Opinion

OP-ED: Xenophobia and Ethnic Cleansing in The Dominican Republic: A Desperate Act of Self-Hate

DOMINICAN REP-HAITI-MIGRANTS-PROTEST

By Georges Bossous, Jr.

Georges Bossous, Jr. is the executive director, Word and Action, Inc. and the CEO/ publisher of Unveil Magazine. He is a community leader and child advocate in Miami. Bossous earned a masters degree in Psychology from Barry University and is currently a doctorate candidate in public health at Walden University.

For decades, the Dominican Republic (DR) has engaged in ethnic cleansing against Haitians. Former Dominican President Rafael Trujillo, as we are all aware, in 1937 had ordered the gruesome massacre of over 30,000 Haitians known as The Parsley Massacre. Yet, the world remained indifferent and silent and DR has never been held accountable for this heinous crime. One can’t help but wonder why the plight of Haitians and Dominico-Haitians are residing in the Dominican Republic has been overlooked?

Currently, ethnic cleansing is being waged in the Dominican Republic against Haitians. This crisis is occurring in the very backyard of the United States, this great nation that is a champion for democracy and human rights around the world. The inhumane act and the ill treatment of Haitians and Dominico-Haitians in the Dominican Republic should have called for international action long ago. Numerous Haitians have been the victims of hate crimes in the Dominican Republic. Recently, a young Haitian man was publicly lynched. The victim, identified by his nickname Tulile, was found hung at Ercilia Pepín Park, according to Listín Diario. Yet, the international community’s silence and indifferent still persist.

Henry “Tulile” Jean Claude body being taken away after he was found hanging in a Santiago public square.

Daily, young students in the Dominican Republic are humiliated publicly, even by their own professors. During my travels in DR, I have encountered several students who have expressed their fears, frustrations, and sadness to me on this matter at hand. I have spoken with a young female student in Santiago, the second largest city in DR, who told me that her professor had overtly stigmatized Haitians students in the classroom.

Haitians are consistently being persecuted, humiliated, rejected, and disrespected in the Dominican Republic. They are suspicions that the current Haitian government, as well as previous ones, may have been in concordance with the Dominican government. One can’t help but to wonder if the latter is true since none of the Haitian officials has ever taken a firm and effective stand on this matter.

Today, we are calling on respected organizations including NAACP, National Urban League, Rainbow Coalition, to take a public stand against the human rights violations, racism, and xenophobia that reign in the Dominican Republic. We are in great need of a statement from the Congregational Black Caucus in this serious matter. We hope that they would utilize their power to assist in putting an end to the ethnic cleansing that is currently taking place in DR. We strongly believe that the United Nations must hastily take appropriate measures against the Dominican Republic in order to stop the foreseeable genocide of Haitians who are currently residing in the DR. We do not want that nor would we want the Parsley Massacre repeated.

It is imperative that the Haitian-American elected officials make their voices heard as well, for this is a crucial matter at hand. The Haitian community has long waited for President Barack Obama to release a statement in regards to ethnic cleansing against Haitians in the Dominican Republic. As the leader of the free world, we are relying on you President Obama to help in establishing equality, justice, and fairness to all, especially for those who are impoverished and are in great needs.Obama’s intervention, calling for a halt to the social cleansing in the DR would be, in my sense, a human and just act. The Haitian community takes a hearty note of Pope Francis’s concerns in this matter for he knows the consequences of remaining silent to injustice and cruelty.

One must comprehend that the ill treatment that Haitians and Dominican Haitians are currently enduring in the DR has little to do with immigration. It is classified as ethnic cleansing, xenophobia, racism, and it is a crime against humanity.

Throughout history, Haiti has demonstrated a sense of solidarity among many nations. In October 9, 1779, more than 500 Haitians joined the American colonists and the French troops and aided them in victory against the British in Savanna, Georgia. Forget not, Haiti also assisted Simon Bolivar in his quest in gaining freedom for many Latin-American countries. We need to remind Dominican Republic that Haitians among any other nations greatly assisted them during their war of independence against Spain. Forget not, in September 17, 1930 when the hurricane San Zenon devastated DR, Haiti extended a helping hand to them. The solidary that the rest of world, including the Dominican Republic, have shown during our ordeal resulting from the January 12, 2010 earthquake is what should be expected from sister nations. Therefore, I’m disillusioned at the face of the ill treatment of the Dominican Republic government against Haitians today.

The ceaseless demise of the land of Haiti must be stopped and it must be stopped instantly. It is time for those who confess their love and their pride for Haiti to acknowledge and to combat the injustice that has done to us throughout the years. It is our duty and responsibility as human beings to stand up, to raise our voices, and to denounce the cruelty of the Dominican government against Haitians.

Self-hatred is the only treatable disease through education. The healing of racism, self-hatred, and xenophobia is promising should the psychological work of Trujillo is undone in the hearts and minds of Dominican extremists.

We must also acknowledge that there are many great and amazing Dominicans who are against the ethnic cleansing movement that is currently taking place in DR and we thank them for that. For the Dominican extremists who are persecuting and terrorizing Haitians as well as moderate Dominicans, we want to inform you that we will not stand for such heinous crimes and nor will we allow you to continue with such inhuman acts.

I commend those in the Dominican Republic who are not participating in the odious crimes that are being committed against Haitians and Dominicans. May these individuals continue to show the world that all Dominicans are not the same and that their country is much more than what Rafael Trujillo and people like him portrayed it to be. I believe the world should stand up against this barbaric and racist policy that is being implemented in DR. Let’s stop this policy now before it is too late. It is our moral obligation.

Haitian Times

Haitian Times

The Haitian Times was founded in 1999 as a weekly English language newspaper based in Brooklyn, NY.The newspaper is widely regarded as the most authoritative voice for Haitian Diaspora.
Haitian Times
Jul. 06, 2015

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