The film "Death By A Thousand Cuts" will premiere on the 1st of October at the Raindance Film Festival in London. I've been waiting to see some of the positions of the film's directors.
I happened to glance in a recently published article by the Guardian what this non Dominican makes of all of this. I'm particularly over-protective when non-Dominicans create content like a film and control our narrative, especially with all the defamation we face. In the first paragraph of the Guardian's article you find the word "xenophobia," which is always used against Dominicans.
The article goes on to speak about how the two nations have managed their natural resources, and so on. The deforestation images from the border go back to the 80's. The Dominican Republic has protected its forests very well. Satellite images show one very green side to the Island, while the other side looks desolate.
I think something Mr. Jake Kheel said was interesting. He said that "inequality" of resources was creating violent conflicts. Keyword "inequality," which to some may hint at unfair, and of course racial undertones.
However, is this inequality the fault of the Dominicans? No, it is not! A lot of regular folks and those in the media seem to feel that the Dominicans are responsible for Haiti's current problems. The DR is not the global scapegoat for whatever happened after the 2010 earthquake, or before it.
However, some people will have it no other way, even at the expense of poor Dominicans, who already have enough problems with which to contend.
The article then goes on to quote an NGO leader who alleges that racial patriotism is the cause of the tensions on the border, saying that Dominicans see themselves as Spanish and White, while the Haitians are seen as black, French and are associated with voodoo. She also said, in not so many words, that the Dominican ruling elite keep this rhetoric alive.
However, I beg to differ on this... patriotism is not the cause of deforestation in Haiti: negligence and misuse of natural resources is. As more and more Haitians come to the other side of the island, it is logical that Dominicans will have their guard up, because, as Mr. Kheel said, this inequality brings violence.
After slavery was abolished in the US, former slavers came in to do business, with several American companies importing a massive number of black workers from the West Indies to work the sugar plantations.
Dominicans weren't hired in their own country because of cheap foreign labor. And this was at the inception of the small nation. You see how capitalism works? The new hustle is deforestation of the other side of the island. All of this going on while the country is being inundated with illegal immigration. Mr. Kheel said he would like to see "bi-national" action stopping the problem. However, this feels like more of the fusionist agenda to me. It reeks of "justify and blame."
There's no accountability, it sounds more like Its all the Dominicans' fault. Hopefully, the film isn't as bad as the Guardian quotes.
By: El Conde
By: El Conde