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Old 09-15-2009, 10:50 AM
 
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A look at race in another country.
Quote:
"The problem is Haitians developed a policy of black-centrism and . . . Dominicans don't respond to that," said scholar Manuel Núñez, who is black. "Dominican is not a color of skin, like the Haitian."

Dictator Rafael Trujillo, who ruled from 1930 to 1961, strongly promoted anti-Haitian sentiments, and is blamed for creating the many racial categories that avoided the use of the word "black."

"Under Trujillo, being black was the worst thing you could be," said Afro-Dominican poet Blas Jiménez.

CULTURE PULL

Several women said the cultural rejection of African looking hair is so strong that people often shout insults at women with natural curls...

MiamiHerald.com | Afro-Latin Americans

 
Old 09-15-2009, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
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Just to comment on this, I think the problem is the US categorization of race.

Dominicans "dont know they are black" until they get to the US, because the US pretty much considers anyone with a drop of African blood "black".

This really should not be the way it is. Take a look at most of the pictures in that article. Those pictured are clearly mixed, and probably with many different things.

In the US, some may be considered black, or "black" Hispanic. In fact, in the US, darker shades of skin from Latin countries are often characterized as "black" by US people.

My g/f is a darker skinned Dominican, yet her half Dominican dad, and full Dominican grandmother, are both lighter skinned then me, and Im mostly caucausian with some Native. So, are they black? Her uncles and aunts cover almost the whole spectrum of shades of skin color, and they are all of the same parents.

I think its not a cool thing with how theyve conditioned Dominicans to believe African features are bad, such as they did here in the US with Natives for so many years, but I think that dividing a culturally distinctive group of blended people out by skin shade is crazy. I think, in that respect, Dominicans have it right, where the US has it wrong.

That is exactly why, here in the US, we have people who have been Americans for 6 generations or more still claiming that they are "Irish" or "Italian" or "African descent", while Domincans do not claim "African", "French" or "Spanish", they claim "Dominican".
 
Old 09-15-2009, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Center of the universe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomdude View Post
Just to comment on this, I think the problem is the US categorization of race.

Dominicans "dont know they are black" until they get to the US, because the US pretty much considers anyone with a drop of African blood "black".

This really should not be the way it is. Take a look at most of the pictures in that article. Those pictured are clearly mixed, and probably with many different things.
The problem is not that Dominicans are considered black because they are mostly- or mixed-African people. The problem is that Dominicans themselves are ashamed of this, and that is a direct result of the self-hating, Eurocentric culture Dominicans have inherited. Those pictured are no different in terms of Africanness and mixed background than African Americans.


Quote:
In the US, some may be considered black, or "black" Hispanic. In fact, in the US, darker shades of skin from Latin countries are often characterized as "black" by US people.

My g/f is a darker skinned Dominican, yet her half Dominican dad, and full Dominican grandmother, are both lighter skinned then me, and Im mostly caucausian with some Native. So, are they black? Her uncles and aunts cover almost the whole spectrum of shades of skin color, and they are all of the same parents.
African Americans show the same phenotypic spectrum.

Quote:
I think its not a cool thing with how theyve conditioned Dominicans to believe African features are bad, such as they did here in the US with Natives for so many years, but I think that dividing a culturally distinctive group of blended people out by skin shade is crazy. I think, in that respect, Dominicans have it right, where the US has it wrong.
I don't think that Dominicans should be ashamed of any aspect of their culture. What gets me is that they downplay just one aspect and overemphasize the others. Dominicans are Dominicans, and they should be proud of their heritage. 85% of Dominicans have African ancestry; a small minority acknowledge this, and a smaller yet proportion embrace it.

Quote:
That is exactly why, here in the US, we have people who have been Americans for 6 generations or more still claiming that they are "Irish" or "Italian" or "African decent", while Domincans do not claim "African", "French" or "Spanish", they claim "Dominican".
Now that I blame on the segregationist, exclusionist policies of America throughout its history; but still, while all Dominicans can call themselves Dominican, there is still a color/caste system there that rivals India in its complexity. Latin America in general is like that, but the Dominican is a special case because nowhere else is a place with such a large black population so ashamed of it.
 
