

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Mar 2, 2003
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How was your friend dressed? I have seen people given the private party routine for things like flip flops, no collared shirt, etc.

I am not saying you are wrong about the reason he was denied entry, just saying there could be other reasons as well.
 

pedrochemical

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Aug 22, 2008
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Here we go again.
Piachardo and NALS will say that there is no racism in the D.R.
Somebody will point out all the photo-shopped political advertisements.
There will be a tooing and froing and the thread will be closed.

Your buddy (who got refused entry) and you know the truth now though.....
That sucks.
 

pedrochemical

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Aug 22, 2008
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Thankfully on my planet we have no such problems - the Greens have been assimilated and the Stripy Blues have finally gained some political power.

You earthlings will catch on soon enough......
 

SKing

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Nov 22, 2007
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This is sad. But I have had less than the best of treatment also in Santiago due to color at times until I pretended not to speak Spanish. It seems in Santiago at least, that being American trumps being Black. (even though I am both!!)
Sad
SHALENA
 
Feb 7, 2007
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I think we should have more reports of venues like this, so people can boycott them. Maybe even put a sticky : "Racist Venues to Avoid while in the DR". I always say, boycott by one person will not make or break the business, but boycott by masses will...

I hope the owners of the club / hotel will see this and will take appropriate actions (of course, if they won't start threatening legal action against DR1 if the negative report is not removed, as we have heard on the board before on some occasions) ...
 

Chip

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Jul 25, 2007
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Racism is everywhere, fortunately it's not as prevalent here in the DR as in other place, like the US.

I think we should all consider giving these guys some bad press by having everyone and their friends send them an email to let them know how disgusting this is and in fact unpatriotic as many of Dominicans previous leaders were dark skinned. He is a link to a Facebook announcement and the hotel. My emails are on the way.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=17087519998

http://www.napolitanohotel.com/1.aspx
 
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Lambada

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Mar 4, 2004
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tjmurray, we absolutely know this happens (prior examples from US Embassy & Dominican journalists carrying out research) and it is important that it is documented as you have done here. Would it also be worth sending to a paper like Clave Digital?
 

sangria

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May 16, 2006
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have a look at the photos in the facebook group....all light skinned people except 1 guy and he is tagged as "blackie"
 

Adrian Bye

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Jul 7, 2002
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i don't doubt what happened to TJ and I respect him a lot, however as a counterpoint, I'm friends with a few of the Miss Dominican Republic candidates, and in spending time with them outside the bright lights, some of these girls are pretty dark skinned morenas.
 

Chip

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Jul 25, 2007
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i don't doubt what happened to TJ and I respect him a lot, however as a counterpoint, I'm friends with a few of the Miss Dominican Republic candidates, and in spending time with them outside the bright lights, some of these girls are pretty dark skinned morenas.

Adrian, no doubt plenty of people in the DR aren't racist, but still there are some here and they should get with the times already.
 

Africaida

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Jun 19, 2009
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This is sad.
The worst part is the people here who are questioning this event (i.e. was he wearing flip-flops ??!!).
Again, very sad.
 

Adrian Bye

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Jul 7, 2002
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This is sad.
The worst part is the people here who are questioning this event (i.e. was he wearing flip-flops ??!!).
Again, very sad.

Why wouldn't you want more details on the facts before coming to a conclusion? Charges of racism is very serious.

I live here, go out frequently and have never seen this issue myself. I've seen many dark skinned people in clubs -- but they are well dressed.

I've also been rejected from entering many times -- when I was badly dressed.
 

BahiaDreamer

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Dec 27, 2009
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I cannot speak for other sections of the country, but in Santo Domingo, this is a reality. It's such hypocrisy in my mind when there is so much African influence in this country. There is a gap in this mindset; a gap in this culture.

I'm venting since I just woke up. I make a living from informing visitors about Santo Domingo and we develop a guide to promote it to the world. As I said earlier in this post, everything has its good and bad. This is a negative aspect of our capital and greater Dominican culture. It puts me in a temporary "why am I here?" mood. Today, I'll go to the beach and try to remind myself.

I'm very glad you've written this post, and I hope it will elicit mature, thought-provoking comments from some of the DR1 readers. This is one thread I will follow. That said, I fully expect that some of the responses will demonstrate that bias based on color, ethnicity, nationality, gender, etc. isn't confined to the boundaries of the Dominican Republic or its nationals.

I've been here for several months and, sadly, I've noticed many things about this area of the Dominican Republic that remind me of bias, misconceptions and blatant discrimination in the U.S., which is my home country. (I have to be here at least another few months to finish my work ... otherwise, I'd blow this joint).

I've heard stories like the one you shared, and on one hand, I'd like to visit Santo Domingo to see it with my own eyes so I can write about the experience. On the other hand, it would sadden (and, likely anger and frustrate) me to witness firsthand the type of bias you describe, particularly in the Dominican Republic where so many people have the opportunity to enjoy the richness of African legacy.
 
