Stateless in the Dominican Republic

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2015-12-19 03:50Z by Steven

Stateless in the Dominican Republic

Columbia Law School
2015-12-15

Media Contact: Public Affairs, 212-854-2650 or publicaffairs@law.columbia.edu

Human Rights Lawyers Champion the Rights of Disenfranchised Dominicans of Haitian Descent, in a Talk at Columbia Law School

New York, December 15, 2015—The plight of more than 200,000 people in the Dominican Republic who were stripped of their citizenship two years ago by that nation’s highest court was discussed by two human rights attorneys at Columbia Law School. The newly stateless people were Dominican-born to undocumented Haitian immigrant parents or grandparents, and they now face the threat of forced deportation, leading the lawyers to draw parallels to the current debate in the United States over birthright citizenship.

The Nov. 19 event—“Immigration and Black Lives: Haitian Deportations in the Dominican Republic”—was sponsored by Columbia Law School’s Latino/a Law Students Association and Black Law Students Association, and cosponsored by Social Justice Initiatives, the Columbia Journal of Race and Law, and the Human Rights Institute. It was organized by Daily Guerrero ’17, who came to the United States from the Dominican Republic when she was six years old.

Cassandre Théano, an associate legal officer for the Open Society Justice Initiative, explained that in 2013, the Dominican Republic’s highest court denied the daughter of Haitian migrants her “cédula”—or identity papers—confiscated her birth certificate, and applied the decision to anyone born after 1929, revoking the citizenship of Haitian descendants who had been living in the Dominican Republic for generations. “Pretty much every international organization was shocked, and there was a lot of uproar,” Théano said…

“This is really a racial justice issue,” said Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, president of the National Lawyers Guild and an associate counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF, which works with low-wage Latina immigrant workers in the United States. Nearly three-quarters of the Dominican Republic’s population is made up of people of mixed-race heritage, while 95 percent of the Haitian population is black. A language difference also exists, as most Dominicans speak Spanish and Haitians Haitian Creole. “These policies are targeting black and brown people,” Bannan said…

Read the entire article here.

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Black Lives Matter in the Dominican Republic

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Law, Media Archive, Social Justice on 2015-11-30 01:28Z by Steven

Black Lives Matter in the Dominican Republic

teleSUR
2015-08-11

Auset Marian Lewis

Racial profiling is not just happening in the U.S., Haitians in the Dominican Republic suffer the same discrimination.

Black lives matter” is a resounding cry heard around the world. The UN Working Group of Experts of People of African Descent said as much in a recent news release regarding the deportation of Haitian residents and migrant workers in the Dominican Republic. Mirelle Fanon Mendes France, head of the U.N. group stated, “The Dominican Republic does not recognize the existence of a structural problem of racism and xenophobia, but it must address these issues as a matter of priority so the country can live free from tension and fear.”

Since June 21 some 19,000 Haitians have fled the Dominican Republic for Haiti fearing the unfair deportation policies that make it difficult for legal residents to comply with demands, which not only disregard the Dominican Constitution but also violate international norms.

In 2013, the constitutional court of the Dominican Republic ruled that offspring of undocumented immigrants would become illegal retroactive to 1929. This immediately invalidated the legal status of an estimated 200,000 Dominican citizens. Of the 450,000 Haitian migrant workers in the country, 290,000 met a filing deadline for legal status. Of those who filed, the government ruled that only 2 percent were legal.

The clash between Haiti and the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola has a strained history beyond the obvious racial differences. Haitians are the dark progeny of the French African slave trade while Dominican Republicans are mulattoes of Spanish descent. The enmity between the two countries is not only racial, but also cultural and historical. However, just as the world witnesses how little Black lives matter in American extrajudicial killings, the mistreatment of dark Haitians could well inspire a #Haitian Lives Matter twitter campaign…

Read the entire article here.

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Caribbean Racisms: Connections and Complexities in the Racialization of the Caribbean Region

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2015-10-25 22:40Z by Steven

Caribbean Racisms: Connections and Complexities in the Racialization of the Caribbean Region

Palgrave Macmillan
May 2015
216 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9781137287274
Ebook (EPUB) ISBN: 9781137287298
Ebook (PDF) ISBN: 9781137287281

Shirley Anne Tate, Professor of Sociology
Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, United Kingdom

Ian Law, Professor of Racism and Ethnicity Studies
School of Sociology and Social Policy
University of Leeds, United Kingdom

This book identifies and engages with an analysis of racism in the Caribbean region, providing an empirically-based theoretical re-framing of both the racialisation of the globe and evaluation of the prospects for anti-racism and the post-racial.

The thirty contemporary territories of the Caribbean and their differing colonial and post-colonial contexts provide a highly dynamic setting urging a re-assessment of the ways in which contemporary processes of racialisation are working. This book seeks to develop a new account of racialisation in this region, challenging established arguments, propositions and narratives of racial Caribbeanisation.

