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#1077: On Haitian Deportations: Simidor responds to comments by Antoine and Poincy (fwd)


The recent wave of deportations from the Dominican Republic has elicited two kinds of reaction: denial and outrage.  Those in outrage have sought ways to act out their feelings: street protests, call-in shows, petitions, etc.  Those in denial have their own sense of outrage against the Haitian government that has let them down in some manner.  In frustration, they resort to all kinds of pseudo-arguments and clich├ęs about human nature, national pride, Dominican sovereignty, etc, forgetting all the while what this is all about.  

So let's break it down to simpler terms.  If a macoute or san manman strikes my (presumably innocent) brother in front of me and I fail to do something about it, that makes me a coward.  If I then turn to my crippled or drunk father to lecture him on his obligations in the matter, that makes me both a coward and a hypocrite.  

The bottom line here is about people's rights.  The Dominican government doesn't have the right to treat Haitians or black people like animals, to brutalize them, to separate them from their loved ones, to rob them of their identity and their belongings.  When that happens, Haitians, not just the government, have a moral obligation to speak out and do something.  

There are short-term circumstantial solutions that can alleviate the problem now, and then there are long-term, structural, solutions that involve the governments of both countries and the so-called international community.  The activist community in Haiti, in the Dominican Republic and in the larger diaspora wants to put a stop right now to the senseless deportations.  This in no way acquits the Haitian government of its obligations in the matter.  All the denial, the self-doubt, the hand-wringing, the endless verbiage about this or that, only deter from the crisis at hand.

Daniel Simidor