Featured, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

On The Dominican Republic And “Convenient Blackness”

Convenient Blackness is en vogue in America and the rest of the “Americas” as well. While we were caught up in the ridiculousness of “She who shall not be named” and the tragedy in Charleston, the Dominican Republic is deporting tens of thousands of Haitian-Dominicans to a country many of them have never lived in.

I am not Haitian or Dominican and I don’t claim to be. I am an outsider and some would say it’s convenient for me, an American, to comment on this issue. The truth of the matter is that the underlying racial dynamic behind the DR’s deportation laws exist in every country in the African Diaspora including the US. We can’t ignore it, especially when it serves as reminder of the ultimate result of respectability politics: A divided people.

I reached out to one of my Dominican childhood friends, let’s call her Lisa, hoping that she would assuage my worries and inform me of the Dominicans, in the US and on the island, who oppose the law. I was sadly mistaken. She told me there are some that disagree, but most accept it as a matter-of-fact. The Haitians are going back to where they belong.

Lisa comes from a mixed family. Her mother’s side is a standard “Jim Brown” brown. Her father’s side “De Barge family” beige.  Over the course of her life, she’s witnessed a tacit recognition of Blackness from both sides. She’s seen lightskinned babies fawned over and heard warnings to not marry African Americans, because nappy hair. To her father’s family, she’s “india.” To her mother’s side she’s a “morenita.” But, to be black, to be “negro” is a little too close to being Haitian. According to Lisa’s dreadlocked aunt,  the law is good. Haitians are less educated, they’re dirty, and they’re uncivilized.

“They’re dragging us down.”

We’ve heard this misguided narrative too many times. It’s peculiar that a people who have benefitted so greatly from emigration would be so virulently against it when immigrants inconvenience them at their doorstep. Hmm…I wonder what the reason could be?

Lisa has never seen a Dominican women as dark as her mother on television. If you all you knew about Dominicans came from the media, you’d be shocked to find out that all Dominicans aren’t indeterminately beige. Some are fair-skinned, and many, yes even the women, are Black. But, a good portion are only conveniently so. For many, Africanness is rarely referred to apart from from their Spanish and Indigenous roots and almost never held in high regard.  And, for the Dominicans who feel this way, you may never quite get one to admit their Blackness to you, but there are some convenient situations when it does happen. Perhaps when a fair-skinned Dominican calls you “his nigga” but also reminds you not to be upset, cuz “He’s Black too.” Or when Yasmin at the salon wants your business, claiming she lays a relaxer just as good as Jasmine.

Sadly, when it’s time to have sympathy for Haitian immigrants, they are the other. They’re dirty, they’re lazy, and other coded terms for “ain’t shit negroes.”

Respectability politics and cultural brainwashing are a terrifying mix. I’ve never known any indigenous people to need a relaxer. But I’m sleep.

A common line of thought is that this is simply an economic issue. That the DR is simply overrun with Haitians immigrants it can’t support.  And this is a sovereign nation solving an immigration problem. Haitians were given ample time to provide documentation they may have never been given and register with the government before they were rounded into “Welcome Centers.”

This argument almost appears cogent until the cracks begin to appear: “You don’t understand our history! We were under Haitian rule for 22 years!”

…in 1844.

You doth protest too much, DR.

It takes true passion to inconvenience yourself for a cause. Deportations are not cheap. Heck, a wall might have been a more reasonable choice. But a supposedly financially strapped nation found the cash to set this in motion and effectively render tens of thousands of people stateless. This is about race and it always has been. In 2013, the first iteration of this law retroactively stripped Haitian descendants of their citizenship as far back as 1929.  That’s pre-civil rights act, pre-Trujillo massacre, Pre-Dr. King and flagrantly, pathologically racist.  International pressure forced the DR to create the current version of the law and hide their initial intentions under the veneer of economic policy.

Lisa told me a story of boy she used to play with in Santo Domingo. They called him “Caco Play” which in Dominican slang means, “Baseball field head.” This boy was teased mercilessly, not because of his apparently misshapen head but because he “looked like a Haitian.” He was midnight Black. If he lived up to his name sake and made millions of dollars in Major League Baseball, would he look conveniently Dominican then?

Yo DR, being black isn’t convenient. It wasn’t for Caco Play, and isn’t for the rest of us either.  Sammy Sosa’s transformation into an albino vampire should have been the first warning that this cognitive dissonance is getting out of hand. Is remaining the appropriate shade of brown so important that you deport your own people to a foreign country?

My grandmother and uncles immigrated to the US. I understand the desire for a “controlled” and “fair” process. The Dominican government will tell you that there are many factors involved and much thought has gone into crafting this policy. That may be true, but just like in US, the racial motivations behind immigration policy couldn’t be more transparent.

Brandon Harrison

Brandon lives in LA and has Hollywood stories that rival those of Rick James. He prides himself on staying righteous and knowing more about basketball than you.

  • Keisha

    Yeah, I heard about this a while back. My mom went to Haiti on a mission trip and ended up “adopting” a son over there. He’s attending college in the DR and the hoops he has to jump through are ridiculous. Anyway they can make life harder for him, they do. He applied for a temporary visa to come to the US to visit us last Christmas. They denied his request after his interview with no justification at all. Mind you, the fee for the visa application isn’t cheap. It’s kinda crazy…but then again similiar comments have been made with regards to Mexicans here legally or otherwise…so, yeah…

  • miss t-lee

    Albino vampire. Best description of Sammy Sosa ever.
    The whole situation is a mess.Folks staying silent on the issue is very telling. Makes me think a little bit about a guy named Hitler.

    • Nick Peters

      I never understood any plastic surgery anyway…

      I bet he looks into a mirror @ night and sees the same brown skinned Sammy Sosa…

      • miss t-lee

        Skin bleaching.

    • This is a f***ed situation. Old Dolfy didn’t invent ethnic cleansing but he sure did industrialize it.*

      *looking at you Andrew Jackson

      • miss t-lee

        True, true.

  • I know from talking with friends in my undergrad years, that there has always been beef between the Dominicans and Hatians, I’m sad to say that I’m not surprised by any of this, but I also think it’s somewhat projection to view this as mostly just a product of colorism and white brainwashing; I’m not saying that doesn’t play a part, but there’s usually more to it. It’s dangerous to take snapshots of nations and then try to interpret them through your perspective, without having a fair familiarity with the dynamics of the people you are dealing with.

