Komm küssen von Nils Koppruch.
There’s an article, written this February by Dominican author Deisy Toussaint about the Dominican Republic’s recent law which has stripped citizenship from many individuals born in the DR who are of Haitian descent. I saw it again today in Contratiempo and thought it deserved an English translation for those keeping up with these issues. What follows is my translation:
Let Me See If I’ve Got It Straight…
Twenty-six years ago I was born in Santo Domingo, I’ve grown up, studied, and matured here; and, for the last few years I’ve been working for the Government. I’m always involved in cultural events, I work as a journalist diligently publishing articles, some in other countries; I’ve also won short-story prizes and, along with other Dominican authors, formed part of literary anthologies.
As a result of the broadcast I’ve begun to be sought after abroad in order to attend events as a representative of my country. But when I went to renew my passport they told me no, that because of my frenchified last name distances me from the Dominican nationality. Of course I think that it’s some kind of mistake and I miss out on various trips waiting patiently for the misunderstanding to clear itself up, but it turns out that there’s no misunderstanding at all. I’m no longer a Dominican. So, what am I? I ask myself.
I’ve heard that due to my ancestry I might have the right to request Haitian citizenship. I understand that each country has the right to establish and control its own immigration laws, that’s perfectly legitimate and necessary.
This country did so in 2010 by constitution amendment. But afterwards they decided to apply to it a retroactive effect reaching back eighty years, which has affected thousands upon thousands of individuals. Myself among them. As well as, of course, a multitude of international reactions condemning this decision, obliging the President to go on the defensive and to justify himself constantly. Too costly and unnecessary an expense for the country and for its personal image, in my opinion, following what those almost two years of gaining credibility and prestige only inch by inch and day by day had cost him. So now he’s obliged to appoint commissions made of up the nation’s “wunderkinder” in an attempt to find an out from this snafu without losing too much face.
All of this, meanwhile an ultra-nationalist sector of pure-bloods, I call them, clamors for radicalization and deportation, and it wouldn’t faze me if they were to carry through with it now on behalf of the “whiteness of the race”, you never know. And we hope that no one gets the idea of a “final solution” stuck in their head, as occurred to a mustachioed Austrian back in the 40s. And we’ve got to take care not to confuse a healthy identity that invokes customs, cuisines, countrysides or folklore with an exacerbated nationalism that invites one to think that they are definitively above others. But that’s my take. And, lover of abiding by laws that I am, I search for a solution within official channels.
Let me see if I’ve got it straight. If I’m no longer Dominican, I’ve got to be something… Haitian? Good, well let’s see what I can do then.
We’ll take it step by step:
First, I’ve got to find an academy to learn Creole.
Second, go to Haiti, but since I don’t have a passport I’ll need to hire a coyote to clandestinely guide me through the mountains (river-crossing is a no-go, since I’m a terrible swimmer).
Third, seek out the authorities in order to tell them that, based on my ancestors, they should make me a Haitian and hand me over a passport.
Fourth, since I presume that the process isn’t going to be quick, I’ll need to find a job over there (I’ll have lost mine in Santo Domingo).
Fifth, enter into the Dominican Republic as a foreigner and, obviously, immediately apply for residency to live in my house. And finally, with my shiny-new Haitian passport I’ll be able to represent the Dominican Republic abroad.
Let me see if I’ve got it straight.
ah chicago the city sleeps
alas chicago sleeps the sleep of the dreamless
this city doesnt sleep the sleep of the just
the sleep of the up for way too long
the sleep of teeth clenching in the night
the sleep itchy with worry
the sleep of catching some Zs real fast
the sleep of…
supra quod fieri nil, Mariane, potest.
I think I’m kind of getting the hang of Turkish? But ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ this could be horribly incorrect.
spooky occurrences on my dashboard.