With new insights into contemporary forms of racialisation in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, this will be essential reading for scholars of Race and Ethnicity.

Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • About the Authors
  • 1 Racial Caribbeanization: Origins and Development
  • 2 Racial States in the Post-Emancipation Caribbean
  • 3 Mixing, Métissage and Mestizaje
  • 4 Whiteness and the Contemporary Caribbean
  • 5 The ‘Post-Race Contemporary’ and the Caribbean
  • 6 Polyracial Neoliberalism
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index 
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Blacks, Mulattos, and the Dominican Nation

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery on 2015-08-02 00:58Z by Steven

Blacks, Mulattos, and the Dominican Nation

Routledge
2015-05-08 (orginally published in 1969)
122 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781138785007
Hardback ISBN: 9781138784994

Franklin J. Franco (1936-2013)

Introduction by:

Silvio Torres-Saillant, Dean’s Professor in the Humanities
Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York

Blacks, Mulattos, and the Dominican Nation is the first English translation of the classic text Los negros, los mulatos y la nación dominicana by esteemed Dominican scholar Franklin J. Franco. Published in 1969, this book was the first systematic work on the role of Afro-descendants in Dominican society, the first society of the modern Americas where a Black-Mulatto population majority developed during the 16th century. Franco’s work, a foundational text for Dominican ethnic studies, constituted a paradigm shift, breaking with the distortions of traditional histories that focused on the colonial elite to place Afro-descendants, slavery, and race relations at the center of Dominican history.

This translation includes a new introduction by Silvio Torres-Saillant (Syracuse University) which contextualizes Franco’s work, explaining the milieu in which he was writing, and bringing the historiography of race, slavery, and the Dominican Republic up to the present. Making this pioneering work accessible to an English-speaking audience for the first time, this is a must-have for anyone interested in the lasting effects of African slavery on the Dominican population and Caribbean societies.

Table of Contents

  • Series Editor’s Introduction
  • Introduction to Franklin Franco’s Blacks, Mulattos, and the Dominican Nation Silvio Torres-Saillant
  • Prologue Juan I. Jiménez Grullón
  • 1. The Black Population
  • 2. The Black Population and the National Consciousness
  • 3. The Constitution of 1801
  • 4. The Other Face of the Reconquest
  • 5. “Foolish Spain” and “Rebellious Africa”
  • 6. Complete Unity and National Unity
  • Bibliography
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Hiding Black Behind the Ears: On Dominicans, Blackness, and Haiti

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2015-07-26 22:07Z by Steven

Hiding Black Behind the Ears: On Dominicans, Blackness, and Haiti

Gawker
2015-07-25

Roberto C. Garcia

The first friend I made in Elizabeth, New Jersey was a white kid named Billy. As a New York transplant my Dominicano look wasn’t too popular with Jersey folk. I had an afro, wore dress pants, a collared shirt, and black leather shoes with little gold buckles. Most of the kids just wanted to know what my thing was. Billy and I couldn’t have been more different, but we got close pretty quickly. Despite the fact that Billy’s parents wouldn’t allow him over my house, my grandmother allowed me over his. She took one look at Billy’s blonde hair and blue eyes, and at his mother’s middle class American manners, and pronounced their household safe. “Where are you from?” Billy’s mother asked, referring to my grandmother’s heavy accent. “I thought you were black.” On that day I couldn’t have imagined how many times I’d have to answer that question in my lifetime. “We’re Dominican.”

A couple years later, when the neighborhood became predominantly Cuban, African American, and Haitian, Billy and his family moved away. My new best friend was black, and his mother wouldn’t let him over my house either, on account of us being “Puerto Rican.” You can imagine our surprise when I returned with a similar story. My grandmother didn’t want me over his house because they were black. We looked each other over. Two skinny round-headed, chocolate brown boys wondering what the hell each other’s families were talking about. As far as we knew, we looked the same. My grandmother was just as black as Tyshaun’s mother and I told her as much every time she chided me about playing with him. What was I missing?…

Read the entire article here.

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CUNY Exhibition Documents Lives of Black Africans in Early Dominican Republic

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, United States on 2015-07-14 20:42Z by Steven

CUNY Exhibition Documents Lives of Black Africans in Early Dominican Republic

The New York Times
2015-07-13

Sandra E. Garcia

Scholars at the City University of New York are using clues left in 16th-century manuscripts and Spanish records to track the lives of the earliest black Africans in the Dominican Republic.

An exhibition now on view of letters and other documents from the archives of CUNY’s Dominican Studies Institute and the General Archives of the Indies in Seville, Spain, provides a window onto the lives of the often ignored black Africans of La Española, the island of Hispaniola.