    Back when my father was growing up in Ghana in the 1960’s there was this massive deportation of Nigerians living in the country at the time. There was much talk about how Nigerians are all fraudsters, “they take our jobs”, many of them are here illegally etc. So they literally just started banding Nigerians together and they kicked them out of the country. My father was one of the best students in his class at the time, and his mother wanted him to stay in Ghana since the schools were better, so she made a deal with a teacher and he adopted my father.

    About 20 years later, Nigeria had it’s turn, and it was very vindictive. They kicked Ghanians out under similar accusations, and when they did it many vendors ended up making these travel bags and selling it to Ghanians, the bags were called “Ghana-Must-Go” and is still called Ghana-must-go today, even though relations between the countries that are literally right next to each other have improved somewhat, and the economies are functioning fairly well.

    A lot of times it has to do with economics, mixed with corruption, mixed with the inherent bias of nation states to increasingly become prejudice in times of economic stagnation. In America, it’s the Mexicans, in Europe it’s the Arabs, in Asia it’s other Asians, this happens a lot, and the victims of it, always remember when it’s their turn. Most of this is driven by propaganda by politicians who do not have any widespread ideas to deal with the economic crises such nations are dealing with at the time, so they redirect the focus towards immigrants and over-emphasize every little tendency that they exhibit that is considered unbecoming in the society, so the people, when it’s all said and done, praise their leaders for breaking any laws or customs of decency, just to get rid of groups of people they do not like.

    • Brandon Allen

      It’s totally all of those things with a twist of unnecessary colonialized colorism on top. It’s a adds a little extra flavor to the ethnocentricity

      • I see where you’re coming from, but a lot of times, I think making such arguments reinforces the United African myth, which I’m not going to lie sort of irritates me, because when I talk to people who want to go and help Africa, and want to unite against White Supremacy, they often argue from the standpoint of ignorance of the current politics and dynamics that exist in the nations they want to unite with.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          I haven’t figured out if that comes from a lack of understanding of a laziness of thinking of Africa as a monolithic entity and the desire of implementing a one size fits all solution vs multiple solutions based upon need.

          • I think it comes from living in America, it’s an American thing.

            When George Bush said that we’re going to bring “Democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan”, he was appealing to the American belief that if you are committed to building a perfected society, where the goal is liberty and equality for the people, then all the obstacles in the way can be conquered, no matter how gigantic they are. America got it from the British, the difference between the two was the British were more conscious of it, Americans are not, mostly due to their isolation geographically. The belief that one can change the world, before knowing the world, is uniquely American.

            The black people who originally came to Liberia, were black people who wanted to do the same thing that the George Bush wanted to do in Afghanistan. However, tribal rivalries and confusing political divisions, infuriated them, thus having more power and the backing of the United States to be somewhat of a semi-colony, they just took over, and decided that they would try to unite the tribes under Christianity (monotheism is the first step towards nationalism). However, it didn’t work how they wanted, they got accustomed to the way things were, and be came a one-party dictatorship, where all the leaders were those who could trace their heritage to the United States. Then after about a 100 years or so, when power was ceased from them, political corruption and tribal conflict led to the Liberian Civil War, which was brutal on way too many levels to go into.

        • BlueWave1

          I hear on you on the “united Africa/Black” thing. It’s problematic on multiple fronts. However, I think part of it comes out of the reverse. There (at times) seems to be a very united front against anything black. At least that seems to be the case here in the Western Hemisphere. When the outside aggression is aimed at a variety of West African peoples, and blacks from North and South America the message is undeniable.

          It can seem odd when we as black people can’t wait to stress our differences (African, North or South American, Caribbean, etc.). Yet, those who would and do oppress us have no problem uniting to pull off that oppression. Our refusal to find more common ground is often a great hand on our own collective oppression.

          • I think it’s a couple things:

            There are about two kinds of black people who come here from foreign countries: those who come to live here, and those who come to make money here. A great example of those who come to live here are people like Colin Powell and Farrakhan, who both came from Caribbean households. Even though they are well aware of their heritage, they immerse and identify themselves as African Americans…in order to do that, they do, assimilate, but they assimilate to Black American culture. Nobody asks them too, but in order to fit in, they usually do have to assimilate.

            Then there are the other group of people who when they come to America, they do not come here to live permanently, they come here to make money, so they can go home and live like kings and take care of their families back home. Those kind do not show much of an interest in politics, they might participate in black culture, they might even excel and be famous and well known, kind of like Akon, but their heart isn’t in America, and once they get that paycheck, America gets downgraded to a vacation spot (once you have capital, it’s much easier to make money in Africa, since there is far less regulation, than there is in the U.S.). Those tend to be the ones who are much more assertive in claiming their separation and disinterest in black political causes. Racism is not powerful enough a force for them to forget their primary mission for being here.

            • You’ve nailed it. Impressive.

            • anonymous

              I disagree. Just so you know, Akon does speak out against oppression and racism. How many ppl migrate to the US just to “make money”? Of course at first it’s about the “American Dream” but then these ppl get citizenship and that changes a lot. That makes their stay more permanent than temporary. I have relatives who spent the majority of their lives in the US and only relocated back to Nigeria when they were much older. They did not go back after they had accumulated wealth. The truth is, Africa is home and at some point most Africans in diaspora will eventually go back home, wealth or no wealth.

        • Brandon Allen

          I feel that the dynamics are different in the western hemisphere. Pretty much all people come from the legacy of European slavery. There’s clear parallels and similarities despite French or Spanish or English colonizers. In Africa, theres already individual nations whose own histories and internal struggles were exacerbated by colonialisn. There’s more agency in that struggle. But over here you can basically plot out the historical points that created this whole mess and it doesn’t take too utopian ideals or arrogance to see where it comes from.

        • Ustadh

          African/Black unity is not a bad thing. Problem is most of the so called ‘African unity’ is based on mere rhetoric or as you point unity against white imperialism/supremacy. What African/black people need is purposeful unity, unity to better ourselves example unity in trade or business etc.

    • Question

      Honestly, I think it has more to do with the comparative rise and fall of Saint Dominique (Haiti) vs Santo Domingo (DR) and the parallels that you mention to Nigeria and Ghana. With the wealth that was generated by Saint Dominique and the fact that mixed race and Black folks played prominent roles in society – it could be a bit of colonial colorism, with a side of economic prowess and subjugation – that’s driving a lot of this.