Old 09-15-2009, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Hangin' with the bears.
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I believe we are the only country in the world that 'qualifies' itself with two nationalities, i.e. Mexican-American. I worked with a man from Mexico who told me there there is no such thing as a 'Mexican-American'. Unless, they were born in Mexico, people born in America are American. That's it. Go to any country in Europe and ask someone their nationality, they will say only the country they were born, not the country of their ancestors.
 
Old 09-15-2009, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunil's Dad View Post
The problem is not that Dominicans are considered black because they are mostly- or mixed-African people.
The problem is that Dominicans themselves are ashamed of this, and that is a direct result of the self-hating, Eurocentric culture Dominicans have inherited.
And that is unfortunate. I dont think anyone should be pressured to hate themselves because of who their ancestors may have been. However, at the same time, the fact that Dominicans ignore their roots, has, I think, inadvertantly built them in to a society identified by their unique and distinct culture, rather then their skin color, like people are divided by in many of the worlds racially blended nations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunil's Dad View Post
Those pictured are no different in terms of Africanness and mixed background than African Americans.
You are correct, but why should the US "one drop of "black" makes you black" standard apply to Dominicans? Many are clearly mixed. If you are going to go in apply the "race card" to Dominicans, how many do you think you will find with 100% African background? I think in a purely racial sense, the only time you can label someone as a prefix (such as African American), is if you can 100% trace your ancestors to that prefix. Other then that, you are just seperating strands. The article does go on to complain that many "afro-Domincans" simply claim something else, even "Indian". The fact is, how many of those Dominicans, and by what definition, are "afro"? Is simply looking at a few features, such as hair (which is prominatley mentioned in the article), what defines if you are "afro" or not?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunil's Dad View Post
African Americans show the same phenotypic spectrum.
Which is true, and I certainly take issue with the "1 drop" theory. There are "African Americans" who are less then 25% African descent. How is that even logical? Better yet, they probably exhibit almost no cultural characteristics of any of their ancestors, "black" or "white". When, exactly, is American going to become a new culture? Are we going to be "Italian" and "African" forever?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunil's Dad View Post
I don't think that Dominicans should be ashamed of any aspect of their culture. What gets me is that they downplay just one aspect and overemphasize the others. Dominicans are Dominicans, and they should be proud of their heritage. 85% of Dominicans have African ancestry; a small minority acknowledge this, and a smaller yet proportion embrace it.
While I certainly agree that they shouldnt deny their heritage, or be ashamed of themselves because of who their relatives may have been, as it seems Dominicans are conditioned to do, Im not exactly sure "embracing" their heritages is the best thing to do. Over embracement of cultural past has been a huge barrier to relations in the US. They should be Dominican, whoever their relatives may be, and not be ashamed of certain hair styles or features, but at the same time, I think they need to stop seriously short of "Afro-Dominican" and "White-Dominican", etc. labels.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunil's Dad View Post
Now that I blame on the segregationist, exclusionist policies of America throughout its history; but still, while all Dominicans can call themselves Dominican, there is still a color/caste system there that rivals India in its complexity. Latin America in general is like that, but the Dominican is a special case because nowhere else is a place with such a large black population so ashamed of it.
Thats the thing though, are they black? What makes them black? I get that most of them have some African lineage, but what makes them "black"?

I get that they are ashamed of "black" features, but I dont know how many of those "blacks" you could truely label "black", any more then you could label them any other of their heritages. Granted, maybe if they werent conditioned to hate "black" more would probably classify themselves as "black", but I think without being exposed to the American system of classifying certain people as "black" because they have a drop of African in them somewhere, many would still probably refer to themselves as some mixed denotation, or "hispanic", but would be Dominican over everything else.
 
