“We Dominicans Are Racist”

I’ve defended my country, the Dominican Republic, when it comes to the deportation of thousands of undocumented Haitians on social media more than once, but Youtube comedian Manuel Pimentel from ThatsDominican.com explains everything better than I ever could in the video above. I’ve written the subtitles the video contains down below, including the sources he presents.

“What’s up my people! This is not a comedy video. This video is about the situation of the deportation of Haitians from the Dominican Republic. A subject that I initially didn’t want to touch, because as a comedian, my opinions can divide my public. But, when I feel upset about something that’s happening in my country or about accusations that are being made about my people, as a Dominican, I think I have the duty to educate myself about what’s happening and form an opinion to see how I can help my people, or explain to the people why my people are doing what they’re doing.
And now, the message that I keep hearing is that “we Dominicans are racist”, a message that keeps being resonated by the social media and people that perhaps don’t clearly understand in reality what’s happening. Therefore, in this video I really hope I’m doing my part to inform the public.
I want to start with the earthquake that happened in 2010 in Haiti that ended the lives of 100,000 to 200,000 people, depending on where you look for information, a tragedy nevertheless of the figure. But that obviously has to do a lot with what’s happening now. The Dominican Republic being a poor country too, opened it’s borders to provide medical help and temporary relief to the country of Haiti. We were the first to go and help Haiti, and not only that, we were the last to stop helping. We exhausted our own resources to help that country. We allowed the people of Haiti to enter the Dominican Republic without question for them to be received in the hospitals of the DR. We allowed the Barahona airport to be used exclusively to receive help for Haiti. And that was only the beginning of how we helped our Haitian brothers, people that we supposedly hate because “we Dominicans are racist”.
During that time, the United States, one of the ten richest countries in the world, opened its’ doors to 100,000 Haitians to migrate to the USA because of the situation, but only for 18 months. In 2011, the United States of America were, one of the ten richest countries in the world, were already deporting the Haitians out of American soil, regardless of an ongoing cholera epidemic. By contrast, the Dominican Republic is not one of the ten richest countries in the world, or among the 20, or 30 richest countries, but number 90 something. Do you know how many Haitians emigrated to the Dominican Republic? More than one million, and it ahs been more than five years in the Dominican Republic.
But, “we Dominicans are racist.”
Pay attention, because this is going to get interesting.
So then people say, “Yes, but you are throwing out Haitians that were born in the DR. Why won’t you give them Dominican nationality to those people?”
Oh, really? Did you know that the United States is one of the 31 countries (out of 194) that gives you citizenship regardless of your parent’s legal status? That is to say, the USA is one out of 31 countries in the world that practices that principle. Therefore, the DR, with that law (Decree 169–14), not only is among the majority of countries that practices that same rule, but I’m going to tell you something that you didn’t know: Haitians have a harsher law still. In the DR, you only need to have one parent that is a legal resident to obtain Dominican nationality. In Haiti, however, at least one of your parents has to be a citizen for you to get your Haitian nationality. Therefore, the people that are criticizing this law understand that 85% of the world has the same principle (including Haiti).
But, “we Dominicans are racist.”
Stay with me, I’m gonna address all your questions. Do you know why the United States can offer citizenship to everyone that’s born in the USA? Because they have the land and the means to do so. The Dominican Republic doesn’t have that luxury!
Tell me if you knew that in the the DR, Haitians are the only immigrants that pay the same college fee as any other Dominican would (after registration fee)? Any other immigrant that comes to study in the DR colleges has to pay a higher fee than a Dominican. Not the Haitians, though.
But, “we Dominicans are racist.”
It’s being said, “But what about the mistreatment of Haitians? That Haitian that got killed? That old man and this and that in whatever …?”
There is violence everywhere in the world, don’t be a hypocrite. You know who gets murdered the most in the DR? Who suffers the most beatings in the DR? Who is filling the jails in the DR? Dominicans. For each fight you hear about between a Dominicans and Haitians, you are going to find 100 fights more between Dominicans and another Dominican. It’s called violence, which in and of itself is absurd, it’s barbaric, but it’s a worldwide problem. That is not racism.
Do you know what racism is? Of each 100,000 African-American people in the USA, 27 are murdered. 77% of the people that live in the USA are white, but half of all the homocide victims are black. Now that is racism. Hypocrites.
But, “we Dominicans are racist.”
Why, instead of attacking the Dominican government for doing what they were supposed to do, for doing what they have the right to do, for doing what 85% of the world is doing, you don’t criticize the Haitian government. A government, that after 6 months after the earthquake with billions donated to help, still had not yet done anything. That a year after the earthquake, only 5% of the rubble had been cleared, making it impossible for the people to build somethign new there. The same government that denied it’s own citizens the papers necessary to become citizens of the DR.
Don’t stop me because I’m on fire.