      Present day folks probably have no idea why they feel the way they do about Haitians other than the fact that the sentiments have been passed down through the generations.

      • Nah that’s definitely true, people tend to inherit the hatred that their parents have for other groups even if it is only revealed in international friendly matches or the world cup. I’ve had Ghanian friends who would take a bullet for me, but the moment we were playing a soccer match, they’d shoot me in the head to win the match, and we couldn’t even sit with each other lol.

        • MALynn

          My great-grandmother was Dominican and married a Haitian man living in Dr. She escaped when the Trujillo massacre took place and has hated DR folks since. To this day, my mom and aunts all say things like DR folks are “lazy, thieves, and racist mofos.”

    • Rembo

      Those Ghana- Must- Go bags, lol. We have them in Kenya too

  • Yellow Tail

    While there were so many horrible aspects of European colonization I think the psychological toll is perhaps the most devistating. You have black people in the carribbean and elsewhere that clown Haiti even though it was the first independent nation in the carribean and was born out of a successful slave revolt. You have black people that look down on their own blackness and idealize light skin and straight hair.

    • Question

      Not to mention that Haiti was at one point the wealthiest colony on the planet, and one of the first to see Blacks take prominent positions in society.

    • DBoySlim

      I’m appalled by the hate on Hatians. Every region has its whipping boy but the hate for Haiti seems especially potent.

      • Question

        …which makes you wonder whats really driving it…?

        This isn’t just some good ol’ fashioned colorism…

        • DBoySlim

          I didn’t have any interactions with Haitians until I went to college. I couldn’t understand the attitudes towards them. Apparently people aren’t fans of history.

          • KB

            It has to do with the slave revolt and the success of the Haitian revolution. Ever since then Haitians have pretty much been shunned and treated with disregard by the other western and European nations.

          • Question

            C’mon now – you know in ‘Murica, we don’t do history. Nuh uh.

          • Yeah, it really sucks.

            Most of the history you learn doesn’t come from books or schools, as much as it comes from the stories people tell each other.

      • Vanity in Peril

        Partially it has to do with internalized self hatred and Christian indoctrination of african slaves thru today in how the Yaruba ppl were perceived as devil worshipers. Yes, Haitians made a deal with the devil for our freedom, how else could we have possibly overthrew the Europeans? *sarcastic eye roll

        • anonymous

          Yoruba ppl were not perceived as devil worshippers. WTF are you saying? Yoruba ppl and African ppl had their own religion before slavery and colonialism brought Christianity to them.

          • Vanity in Peril

            My post is months old, first off, but secondly: you misread my post and missed my point completely. The polytheism of the religions of the Yoruba ppl were viewed as satanic by the European monotheistic Christians which is part of the reason the practices derived from it such as Santeria in Cuba and Voudu in Haiti were concealed by the believers as them praying to the Saints. Again, you misunderstood.

    • HRD

      Why are you applying American (white) style political correctness to the DR? Do you think the whole world acts like liberal middle class white Americans?

  • menajeanmaehightower

    To be dark skin. There are levels to bigotry.

  • Cersei

    The ironic thing about this is is that Puerto Ricans feel the EXACT same way about Dominicans, as Dominicans feel about Haitians. I used to live in PR, and the first week I got there, I made a comment about some loud people on the bus. The response from the local I was talking to was “Oh, must have been Dominicans. They’re loud, dirty, lazy, etc.” (Sound familiar?) This sentiment was echoed many more times during my stay there. Puerto Ricans, in general are lighter than Dominicans and the same dynamic plays out between the two. I guess when you feel inferior, you find someone you feel is even more inferior than you and take out your frustrations on them.

    • I know a girl who is half DR, half PR (there’s a lot of weird inter-marrying between the two), and she hates Dominicans too.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        Sounds like some Clayton Bigsby ish #self hatred

        • There’s a lot of underground rivalry between Latinos in the U.S…but from what I know just like most of all the Asians can unite against disliking Japan, most Latino people I know can unite when it comes to a dislike toward Puerto Ricans lol.

      • Asiyah

        I’m half DR, half PR and I don’t hate either but it seems many prefer to “choose” the side that has the most “advantage.”

        • I used to work with 3 girls at the same time who were unrelated, but were all half PR and half DR…lol what’s the deal?

          • God Shammgod

            The parents probably met in NY. Large concentrations of both in the city, prone to a fair amount of mixing.

            • This was in Rhode Island though

              • Brandon Allen

                A lot of East coast spill over.

              • roseduchess12

                My cousin is half Black (from my side of the family) and half Dominican. Her siblings are all half Black and half Puerto Rican, so she lies and says she’s full Puerto Rican and looks at me like I’m dirt, even though we’re exactly the same color of medium brown (aka regular Black). Also, she’s from Providence Rhode Island lol. It’s sad…the self-hate is real.

          • Asiyah

            LOL we mix A LOT.

            My case is different as my mother’s family migrated from Puerto Rico during WW1 to work at the sugarcane plantations in San Pedro de Macorix. My grandmother was born some time after that and ended up marrying a Puerto Rican just like her, but my mother ended up with a Dominican. Bound to happen.

          • Lucky Lefty

            i think they do it to piss off their parents lol

    • Yellow Tail

      Kinda reminds you a bit of racism in the United States. What better way for rich white people to distract and pacify poor white people than to tell them that at least their better than black people?

      • ED

        That’s believed to be the roots of American racism

      • Cersei

        It’s strange. I’ve been in both countries and they honestly aren’t that different. Apparently feeling like you’re better than someone else seems to trump actually being better…

      • Val

        Or as the Republicans call it, the Southern Strategy.

    • Nick Peters

      Just the light skinned Puerto Ricans?

      • Cersei

        Well, yea. I lived in Isla Verde, which is somewhat between the poorer and richer parts of PR. Generally, as you go further into the city (Condado, Hato Rey, San Juan/Old San Juan), the lighter (it seems) the ppl get. As you go further out into the rural areas (Pinones, etc) they get a bit darker (I’m generalizing immensely, here). I worked for the federal govt and therefore spent most of my time in the city, and that’s where I was exposed to the anti-dominican sentiment. My guess, tho, is that the darker Puerto Ricans wouldn’t feel any differently than their lighter brethren. I find that people generally enjoy feeling superior to others..

    • Asiyah

      “The ironic thing about this is is that Puerto Ricans feel the EXACT same
      way about Dominicans, as Dominicans feel about Haitians.”

