Every year since its conception, the activist organization We Are All Dominican marches at the Dominican Day Parade. The organization advocates for the rights of Dominicans of Haitian descent and Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic, as well as other intersecting issues. Below is a statement released from We Are All Dominican after some negative reactions they received during the Dominican Day Parade which took place on Sunday, August 12. At La Galería Magazine, we do not condone or support acts or messages of hate, racism or xenophobia and stand in solidarity with WAAD.
Dear WAAD Community.
On Sunday, August 12 a contingent from WAAD and supporters came together to participate in the 36th annual Dominican Day Parade in NYC. Consistent to our mission and participation in the parade in years past, we came to both celebrate our pride, uplift the voices of our Dominican family of Haitian Descent (DOHD) and to make the necessary connections between discrimination that many face in the U.S. to similar practices in the D.R.
Our small, but powerful group came together to unapologetically stand for justice. Aquí y allá. It is with deep sadness and righteous anger that we express the upset caused by parade-goers who not only yelled epithets and slurs to us from the crowds, statements heavy in anti-black and anti-Haitian sentiments, but threatened our physical wellbeing as well. WAAD has received hateful communications both online and even to our personal phones.
We know from years in this struggle that many people who claim to be patriots are deeply invested in hatred and fear as a means of holding onto social and political power, #AquíYAllá. We are reminded of similar harassment, threats, and even violence targeting our comrades in Santo Domingo last March as they sought to protest racism on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Hateful and narrow-minded ultra-nationalists that seek to deprive our brothers and sisters of their rights will not deter us. We will not be stopped.
Thank you to everyone that showed us love and support both this past Sunday and continually. The fight for justice will never be easy and as the threat of change becomes more tangible, opposers will always attempt to prevent its full realization.
WAAD formed to uplift the work and voices of DOHD and Haitian migrants in the D.R. as well as to change the hearts and minds of the Dominican diaspora in order to recognize the reality of our culture and island we love: it is comprised of many kinds of people and that has always counted DOHD as part of this thread.
Injustice somewhere, is injustice everywhere and we cannot stand for it. Ni aquí, ni allá.