They say, “Manuel, but the DR and Haiti are on the same island, what’s the problem? We are all black people.”
The USA and Mexico share the same border as well and the USA still deports illegal Mexicans because no, it’s not the same.
The Dominican Republic has shed too much blood to gain it’s independence, to gain the right to do what is being done. So no, it’s not the same. You are ungrateful.
4,000 prisoners escaped from a jail in Port-au-Prince when the jail came down during the earthquake. Who knows how many of those prisoners are in the Dominican Republic and we cannot tell because no one has papers. Right now, there could be a criminal living next to your grandma’, but you, from Canada, from Europe, sitting at ease in your house, tell the people from the DR, “no, that doesn’t matter. Do not deport anybody,” because you don’t understand that.
But, “we Dominicans are racist.”
Right now, if you are an illegal in the DR, you don’t pay taxes. you are not helping the Dominican community. You are not helping the economy. You are living off Dominican resources. And when the country needs to build new hospitals and new schools to provide for you, where does that money come from? From people that live legally in the DR, whether they are Haitians or not.
Don’t interrupt me, I’m in my element.
The Dominican government gave you a year and a half for you to procure your papers, so you could be a productive part of the society, so you could have the same rights as any other Dominican.
Mr. Haitian, I’m speaking to you: if you become a citizen, you help the same land that helped you when you were in need. Only 5% went and applied, so no, it’s not my fault.
But, “we Dominicans are racist.”
I am the Dominican Republic. I allowed you to live in my house for 5 years without paying rent. I gave you a year and a half warning. I told you, “look, get your papers if you want to remain here more time” and you didn’t do it. When the day for you to leave comes you tell me that I’m throwing you out because of the color of your skin? How dare you, my brother!
But, “we Dominicans are racist.”
To the people that are pointing fingers: is it me or is it you who is confused with what it means to be racist? Is it me or is it you that’s confused on the reasons for which it’s required to follow the law in the Dominican Republic? Is it me or is it you that’s trying to mix those two subjects as if they were one? Two things that have nothing to do with each other with the intention to put more tension in the relations between Dominicans and Haitians that doesn’t exist because of racism, but because of the long history of blood between both countries.
Between Dominicans and Haitians, there’s little racism. What is really there, is prejudice. “Look, that Dominican there. You know how they are”. “Look, that Haitian there, you know how they are”. Judging without knowing each other. That’s prejudice. Racism is to oppress a race to keep another race in power. Racism is not giving the same rights to a person because of the color of their skin.
And what are we Dominicans doing? BEGGING THE HAITIANS TO BECOME LEGAL CITIZENS so they can have the same rights that we Dominicans have but no, “We Dominicans are racist.” Is it me or is it you that’s speaking without knowing of what we are speaking of?
I love my Haitian brothers with an open heart, an open heart. You know it, you can feel it that this is for real. But this has nothing to do with race. This has to do with doing what is best for the country. We can’t continue to give that which we don’t have! why isn’t the pressure placed on rich countries? Instead, the rich countries are the ones that are pressuring a poor country to help another poor country, so the rich country remains rich, and we screw ourselves over. How is it that you cannot see that thing? And even so, there are Dominicans that — and this hurts me, that’s why I’m doing this video — there are Dominicans that are still sharing those negative news about boycotting the Dominican Republic, to further hurt the economy. What a harmful thought, my brother. Support your country.
Haitian brother, the fact that you have to leave to your land doesn’t mean that you can’t get your papers and then come back. If I go to the USA illegally, I wouldn’t like it if the government deported me either, but that was a decision that I made when I left my country. The infrastructure can’t support illegal people in our country, that is the reality.
We Dominicans are a mixed race. We have blacks blacker than coal, we have whites whiter than this wall. We may have our problems, brother, like any other country but no, the Dominican Republic isn’t racist.
I spent several days collecting all the information that I could find, to be able to speak with knowledge. even so, I’m an open man to many things and I don’t want you to take my point of view. I’m really making this video for you to get involved in what’s happening, so you can make your own mind.
Educate yourself, brother, it doesn’t hurt. It’s free. It’s there available on the internet. It’s there in the newspapers. Talk to people, search for information.
I also know that there are several points I didn’t cover. Those are points on which I have no information. I don’t want to talk about something that I know nothing of. But maybe you do. If you have information, if you feel different, and if you’re Haitian and want to give your opinion, make a video in response to this one or make a comment.
I hope that this has helped open the curiosity of some of you to look for information on your own. To all the media, I give permission to use this video. I think that this has to me shared as long as the video is used in it’s entirety so there may not be anything out of context.”

He then goes on to say he would love to see more videos on this topic, even if the opinion is different; he also mentioned having done an interview about this topic and then signed off.

Thank you for sharing your views, Manuel. As a fellow Dominican I appreciate it.