      I was just saying that to my sister the other day. That’s why, while I will call out Dominicans on their racism, I won’t go so far as to call this a Dominican thing only.

      • KB

        It exists within a lot of the Spanish speaking countries as well. Some years ago I was hanging with my cousin and his then Puerto-Rican girlfriend. During a conversation he slipped up and called her Mexican. She got PISSED and quickly snapped back, “Don’t be calling me no filthy Mexican” and left the room.

        • Asiyah

          I get called Mexican all. THE. TIME! It used to offend me when I was an ignorant child because Mexicans were considered unattractive so I took that as me being ugly. The older I got the less it bothered me and now I’m not offended. Being called Mexican isn’t an offense. I’m proud of my Native American roots.

          Latinos aren’t just racist against Blacks (though Blacks are obviously the #1 group they discriminate against). We look down at “indios” and anybody who is Native American.

          • Vanity in Peril

            Meaning…all latinos. Right?

            • Asiyah

              I can’t say all but most Latinos are racist against Blacks and the Indigenous groups of Latin America.

              • Vanity in Peril

                I meant it more like, if you are from south america or the islands you ARE black in part and indegenous but some latinos think their blood is pure import from Spain which is…well..stupid at best.

                • Asiyah

                  I can’t decide if they really think this way or it’s just wishful thinking. Like “if you think it, you can be it.” I never quite believed that saying.

        • BlueWave1

          Here in the States Mexicans are the dominant Spanish speaking group. So I can see how a lot of other Spanish speakers here probably get tired of being confused with them. Here in the West people often think Latino = Mexican and vice versa. Plus, there are rivalries based on past events that most Americans are unaware of.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            In the Southern states and out West. I find if funny that Puerto Ricans and Dominicans get mad at Mexicans for speaking slow when it’s the exact same language. When I opened my mouth to speak Spanish in the South, they could tell I learned from Puerto Ricans and Dominicans.

            • Val

              But, it’s not the exact same language. Spanish is spoken differently in Latin America than it is in the Caribbean. They can understand each other but there’s going to be a bit of confusion sometimes with certain words and phrases, etc.

              • Sigma_Since 93

                I guess my point of reference is learning from a text book and then going out into the streets and talking with my friends or listening to the radio on Sunday Afternoons. IMO, certain words were pronounced differently but spelled the same and the local slang varied.

              • SororSalsa

                I picked up most of my Spanish from Dominicans and Puerto Ricans, and when I went to Mexico the first time and attempted to go through customs speaking Spanish, the agent gave me the oddest look. I was afraid I had told him I was there to smuggle drugs back to the US, because he didn’t understand half of what I said. There are so many dialects and variances that I sometimes feel like I can’t speak Spanish at all.

            • It isn’t the same language… Caribbean Spanish is a hybrid of African and some Indigenous words….i.e bembas/bembes is lips in Yoruba… Boriken and Quisqueya are the taino words or the lands known as PR and DR.. Those aren’t Spanish words.

          • Val

            That has a lot to do with the label “Hispanic” too. Calling someone Hispanic or someone referring to themselves as Hispanic doesn’t really tell you much about who they are. So, people just assume. Being from NYC I’m used to being able to differentiate between cultures, the term Hispanic makes that much more difficult.

    • Charlisia Nwachukwu

      LOL. I was talking to a guy from PR in Miami and he was telling me about the “dirty, loud, etc” people from Argentina are, A few years ago I heard my Koreans friends talking about how the Chinese were trashy… and I have heard people from Korea do not like Japanese because of experiments they did on Chinese and other Asians… Its every where..

      • MzzPeaches

        Agreed. An ex of mines was Ghanian, and he used to go IN on Nigerians. And Cameroonians.I’d just sit there and be like “umm, ok” cause I didn’t know it was that big a deal.

      • Lucky Lefty

        meanwhile, the wealthy are chillin, snackin on purple grapes.

      • KB

        I went to a pretty ethnically diverse high school and I will never forget one day in 10th grade geometry class an Indian girl got cussed out by a Vietnamese kid for mistakenly calling him Chinese, to which the teacher (who was Chinese) had to explain to her why that was seen as insulting.

  • Vanity in Peril

    Fuuuuuque the Dominican Republic. I will never travel there again. Self-hating arsed black, Black…Yes You Are Also Black BLACK folks. Yes, the DR and the Haitian ppl have a complicated history but I find it funny that they have no problem w the white man’s foot, be it France or Spain, being placed squarely on their jugular but a nation of black folks? Yeah, shove your self hatred betrayal of your own kind for whiteness straight up your a33, DR, and don’t forget the sprig of parsley/perejil.

    • KB

      I read about the perejil and how it was used during ‘the cutting’/trujilo massacre of 1937. So very f*cked up.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    The caste system based upon color is crazy. From India to Mexico, the DR / PR and Hatti, it’s real out there…..real ugly, real stupid, really sad.

    • I’m not going to lie, I was watching a documentary on Indian guys bleaching their skin to be more attractive and I busted out laughing, it was unintentionally hilarious.

      • I learned about that crap in college. My mom offered me soap as a souvenir when she returned from India. I threw it in the garbage because I didn’t want my skin to be bleached.

        • Yeah, Indian people have a ton of problems…psychological, s3xual conservatism, caste etc.

    • MzzPeaches

      Any where colonization has touched has polluted people of color mind’s on what their standard of beauty should be. I was floored when I learned a few yrs ago about the lengths people in some countries go to bleach their skin.

      • Question

        Korean leads the world in per capita consumption of skin bleaching products.

        I was shocked when in Vietnam and I learned about the

        That said, I think we also need to broaden how we think of colorism. Colorism in many places is about economics, not race, in some places in the world. Said differently, skin bleaching isn’t universally driven by some desire to distance one’s self from blackness. In Vietnam and Korea its all about symbols of wealth – poor folks work in the sun and therefore have darker skin – so light skin is a symbol of one’s “wealth” or caste.

        • MzzPeaches

          I’ve also seen pieces where there are plenty of Asians getting plastic surgery because they want to look less ethnic as possible (eyelid surgeries & nose jobs) and it has, by their account, yielded better job and social results. I always thought trying to achieve the lighter, “whiter” skin was more so trying to achieve European standards of beauty.