In the exhibition, “16th-Century La Española: Glimpses of the First Blacks in the Early Colonial Americas,” 25 panels display photos of an original letter or record, along with an English translation, that explain or question situations involving formerly enslaved Africans on the island.

When searching the archives, Anthony Stevens-Acevedo, the assistant director of the Dominican Studies Institute, focused on keywords like “mulatto,” “negro” and “negra,” he said.

Read the entire article here.

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The Ins and Outs of Diversity in the Dominican Republic

Posted in Anthropology, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive on 2015-03-01 22:22Z by Steven

The Ins and Outs of Diversity in the Dominican Republic

Latina
2015-02-26

Cindy Rodriguez

In an attempt to debunk the stereotypes on what exactly a “Dominican looks like,” Twitter user UsDominicans809 posted a photo of a group of beautiful women (er, possibly models?) who are all super diverse in physical identity along with a sassy tweet.

“They’re all dominican; so next time somebody says “you don’t look dominican” tell that dumbass, we’re all unique,” as written by user UsDominicans809.

This comment accurately encompasses the identity struggle Latinos in the U.S. go through day in and day out which is why pieces like “Things You Shouldn’t Say To Latinos,” or Afro-Latinos and the often overlooked pale Latinas do so well. They reflect all the misconceptions that go with the Latino identity.

First, Latinos are not a race, it’s an ethnicity; but you knew that already. Latin America’s diverse racial demographics are the result of a mixed-race background from European, African and indigenous cultures.

But if you didn’t already know… race in the Dominican Republic is way more complicated than in the United States.

Here, you either fall under a handful of categories: Asian, Black, White, India, and so forth but, according to Public Radio International, Dominicans use an array of words to self-identify their degree of “blackness”, for lack of a better term, like: moreno, trigueno, and blanco-oscuro.

Which is odd because “more than 90 percent of Dominicans possess some degree of African descent — and that the very first rebellion of black slaves occurred here in 1522,” according to The Root. But, in the their federal census, most recently, 82 percent designated their race as “indio”, while only 4.13 percent designate themselves as black…

Read the entire article here.

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Mestizaje and Public Opinion in Latin America

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico, Social Science on 2015-03-01 02:50Z by Steven

Mestizaje and Public Opinion in Latin America

Latin American Research Review
Volume 48, Number 3 (2013)
pages 130-152
DOI: 10.1353/lar.2013.0045

Edward Telles, Professor of Sociology
Princeton University

Denia Garcia
Department of Sociology
Princeton University

Latin American elites authored and disseminated ideologies of mestizaje or race mixture, but does the general population value them today? Using the 2010 Americas Barometer, we examined public opinion about mestizaje in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru using survey questions that modeled mestizaje both as a principle of national development and as tolerance for intermarriage with black or indigenous people. We found that most Latin Americans support mestizaje, although support varies by country and ethnicity. Across countries, we find partial evidence that the strength of earlier nation-making mestizaje ideas is related to support for mestizaje today, and that strong multicultural policies may have actually strengthened such support. Ethnoracial minorities showed particular support for the national principle of mestizaje. Finally, we discovered that the national principle of mestizaje is associated with more tolerant attitudes about intermarriage, especially in countries with large Afro-descendant populations.

Ideas of mestizaje, or race mixture, are central to the formation of many Latin American nations and are assumed to predominate in much of the region today (Hale 2006; Holt 2003; Telles 2004; Wade 1993). Concepts of mestizaje stress racial fusion and the inclusion of diverse racial elements as essential to the nation; hence mestizos, or mixed-race people, are considered the prototypical citizens. Although racial hierarchies characterize Latin American socioeconomic structures (Telles, Flores, and Urrea-Giraldo 2010), ideas of mestizaje have stood in contrast to ideas of white racial purity and anti-miscegenation historically held in the United States (Bost 2003; Holt 2003; Sollors 2000). While ideas of mestizaje emerged as Latin American state projects in the early twentieth century, they are often hailed as widely shared ideologies that are central to Latin Americans’ understanding of race and race relations (Knight 1990; Mallon 1996; Whitten 2003).

Despite Latin America’s diverse racial composition and the fact that an estimated 133 million Afro-descendant and 34 million indigenous people reside there, according to recent data—numbers far higher than in the United States (Telles, forthcoming)—racial attitudes in Latin America have, surprisingly, been understudied. Despite clues from ethnographic research, we lack nationally representative evidence on the general population’s feelings about mestizaje. In this article, we examine support for mestizaje and its variations across nation and ethnicity in eight Latin American countries with large nonwhite populations: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. These countries represent more than 70 percent of Latin America’s population and are home to the vast majority of both Afro-descendants and indigenous people in the region. We focused on two dimensions of the mestizaje ideology: as a national development principle and an individual intermarriage principle. The first, which is closely related to the national narratives developed by elites during nation making, maintains that race mixture is good for the nation. The second addresses tolerance for intermarriage in one’s family—often considered the ultimate marker of racial and ethnic integration (Alba and Nee 2003; Gordon 1964).

