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La Española: an Island Divided Essay

  • Submitted by: Est3llitadulce1
  • on April 23, 2014
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 1,677 words

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Below is an essay on "La Española: an Island Divided" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Haiti and the Dominican Republic have long been divided by their culture, heritage and language. The people of Haiti speak Creole, and are mainly of African ancestry. Whereas Dominicans speak Spanish and identify themselves with their European and Amerindian ancestry; rejecting their black heritage. To be Haitian, is to be black and that is something Dominicans do not want to identify themselves with. Antihaitianismo ideology has long permeated the Dominican Republic’s culture, their ideology and identity. Not to mention Dominican Republic’s political realm, that divides the Española in two nations beyond their borders.
Antihaitianismo is a manifestation of racism towards Haitian population.   Antihaitianismo is an ideology that “combines a legacy of racist Spanish colonial mentality, nineteenth-century racial theories and twentieth-century cultural neoracism into a web of anti-Haitian attitudes, racial stereotypes, and historical distortions, (Sagás, 1993)”. Haitians have long been stigmatized in the neighbor country ever since the arrival of African slaves. The spanish mentality has continued to permeate Dominican culture from literature and public education, (Sagás, 1993). Although Haitians and Dominicans share a common ancestor - the Africans- they still see themselves as complete polars. Dominicans believe that because they are mostly of Spanish descent,   they feel righteous and hence able to discriminate against Haitians and categorize themselves above the Haitian community.
During the Trujillo era, more than 20,000 Haitians, in 1937, were indeed executed. “ The Benefactor had called for the death of all Haitians up and down the river that came to be known as “The Massacre”, (Vega, 213-214)”. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo was the person who ordered the execution of Haitians in the border. Because both Dominicans and Haitians lived and surrounded the borders, Trujillo proposed a test to distinguish the Haitians from the Dominicans. This was, to have anyone who...

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