          • MALynn

            Chinese too? Because man, they have a history that is richer and more technologically advanced than the Europeans, so I’d think that they were like ” nah..we the ish, we don’t need to be like white folks”

            • Epsilonicus

              Yup. Chinese too. Especially if you work in some sort of international relations/business

              • MALynn

                well dang…I’ve always been on the biotech/science part of it, where US folks kiss major Chinese a$$.

            • Uhh, not necessarily.

              I think a lot of it is pragmatism. The rich heritage China has, has never really trickled down, even today democracy doesn’t really exist, and is fought bitterly by the Chinese government, although they’ve grown more accepting of it, for economic reasons of course. But basically, any little advantage to rise in society, even if it’s a slight, will be used by many of them to get by.

              The vast majority of Chinese people were simply thrown into the Industrial and Tech age, and since it’s so competitive to get into the middle class in China, which is the equivalent of like making $10,000 a year, people are willing to take whatever means necessary to do it. My sister was in China a couple years ago, and being a Nigeiran it was kind of amusing, when she told me that Chinese corruption and scamming capabilities through out the entire nation would put the average Nigerian 419 scammer to shame.

              • MALynn

                I can understand how the situation you explained would lead to mass immigration to the Western countries. But China was never “properly colonized”, as in land appropriation, enslavement, revolt, and independence. Therefore I was thinking the lack of colonization would have reduced the brainwashing that other colonized places have experienced.

                • Amber

                  It’s actually the opposite because now they have a system where you basically can hire a white man in China because white men are status symbols. Teenagers hire young white guys to just sit in the club with them or businesses hire them to legitimize their company. Vice did a show on it some months ago, it’s ridiculous

                  • MALynn

                    Goodness..white is right everywhere man! Thanks for that!

                  • Val

                    White Supremacy is a powerful drug.

                  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7Iicg74xoA

                    Jamie Foxx once said he was visiting China and got confused for being Mike Tyson on one occasion, and then Shaq in another lol

                    • MzzPeaches

                      Wow, and the going rate for Black folks is still cheaper than the others. He asked “Do you have any Indians?”

                    • Amber

                      This Chinese hospital opened a new wing and they paid a white man to pretend to be a doctor and give a speech during the day of festivities. He was just some regular Joe and he gave a speech that was just printed from wikipedia about a random medical topic but his speech had the highest attendance of the day just because he was white. No one even questioned him.

                    • We should really stop mythologizing the supremacy of other cultures, especially when it comes to intelligence, since stupidity seems to be a universal trait across all races.

                      I feel for the black guy commenting on the video, you can tell he’s frustrated that he went from dealing with racism in America, to racism in China mixed with a level of stupidity that would make your stereotypical redneck blush.

                    • Lol, this is what daily life in China is like, compared to what we are told in America:

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_tlPrDDcDw

                    • Wild Cougar

                      LMAO! Saints Row has a feature called insurance fraud where you have your avatar jump in front of cars for cash. That’s my favorite thing to do in this game. They must have gotten that from this actual practice.

                    • Cleojonz

                      I’m surprised that this is a thing because as far as I know they don’t have pedestrian friendly laws there. Cars are king. My co-worker who goes back to visit relatives there often says that when a pedestrian or cyclist is hit, they basically move them out of the way and go about their business.

                    • Question

                      I don’t know how many times I was asked if I knew Barack Obama, Oprah and Beyonce. They had a hard time understanding that there are millions of us in America.

                      But you’re also talking about a country where there are a literally a billion of the SAME people. Think about that. 3 commas – and they all look the SAME.

                      Cultural diversity to Chinese people is going to an Italian restaurant or a Hawaiian themed party on a cruise ship.

                    • It’s true, almost every old Chinese war movie, is a movie that pretty much ended with the Emperor of one kingdom wiping out another, and the movie is about him “joining the people” and being shown in a positive light smh

                • Question

                  But China was never “properly colonized”, as in land appropriation, enslavement, revolt, and independence.

                  You mean by white people? Because China was briefly colonized by the Japanese and Koreans.

                  • MALynn

                    Yup I meant by European Countries.

            • Question

              It isn’t necessarily about Whiteness – its about achieving a look that is atypical amongst a group of people and therefore more highly regarded.

          • HeyBooHey

            Yup, I remember a story about an Asian anchor who admitted to getting her eyes done to be more “acceptable” looking on-air or to even be considered. It’s crazy how the Euro beauty standards play in but everyone wants to look like someone else

            • overandout

              The eye thing is indeed fucked up, but that’s been a beauty standard since before Europeans came to that part of Asia.

            • Val
              • MzzPeaches

                well dayum. She was not playing. She clearly was going to get hers by any means necessary

                • Epsilonicus

                  She explicitly stated it was for career purposes too.

                • Sigma_Since 93

                  I wonder what Murray’s bill was for the “American Asian” package?

              • Yellow Tail

                Wow

              • HeyBooHey

                Yes! She’s one of the people I was thinking of. That is literally two different women

              • Cleojonz

                I bet she’s still a fright without makeup on lol.

          • Question

            Its multifaceted and some of it existed long before white arrival in Asian countries. Geishas were powdering their faces for centuries before White Europeans arrived in Japan.

            While in Indonesia I was complimented on my narrow feet and told that women bind not only their foot length but food width because wide feet with separated toes was a sign that you worked on your feet in fields (again, being lower class).

            I’m not discounting the influence of white people – I’m just saying they aren’t to blame for a lot of this.

            That said, I think how France systematically destroyed Saint Dominque after it became a bastion of wealth and culture, largely driven by multi-racial and darker skinned people, has a lot to do with why other Carib cultures feel the way they do about Haiti.

        • Europeans definitely screwed up a lot of things, but the world was still screwed up with or without them and will continue to be such. Plus Asian societies are still very much caste-oriented, than the rest of the world (I include India here, which is probably the worst, it was so bad, that even the English decided to copy and steal from it during Colonization – they literally saw how rigid the class structure was like and they were like “Sheet, we gotta bring this back home!”)

        • KB

          On the reverse side, there’s a subculture within Japanese youth who adopt all forms of hip-hop culture, including “looking more black.” They are called the b-stylers. I remember reading an article about it a couple of years ago. Very interesting stuff.

          • MzzPeaches

            https://youtu.be/_Qe4AZRkFYE

            I saw it and was dumbfounded actually.

            • KB

              Agreed.

            • HeyBooHey

              …..Wow…..

            • Lol, a lot of people look for psychological explanations or even historical explanations for these things, but the more and I more I think about it, it’s really trivial: boredom. I think that’s the byproduct of American pop-culture believe it or not.