Our examination of eight Latin American countries provides new contexts for thinking about racial attitudes, beyond the large literature that is dominated by the case of the United States. Since racial meanings are context dependent, the study of Latin America may complicate social science understandings of racial attitudes more generally. As Krysan (2000, 161) wrote, “This complexity forces those who have developed their theories in an American context to take care not to rely too heavily on uniquely American values, principles, politics, and racial histories.” Latin America differs from the United States in that nothing like mestizaje ideology exists in the United States. Moreover, understanding racial attitudes is important because they may guide behaviors, even though attitudes are often more liberal than actual behaviors (Schuman et al. 1997). In particular, the degree to which the public embraces mestizaje may be important for understanding whether the ideology has implications for racial and national identity and democratic politics in Latin America, including whether the population would support or resist measures to combat racial discrimination and inequality…

Read the entire article here.

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Pigmentocracies: Educational Inequality, Skin Color and Census Ethnoracial Identification in Eight Latin American Countries

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Mexico, Social Science on 2015-02-27 02:28Z by Steven

Pigmentocracies: Educational Inequality, Skin Color and Census Ethnoracial Identification in Eight Latin American Countries

Research in Social Stratification and Mobility
Available online: 2015-02-25
DOI: 10.1016/j.rssm.2015.02.002

Edward Telles, Professor of Sociology
Princeton University

René Flores
University of Washington

Fernando Urrea Giraldo, Professor of Sociology
Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia

Highlights

  • We use two measures of race and ethnicity – ethnoracial self-identification as used by national censuses and interviewer –rated skin color to examine educational inequality in eight Latin American countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru.
  • We find that inequality based on skin color is more consistent and robust than inequality based on census ethnoracial identification.
  • Census ethnoracial identification often provided inconsistent results especially regarding the afro-descendant populations of Colombia, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.
  • Skin color inequality was particularly great in Bolivia and Guatemala.
  • Parental occupation, a proxy for class origins, is also robust and positively associated with educational attainment.
  • In other words, both class and race, especially as measured by skin color, predicts educational inequality in Latin America.

For the first time, most Latin American censuses ask respondents to self-identify by race or ethnicity allowing researchers to examine long-ignored ethnoracial inequalities. However, reliance on census ethnoracial categories could poorly capture the manifestation(s) of race that lead to inequality in the region, because of classificatory ambiguity and within-category racial or color heterogeneity. To overcome this, we modeled the relation of both interviewer-rated skin color and census ethnoracial categories with educational inequality using innovative data from the 2010 America’s Barometer from the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) and 2010 surveys from the Project on Ethnicity and Race in Latin America (PERLA) for eight Latin American countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru). We found that darker skin color was negatively and consistently related to schooling in all countries, with and without extensive controls. Indigenous and black self-identification was also negatively related to schooling, though not always at a statistically significant and robust level like skin color. In contrast, results for self-identified mulattos, mestizos and whites were inconsistent and often counter to the expected racial hierarchy, suggesting that skin color measures often capture racial inequalities that census measures miss.

Read the entire article here.

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Charcoal and Cinnamon: The Politics of Color in Spanish Caribbean Literature

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Women on 2015-02-16 21:03Z by Steven

Charcoal and Cinnamon: The Politics of Color in Spanish Caribbean Literature

University Press of Florida
2000-04-09
192 pages
6 x 9
Cloth ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-1736-5
Paper ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-2717-3

Claudette M. Williams, Senior Lecturer
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica

Charcoal and Cinnamon explores the continuing redefinition of women of African descent in the Caribbean, focusing on the manner in which literature has influenced their treatment and contributed to the formation of their shifting identities.

While various studies have explored this subject, much of the existing research harbors a blindness to the literature of the non-English-speaking territories. Claudette Williams bases her analyses on poetry and prose from Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic and enhances it by comparing these writings with the literatures of the English- and French-speaking Caribbean territories.

Williams also questions the tendency of some of the established schools of feminism to de-emphasize the factor of race in their gender analyses. A novel aspect of this work, indicated by the allusion to “charcoal” and “cinnamon” in its title, is its focus on the ways in which many writers use language to point to subtle distinctions between black and brown (mulatto) women.

The originality of Williams’s approach is also evident in her emphasis on the writer’s attitudes toward race rather than on the writer’s race itself. She brings to the emotionally charged subject of the politics of color the keen analysis and sustained research of a scholar, as well as the perceptive personal insights of an African-ancestored Caribbean woman.

Though the main focus is on literary works, the book will also be a valuable reference for courses on Caribbean history, sociology, and psychology.

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