The readers’ forum

Haitian-Dominicans under assault

 

I salute Nelson Mandela upon the passing of this giant and a true human being. To forgive a people, a system, a mentality that wreaked the most vicious, murderous and violent havoc on you and your kindred takes true leadership and a belief in the human element.

I salute Mandela for such a great accomplishment.

I was one of the students who participated in the divestiture movement of the ’80s when I was in college in Boston.

I saw firsthand at the time how the academic world brought to bear the most potent arsenal of weapons against apartheid: convincing Fortune 500 companies to stop investing in South Africa. That movement ultimately helped bring down apartheid.

A little closer to home, we have a situation right here in the Americas that comes the closest to the evil of apartheid — the plight of Haitians whose parents and grandparents were born in the Dominican Republic being denied citizenship and their civil rights by that country just because they are black.

They are killed routinely whenever a Dominican gets killed, whether by a fellow Dominican or not.

They are forcibly removed from their homes and dropped across the border in Haiti, a country they don’t know. They are virtually stateless in the country of their birth.

It’s time for us to launch another offensive against an evil, vicious and criminal system that the Dominican Republic has created to oppress these Haitian-Dominicans.

It’s time for university students nationwide and academics everywhere to replicate the efforts we deployed to dismantle apartheid. Let’s demand that American companies start divesting from the Dominican Republic and freeze all future investments in that country until the Dominican Constitutional Court withdraws this most disdainful ruling. Just like apartheid, that system will crumble if the proper pressure is applied, because good always defeats evil.

Last, let’s ask the Dominicans how they would react if the United States enacted a law or a U.S. court issued a similar ruling against Dominicans living in the United States. I bet you they would most vehemently decry it.

Phillip J. Brutus,

North Miami

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