            • Agatha Guilluame

              But who da heck is braiding hair in Japan…

            • PunchDrunkLove

              Ummmm

          • Question

            Yea, I’m familiar.

            But that isht borderlines a fetishization of Black culture for me. I wonder why Japanese culture has such a rich history with “playing dress up” (e.g. Harajuku, b-stylers etc.).

          • anonymous

            Well hip hop is pretty lucrative in this day and age so obviously they are trying to male a name for themselves and gain fame and possibly, wealth

      • Siante
        • I think it’s sad, but there’s a silver lining in her openness to discuss it. The problem we have in the U.S. is people will lie and lie, even when the facts are blatantly obvious, kind of how people are avoiding the role race played in the Charleston Shooting.

          • Rembo

            I am Kenyan. This is really sad but yea, colorism is everywhere.

            • I am Nigerian, I can think of much worse:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTuZXJBg420

              Bleaching Cream is called Whitenicious!!!

              • Rembo

                LOL I saw this a while back. Hey Negro Libre, we have a few Nigerians over here trying to sell our gals those bleaching creams. They say ‘bororo’ is the next future lol

                • Lmao…I think overpopulated countries can’t help producing shameless scammers and hustlers, whether it’s in China, India (Raj Rajaratnam is the funniest and best example, he didn’t even have to code switch or change his accent) and Nigeria(Smaller than the state of Texas, yet having the population size that is more than half of America).

                  • Rembo

                    Bad African economy I guess. My friend had a Nigerian on her case begging for a sham marriage just so he could get a Kenyan passport. He had a ‘business’ he wanted to do. His explanation is their population is too big, 180 Million I think, and life is a bit tough. Anyhow I am still going to visit Lagos and some other towns come December. I got an invite for a wedding, I will see for myself oooo ( My Nigerian voice)

    • Yellow Tail

      People talk about leaving the US for good but I really question where in the world is it okay to just be black?

      • Question

        People who talk about leaving the US for good typically have little to no experience with the place they claim is better. If you dig hard enough, you’ll find scary reasons not to be ________ (insert non-white, non-prevailing ethnicity) just about anywhere.

        • miss t-lee

          Yup.

      • MALynn

        In a place where being black is the majority I would guess? I grew up in Haiti and it’s more classicism than colorism down there. People snub you because you’re not “old money”, and since we’ve been blackity black since way back when, “old money” is mostly also black money.

        The “old money” that is Caucasian is from the middle eastern immigrants from the early to mid 1900s. These folks where escaping war and persecution and landed on the Haitian seaside. Even then, they weren’t accepted at first because they were po’ white folks. Nowadays they own mad businesses in Haiti, however, they still bitch because they are not accepted into the political realm by the population. It’s like Haitians remember what it was like when white folks were in the politics and they don’t need that any more.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    Can anyone tell me how does it work when a dark skinned American goes over to visit? Do we get a pass because we are Americans??? Americans=money=we’ll tolerate ’em?

    • miss t-lee

      I wouldn’t dare give them people my tourism money.

      • BlueWave1

        Yeah, my wife and I were planning a trip to DR. We’ve already scrapped that.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          Here’s the question for the family. A lot of the tropical, affordable islands have huge colorism issues. Do we as dark skinned Americans use our economic power and chose to vacation in other areas or do we go and hope our Americanism protects us from the issues darkskinned residents face?

          • menajeanmaehightower

            There’s a difference between color issues and deportation. I will not set foot on the DR’s soil.

            • miss t-lee

              A huge difference.

          • BlueWave1

            Well any place that you could visit has plenty of issues (including the US obviously). We all ignore things when we travel to outside of our own borders. The truth is we have to pick which things we will care about and which things we will conveniently forget while on vacation.

            That’s up to each person to decide.

          • ED

            I can tolerate the colorism issues. It’s outright hate that’s the problem for me.

            • HeyBooHey

              Agreed. Colorism isn’t as much of an issue vs. being hated for who I am. People with colorism issues gotta face facts, we all get darker in the sun. Every place has its own set of issues but I can’t accept going where I’ll be figuratively spat on.

            • Sigma_Since 93

              But if they hatin on you because you are dark but tolerate you because you are an American and as an American you get to do things / have access a native with the same hue doesn’t isn’t that a problem? I couldn’t stand to see someone who looks just like me get treated like crap simply because they are not an American.

              • ED

                What you described falls under hate to me.

          • I was just in Barbados and there wasn’t colorism there. If anything, it was the reverse, since there are few brown, let alone light skinned, people. I can speak the local dialect to a limited extent and was able to blend in. I was definitely welcomed as just a dude.

            • MALynn

              Same in JA too…anywhere black folks the majority, colorism is not so prevalent.

              • Epsilonicus

                Jamaica has colorism issues to. I lived with some in college and they described it in detail.

                • HeyBooHey

                  Oh yea, my lightskinned/light-eyed Jamaican homegirl broke that down for me once too. I think most of these Caribbean places have that, but it’s not a “get out of our country” level issue.

                  • Epsilonicus

                    Exactly. I found Jamaican colorism issues hidden in a phrases such as “how much Indian you have in your family”. I also recognize that my Jamaican colorism experience came from wealthier folks.

                    • HeyBooHey

                      Yea, colorism can tend to be veiled classism I’ve realized in Caribbean culture. My mom was teased and told she was adopted cuz she’s the one DeBarge light out of her brown-skinned siblings. Her aunt used to say she was really from the nicer, affluent side of Haiti and the rest of them were from the slums. It was a “joke” but she had issues for awhile because of it

                  • MzzPeaches

                    That was definitely not an improvement. He look casket ready on the right now.

                    The only thing he had to do was buy some chapstick for those ashy lips. #MalikYobaGameProper

                  • MALynn

                    yuck!

                  • Brandon Allen

                    Vybz looks like Shang Tsung took his soul.

                  • Amber

                    He looks like a darn ghoul lol

                    • TeeChantel

                      But his songs are/were hot. Tik Tok was my jam.

              • There is colorist, just the reverse. Think light skinned shade on steroids

          • KB

            I’ve been to the DR twice and can tell you that they don’t look down upon/treat us differently due to our skin color. That is mainly because as tourists, we are perceived of being more financially well off than our Haitian counterparts. When that perception comes into play, then you experience better treatment from the locals than the other, less financially well off people.