Old 09-15-2009, 03:50 PM
 
Location: SXSW
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My parents are Dominican, and this is an interesting and complicated issue for me, as a Dominican-descended person who grew up in Texas.
My father came to the country to get a doctorate in physics. Then we moved to Texas. The only real Dominicans I knew were my own family for a considerable amount of time. My family comes from upper middle class in the DR- and I did not know that until I was about 18 that we were a minority within a minority. I have a very sheltered view of my Dominican-ness as a result of this. I was pretty much unaware of many things:
-The caste system at work in the DR and that my parents were on the "good" side of the color line. My mother is a pale, green eyed, Spanish descended woman who grew up in Moca, the DR countryside-where there are a few white people, but most people dont look really white, but dont look black either. My father grew up in a somewhat privileged setting, son of a general, in the capital, Santo Domingo. My father is a crazy mix of things-Jewish, Spanish, and black- but was the darker looking son with a pale skinned older brother who was deemed the favorite of the family-I'm sure you know why. (Interesting history note:My paternal grandmother and her sisters were mandated to attend Truijillo's balls because they were white, and they were even awarded with houses. The bricks still say "Ciudad de Trujillo." Knowing that my grandmother met a crazy racist dictator is insane.) My father looked Middle-Eastern to be honest with you. People frequently mistakenly spoke Hindi to him and he was always strip searched before boarding planes. Not kidding. In the DR, I am treated like upper class and I am hit on ALOT. I am frequently ripped off and asked also if I'm Boriqua, which I dont know why. The poorer areas are almost all entirely black, and the private Catholic schools are much much much lighter skinned. As a result of my racial mix, I look "mixed with white". I frequently get "Mexican and white" or Brazillian or Palestinian(I'm not sure what Brazilian or Palestinian people look like). People have no concept of a Hispanic person not looking indigenous Indian the way a Mexican descendant does, at least not in Texas. I am curly haired, pointy nosed and hazel eyed, so people dont know what to make of me,and many promptly just put me in the miscellaneous Latino category.

-Other Latinos show their racism ALOT when it comes to Dominicans. When my Mexican aunt by marriage told her estranged father that she was marrying a Dominican, the first thing he asked was "Es negrito?"- "Is he black?" It was beyond insane to see the look of relief on this mans face when he feared to see a "Negrito" and saw a tall, pale, green eyed man instead. TRULY, if my family looked black the way many Dominicans do, there is NO WAY we would have been accepted by the Latino community in TX the way we have. I dont believe it for a minute. I've seen Mexican girls make a face when I mention I'm Dominican-one time a Mexican girl even said "Arent they n******?". Insane. Many Puertoricans and Cubans will regularly snub Dominicans, and speak of how much more Euro blood they have (just peruse the NY or Miami boards on this website) and therefore "better." I know a black Cuban guy who was almost shot in Southern California by a Mexican gangbanger and the only thing that saved him was speaking in fluent spanish-and even then he got called the Spanish version of the n word. I find it insane when some Latinos complain about racism when they dish it out equally.

-I was completely unaware of the self-taught hate among Dominicans. There is alot of denial of African roots among Dominicans, no doubt. But at the same, people will try to do a "gotcha" if someone tries to identify as Dominican but not black. Believe it or not, there are non black Dominicans, though they are a minority. Some people are actually telling you how they have to identify in this country. If I identified as black, I would have some people look at me really weird, trust me on that. I wish I didnt have to identify as anything, but thats not how this country works.
 
Old 09-15-2009, 04:01 PM
 
Location: CITY OF ANGELS AND CONSTANT DANGER
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goes to show that bigots come in all colors and sizes...
 
Old 09-15-2009, 06:10 PM
 
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Watch this clip:

The Neo African Americans: Latino African American? - iReport.com#
 
Old 09-15-2009, 06:14 PM
 
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Actually this can be a tricky issue because racial classification is going to vary from country to country in Latin America. Not every country if following the U.S racial classifications or is shaped by the U.S one drop rule of thinking. We Americans need to keep this in mind.

It doesn't bother me that some Latinos don't consider themselves "Black" neccessarily because being Black can mean something different in different countries. Someone who looks like Julian Bond may be classified in various ways throughout Latin America. Julian Bond may be viewed racially one way in Cuba and another way in Brazil.

To me it's more about whether or not that person's African ancestory is acknowledged in whatever Latin American country. This is why I kinda like the term Afro-Latino when dealing with "Black Latinos" instead of just the Black label. Because again different countries view race differently and many Latin countries have people coming in various mixtures. So the term Afro-Latino at least acknowledges a person's African mixture.
 
Old 09-15-2009, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Center of the universe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motion View Post

A professsor friend of mine teaches a course called "The Other African Americans" about black immigrant groups - Afro-Latinos, Cape Verdeans, Caribbeans and also Creoles from Louisiana.
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