You don’t have to be Haitian, Dominican or even from the Caribbean to be vaguely familiar with the strained relationship between Haitians and Dominicans. The first time this prevalent notion of Haitians versus Dominicans entered my reality was when I, a Haitian-American, returned to the states to live after spending my early childhood in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
On one of the many occasions when I was bullied by African-American girls in my native Queens, New York building complex simply for being Haitian in 1980s, one girl shouted: “You boat people need to stay out of D.R. too, ’cause we don’t want you there!” (This was before the Fugees, when being Haitian wasn’t remotely cool and the Red Cross banned us from donating blood for fear we all carried the AIDS virus.) via – EBONY