            • MzzPeaches

              I always thought it was the US dollars that gave us insulation. When me and my girls went to Mexico we were doted on by everyone- from the marketplaces to the bar staff at the resort. We were all spending a decent amount of money everywhere we visited. We all got the same level of treatment (and we had a rainbow of colors- from “high yella” to dark brown).

              • KB

                Most definitely.

        • miss t-lee

          I know someone who did that also ?

      • ED

        I’ve never been there. I had a chance to go about 5 years ago and decided not to go because it was a last-minute trip. Now I’m glad I’ve never been and I’ll probably never go

    • Tezzybaby

      i just went to PR recently for vacation, the colorism is definitely there for darker hued travelers too. Some members of my family felt it as well. It’s in the way that they only ask the darker skin individuals to prove that they stay at the hotel and will ignore you especially if there is white patronage. It will never change because there is some strong denial going on.

    • menajeanmaehightower

      I was in puerto rico a few months ago. I went into this one store to look at paintings and the owner (light golden brown grandma) looks at me and says “you have beautiful skin” and nodded her head. Was kinda surprised since i know that PR’s have problems with dark skin. Other than that, no one bothered me at all and i walked around as free as can be.

    • Deb0nair D0c

      Been 12 years since I’ve been to DR. Went to an all inclusive. These fools were stopping me steady asking for Day Passes. I couldn’t possibly be there for the whole week.
      Machine gun toting security wants to know how your black a$$ could afford to be on the beach.
      Machine gun toting security wants to know how you could possibly afford a plane ticket and what country I’m from. Even though I am trying to leave the country.
      And only answer in spanish please.

      • NomadaNare

        This is precisely what happened to me. You best believe I was ready to get buck and dare them to pop on a negro with an American passport. Don’t raise a gun at me unless you’re going to shoot.

    • MALynn

      I can tell you how surprised they are when they people that have USA passports speak fluent Kreyol. Like “????? Es Haitianna??” They can’t believe it, they think Jamaican, Bahamian, any “an” from the Caribbean. After they realize that yes, you are a clean looking, smelling Haitian, then they get all friendly cause US dollars.

      Don’t get me started on the many Dominican beauty salons in Haiti…making a pretty mint from ladies wanting that laid down blow out.

      • HeyBooHey

        They clearly have that Cash Rules Everything Around Me mentality there. And maybe to them, a US Haitian is “better” than one straight from Haiti because…’Murica and ish. I don’t plan on going to DR anymore but I can’t imagine what their reactions would be if I busted out some of my horribly broken kreyol

      • Asiyah

        Last time I went to a resort in 2008 one of our tour guides as of Haitian descent. For all that racism there’s also a hidden fascination. Dominican men were really into her. I know fetishization (spelling?) is normal.

    • Deeds

      I was just in the DR last year, now I kinda regret giving them my tourism dollars. As a dark skinned person I didn’t feel anything, but I really think it was my American money. I stayed at an all inclusive.

    • If this stands every MLB team should be forced to close down their “academies” in the DR but that won’t happen.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        Cheap labor keeps winning

    • You do get a pass because money talks. The same money that has some men flying down because women “treat them better” is the same money that will let you into a club because American and not me because Black Hispanic. It’s why when I’m on vacation in some instances I’ll just pretend I don’t know Spanish. It is what it is.

    • Agatha Guilluame

      I went to DR with Sham. I must say, they treated her blonde haired, light-skinned self like royalty. People were doting on her and kissing up to her and trying their very best to please her. As she’d walk by, from the airport to the hotel staff, the women looked at her enviously. Cataloging every aspect of her being from her skin color to her shade of lipstick. And then she’d speak to them in her perfect Spanish and they’d fall in love. Me, they treated me like a native. Like maybe I lived in one of the barrios and I’d saved up for a big “holiday”.

      • MzzPeaches

        well dayum.

      • Tristan

        ¿Cómo sabemos que usted es quien dice ser

      • God Shammgod

        Why you gotta make it sound like I had groupies…or that im the same shade as Shakira smh

        • Agatha Guilluame

          Sham, you may not have noticed it. You may have chalked it up to being a paying tourist. But as the person in your shadow. I definitely noticed it.

          • God Shammgod

            That could be it. Just among the workers themselves, though, the racism was so palpable. Who was allowed to be visible and interacting with the customers and who wasnt…smh

            • KB

              Now that you mention it, I am now realzing that most of the housekeeping/grounds crew were the darker skinned Dominicans, while a lot of the front desk persons/people who set up the tours were of the lighter shade.

              not related but kinda funny to me; One of the most memorable moments from my recent DR trip was being offered cocaine by one of the resort staffers, a dude named Rodriguez.

              • MzzPeaches

                Whoa, straight like that? Just offering up booga suga like it’s extra pillows?

            • NomadaNare

              I peeped that too. All the desk jockeys had silky hair and exotic features, meanwhile the folk processing my payment and leading me to my room were darker than me. Didn’t stop them from looking through their noses at me though.

          • Wild Cougar

            I’ve been twice. I’m medium dark. The first time I went with a group of people who were very mixed from white to asian to beige to me, the darkest one. I didn’t see a difference in how I was treated. Actually the staff of the resort seemed to like me more than my lighter companions and would make jokes about making “peloteros” with me because of my muscular build. But I think that was more of a “you’re one of us” kind of thing since I speak Spanish, but I think they knew I wasn’t from there. Can’t tell you how they knew since when I went to Ethiopia, I was shocked by the number of people calling me Habesha, and not in jest. The second time I went, with a darker cousin, I was treated with mild boredom, which I attribute to it being low season. There was no excitement at all among the staff generally. It’s certainly possible lighter skinned people were treated better. I didn’t see it, I wasn’t paying attention. I do feel I was treated like family, which I enjoyed quite a bit, but I won’t be going back.

      • Asiyah

        When I go to DR, they look at my passport, see my birthplace as Dominican Republic, and don’t believe it. They say I look Bolivian or Peruvian or Ecuadorian, you know, one of those “indios.”

        At a resort, once they found out I was Dominican, they treated my Ecuadorian best friend better than they treated me. Even if a Dominican considers s/he light they will always “prefer” non-Dominicans over Dominicans. The self-hatred is real.

        • Medium Meech

          Interesting. Identity politics always are. How do Dominicans feel in general about Americans (white people)?

          • Val

            When the self-hate is that strong the White love is really strong. I really didn’t mean for that to rhyme.