Feb 7, 2007
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My email, if you want you can just paste your name at the end

emails: reservas@napolitano.com.do and ventas@napolitano.com.do


Estimado gerente del Hotel Napolitano,

Con mucha perturbaci?n recib? las noticias que su hotel y el night club MINT el cu?l funciona dentro de su establecimiento no permite la entrada al mencionado night club a la gente morena (de piel oscura) y por lo tanto tales acciones se pueden clasificar como puro racistas.

El reporte de esto ya ha sido publicado por la persona que ha sido afectada con tales acciones racistas por partes de su personal. Esta persona afectada es un extranjero desde Estados Unidos de Norteam?rica que trat? de entrar al night club MINT junto son sus amigos.

El hecho de negarle entrada al night club MINT a la persona afectada por parte del personal del mencionado night club no puede clasificarse de otra manera que un puro racismo contra la gente de piel morena.

El reporte de racismo presente en el mencionado establecimiento y su hotel ya ha sido publicado en Internet en un portal que recibe cientos de miles de visitas cibern?ticas cada mes por parte de los turistas que planean viajar a la Rep?blica Dominicana. Espero que todos aquellos potenciales clientes decidan a boicotear su establecimiento, sea el hotel y sea el mismo night club por razones mencionadas.

En el mismo tiempo voy a enviar un comunicado a otros medios de comunicaci?n dentro y fuera de la Rep?blica Dominicana dirigi?ndolos al mencionado reporte, para que esos medios tambi?n reporten esas acciones repugnantes y racistas que se viven con el trato de los patrones en su hotel y el night club MINT.

http://www.dr1.com/forums/living/102206-no-entry-black.html

Con saludos cordiales,

XXXX
 
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All those who are not convinced this type of thing happens, and with some frequency, should look into why the US Embassy was boycotting several clubs in Santo Domingo a couple of years ago.

Some black employees of the embassy were being refused entry until the US embassy grew a pair, and decided to push the issue.
 

Marianopolita

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Dec 26, 2003
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The bigger picture...a reflection of a cultural ill of the DR

I cannot speak for other sections of the country, but in Santo Domingo, this is a reality. It's such hypocrisy in my mind when there is so much African influence in this country. There is a gap in this mindset; a gap in this culture.

I'm venting since I just woke up. I make a living from informing visitors about Santo Domingo and we develop a guide to promote it to the world. As I said earlier in this post, everything has its good and bad. This is a negative aspect of our capital and greater Dominican culture. It puts me in a temporary "why am I here?" mood. Today, I'll go to the beach and try to remind myself.


This is sad.
The worst part is the people here who are questioning this event (i.e. was he wearing flip-flops ??!!).
Again, very sad.


I totally agree with you and don't understand the logic when people try to partially defend it by asking was the person dressed appropriately, how was their hair, how did they speak etc. while those can be factors to deny entrance into any public place if there is a clear dress (attire) code, it is also very easy to recognize when the discrimination is based on color. Some people just don't want to deal with the issue and as a result the victim's behaviour or attire is placed in question when in fact it should be the behaviour of the people who persist with it and the code of practice. Discrimination based on colour is alive and well in the DR. It's a social ill that pervades the culture as it does in all colonial based societies. Sweeping the problem under the rug allows it to continue. Those who don't see it, don't want to see it and the usual statement 'it happens everywhere is no justification'.

Tjmurray, there's a book that was released this year by a Dominican who currently resides in Canada. The book essentially is about the social ills in Dominican culture that range from corruption, to discrimination, to sexual abuse. I already bought the book and hope to get to it this year because I want to read something fresh, from the new generation of Dominicans who are speaking up about the social ills of Dominican society.

Here's a summary I wrote in my mini blog along with a link that provides a preview of many chapters of the book. Chapter three is titled Xenofobia quisqueyana. The title of the book is 'Un dominicano en peligro'. I bought it on Amazon.com





Book preview: Un dominicano en peligro - Google Books

My mini blog comment: http://www.dr1.com/forums/blogs/mar...-dalbert-s-nchez-dominican-author-canada.html


BTW- I have stayed at Hotel Napolitano many times in the past and had a pleasant time. However, knowing that they foster this practice, I will definitely be looking for another venue if need be whenever I am in Santo Domingo again. There's no need to patronize a business with these types of principles.



-MP.
 
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RacerX

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Nov 22, 2009
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Listen, you have the World Wide Web to your advantage and you dont know what to do? You went there with your friends to a business that specializes in hospitality and you didnt feel they were hospitable? So whats holding you back? Let it be known, worldwide, that this place is not or does not prefer to have black clientele. You need to set the example like Chris Rock said "Grand Opening...Grand Closing" People respond to pressure. You need to make it known that NO ONE, within clear earshot of you in New Jersey will visit this place until you see changes.
How was he dressed? Lame question. Does it matter? They were hitting clubs all night so I d assume that he was dressed appropriately.
Those Trujillo days are done man, you gotta let them know. I ve seen reports from the US Embassy website about these instances.
 
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