To My Engaged Friends: No Destination Weddings in the DR

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.

-Robert F. Kennedy

Before I proceed and to catch you up to speed, please check out some of these articles.

What is my favorite place in the whole wide world? Answer: Anywhere on this beautiful planet where warm ocean water and cold beverages reign supreme. HOWEVER, as I'm striving to make myself and my students global citizens, I have to be responsible with where I send my money.  I, as a person, cannot commit to a vacation in the Dominican Republic when it is making grand efforts to discriminate against its own people due to their Haitian lineage. It is beyond distasteful and appalling that in 2015 we still have to deal with immoral madness.  Dominicans that have been on their side of Hispanola for generations being lynched due to their Haitian descent?  Revoking citizenship of 100,000 individuals that were BORN there? It has got to stop.

Source: Ryot News / AP / Dieu Nalio Chery

Source: Ryot News / AP / Dieu Nalio Chery

Prior to securing my prized passport, I had always envisioned the day I could afford an all-inclusive trip to somewhere exotic like Cozumel or Punta Cana.  In fact, after I obtained my passport, I was seriously considering going to the Dominican Republic for my #MostEpicSpringBreakEver, but my wallet blocked that blessing.  In hindsight, everything has its own reason for occurring.

I am thinking about how much tourism money islands like the DR generate during peak season, and thinking about how it's often the individuals of a darker hue that work the service jobs.  I am furious at the thought of this country sending individuals that have been speaking Spanish their entire lives being transported to a land where they speak Creole.  I am laughing at the ignorance of how some Dominican officials do not think they too are not black at all.  I am giving a MAJOR side-eye to the lawmakers that are responsible for these future deportations.  I am pissed that this is not a major headline in the US news. #BlackLivesMatter or nah?  We have been so distracted by the #AskRachel memes we have quickly forgotten about the #WacoThugs, #McKinney, and now the #SocialCleanings.

I am not a lawyer.  I am not a government employee (well, maybe technically as a teacher I am...)but I am a traveler that can hit them where it hurts.  If enough nomads like myself made a collective effort to stop giving the DR our money, we would be able to send a message in a language both parties could understand.  There are more islands to visit and get wasted at.  As of today, the Dominican Republic will NOT be on my list and I am not sure if it will ever reposition itself to be back in my good graces and it's a shame.  My wanderlusting brothers and sisters, when we are planning our next vacation, let's choose another location, because I'm sure that if it had not been known that we were American, we would be ostracized just like our Dominican friends facing deportation.

Every country has its skeletons, but this monster has made its way out of the closet.  If we let this stand quietly, how long until another country decides it wants to "socially cleanse" itself?  Are your distant family members safe? If you are my beloved friend and you do indeed decide to have your wedding there, I wish you the best of luck, but I will probably not be in attendance.  And finally, to my lovely Dominican readers, I empathize that you are not your government, the ones responsible for the chaos and social injustice.