          • Asiyah

            Anything white is good. We don’t think Americans have flavor but they “improve” the race so we take the bad with the good. That’s a common phrase: “hay que mejorar la raza”

            • Medium Meech

              I google translated that, it saddened me.

      • NomadaNare

        Young, the Dominicans are crazy. Sham is kinda fine though. If I was foreign and had no sense I’d be trying to wife too. It just seems that the Dominicans have a lack of something called tact.

      • CrankUpThe_AC

        Same thing happened to me in Costa Rica. Thank God for my girlfriend who happens to be yellow and speak spanish cause if not for her I would’ve been S.O.L.

    • Val

      What’s interesting is that in most of Europe if they think you’re a Black American you are treated differently than if they think you’re a Black African. It would be easy to say that this is mostly due to economics but that’s a smokescreen. It’s rooted in racism.

      • TeeChantel

        Facts. I witnessed this first hand when I lived in Brussels in 2012. Most thought I was a Black African but as soon as I opened my mouth to speak w/ my American accent I was treated TOTALLY different. It was defintely a WTF experience.

        • MzzPeaches

          Please share. I’ve been curious about this issue since I’ve been thinking about traveling abroad.

          • Epsilonicus

            The same happened to me when I visited Italy. Got totally different treatment every where once I opened my mouth.

          • TeeChantel

            Black Africans in Belgium are basically treated like sh it. The darker you are the less respect you were given. Most live in Gare Centrale or in the Montage Ixelles, which is home to a high population of people of African origins. They have less opportunities, living in subpar living conditions and holdin’ down subpar jobs. I friended a lot of the locals there and most of my African Belgian friends said the discrimination is real…and consider myself lucky that I am an American.

            With the Europeans, I felt like majority of the brown and darker-skinned folks are treated with disrespect, but it effed them up to see a brown girl living in Europe, working for a multinational company who spoke perfect English.

            I also felt that same disrespect come from African Europeans, too. I had the brown skin, but I was not completely “African” if you know what I mean. I mean, the looks I got were unreal. Either way, Europe was cool. Yes, as Americans we often get the red carpet rolled out for us. When it comes to travel, the world is our playground.

            • MzzPeaches

              Thanks. I have a few classmates who spoke of their international experiences, but they were mostly in Asian countries teaching English, and theirs came in the form of people being amazed, wanting to touch their skin/hair and take pictures cause they had never seen Black people before.

              • TeeChantel

                Yeah. I friend of taught English in South Korea for about two years. He’s 6′ 5″ and brown skin. Everyone assumed he was a basketball player.

            • It’s very simple really, I think a couple months ago Forbes said that 50% of the global 1% lives in America, and to get inducted into this group you only have to make $30,000 a year. So yeah, we’ve got it good.

        • Amber

          Similar thing happened to be in Spain back in 2002. If i was out by myself some thought just by my looks that i was African but when i talked or was with my white travel partners the treatment was much better.

          • TeeChantel

            Where did you go in Spain? I went to Barcelona for a quick getaway weekend.

            • Val

              Racially Spain is the worst.

              • Freebird

                Yo….its somehthing else in Spain….

              • Asiyah

                Those Spaniards! smh.

            • Amber

              I was all around i was there for the summer studying mostly in Madrid but i spent some time in the Andalucia area.

        • Brandon Allen

          It’s funny because Belgium is basically the underground king of the racism game.

          • TeeChantel

            The history of Belgium and its treatment of black people gets under my skin. Forcing black people to live in zoos though?

            • Asiyah

              This is disgusting.

          • overandout

            I lived in that area for a few months and I found Belgium way more comfortable than the Netherlands (although that’s not saying much).

            • TeeChantel

              Really? I felt pretty comfortable in Netherlands.

            • NomadaNare

              The Nederlands is on that other type. You don’t know anything until you’ve heard a member of your family call a country like DR a “monkey country” and then say he meant banana republic. Let’s just say my stepfather and I may or may not have come to blows at some point in the past.

      • MALynn

        Differently better or worse?

        • Val

          Well, better is relative. Better than Black Africans, yes. But, it still does not erase your Blackness in their eyes.

          • Freebird

            When I was in France and went into high end stores I felt like I got fewer stairs than I get in the states. A friend had a similar experience during his trip there. I kind of understood what some expats say. However, the person I was with, who was French, said what I’m getting is a result of my looking American, not African. Things might have been different if I was dressed another way.

            • Val

              Yep, but remember Oprah got a nice dose of racial reality in Paris at Hermes a few years ago. I think we Black Americans, myself included, sometimes romanticize France and Paris in particular. Racism definitely exists there.

              • Brandon Allen

                I was literally in Paris a few months ago it was weird going in the African neighborhood. I went into an market owned by some chinese people with relaxer posters everywhere and nearby there was some kind of protest. While I will say the police seemed more calm, It kind of tempered my feelings about Paris. Seemed a little too close to home.

                • Sigma_Since 93

                  “going in the African neighborhood. I went into an market owned by some chinese people with relaxer posters everywhere”

                  Is there anything they don’t try to sell??? I remember l was looking to buy some African masks and the woman was trying to tell me they were imports from Africa. I was like how are they African imports with a made in China sticker???

                  • Brandon Allen

                    I was taken a back like if it wouldve been Arabs or another ethnicity it wouldn’t have been such a shock but I was “Damn here too?!”

              • Freebird

                You’re right V.

            • TeeChantel

              “However, the person I was with, who was French, said what I’m getting is a result of my looking American, not African”

              Yup. That’s exactly what I mentioned downthread.

    • NomadaNare

      Nope. If they think you’re local you’ll be treated like a local.

  • Christina A. A. Berthaud

    Maaaaaan listen…..this has been happening for so long. they are indeed black when it is convenient for them. I am a young Haitian-American who went to a predominantly Dominican high school. They were black sometimes, b/c only sometimes was it cool, and they wanted to use the n-word. We watched a film in Spanish class “In the Time of the Butterflies” the film was about Trujillo’s regime in DR, they touched briefly on the Parsley Massacre, when he tried to ethnically cleans the country, everyone turned to me. I’ve had some of my Dominican friends’ parents look at me screw faced “you don’t look like a Haitian..You look Dominican.” what that mean? “I expected you to be darker, your hair be nappier, and you’re pretty” well damn..what does a Dominican look like?…. but there are Haitians and Dominicans who look like me, or have kinkier hair, darker skin..

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