Eileen Z. Fuentes | The Definition of Dominican | Manhattan Times
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03 Jan The Definition of Dominican | Manhattan Times

by Sherry Mazzocchi

Photo: Sherry Mazzocchi | The Manhattan Times

A Dominican court ruling recently revoked the citizenship of all people born of foreign-born parents since June of 1929. The ruling applies to anyone born between 1929 and 2010, and impacts somewhere between 200,000 to 225,000 people, mostly of Haitian descent. 

That begs a question: What does it mean to be a Dominican?


READ MORE: The Definition of Dominican Ser Dominicano | Manhattan Times News.

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Eileen Z. Fuentes

After a breast cancer diagnosis in 2008, Eileen became her own Self-Healthcare Activist. She is an Integrative Cancer Coach and works full-time helping patients do more than just survive at Columbia University’s Cancer Center in New York City.

  • Kety
    Posted at 15:15h, 03 January Reply

    What are you confuse about because I am not sure about your definition!!!!!

    • Eileen
      Posted at 16:01h, 03 January Reply

      The video is only a couple minutes long so I’m sorry if I could not fully articulate my thoughts. As a Dominican-American, I am never fully considered Dominican (over there) or American (over here). Furthermore, our political leaders in the Dominican Republic are now in the position where they are oppressing Haitians in our country, mostly because of the color of their skin. This confuses me because we are black too. It can’t be called racism when both parties are black. Trujillo died more than 50 years ago and we’re still having this discussion. Should I have used ridiculous? Disturbing? Outdated? This behavior is wrong and it is the reason for the international outcry against it.

      I hope this answers your question.

  • Me
    Posted at 16:16h, 03 January Reply

    You rock!!! You are raising amazing young women.

    • Eileen
      Posted at 16:45h, 03 January Reply

      Dear “Me”,
      Thanks for the kind comment. I’ve made mistakes so any and all compliments are welcome… LOL!

  • Christina
    Posted at 16:19h, 03 January Reply

    You are absolutely correct and yes I would also include those words. In addition to racism I do see a ton of self hatred and devaluation in the Dominican Community. You are so right. We have lost or are unclear of our identity. If my family is Dominican yet I was born in the US, this does not make me less Dominican.

    • Eileen
      Posted at 16:52h, 03 January Reply

      I love being Dominican and I know you do too. With every defining moment in history, a new story emerges… Let’s make it a good one.

  • Eileen Carter-Campos
    Posted at 17:46h, 03 January Reply

    KUDOS to you for keeping it REAL!!!! Married to a Dominican man since 2002 and together since 1886–I NEVER understood the logic of his mom and Haitians. They were GOOD ENOUGH to work on her pollera BUT not good enough to live in her country. It ALWAYS made me sick to my stomach! I say, YOU GO GIRL!!!! Tell it like it is—the RACISM and HATRED towards one another and ones self NEEDS TO END!!!! GREAT POINT!!! I am so damn CONFUSED TOO!!!!!

    • Eileen
      Posted at 18:29h, 03 January Reply

      Thanks Eileen! The same thing goes on this country with migrant workers. Why is it that oppressed people, oppress people?! It needs to end and fast. ~ Hugs

      • chantel
        Posted at 20:40h, 03 January Reply

        Why do oppressed people oppress people, I think it’s passing the buck. It’s the easy way to do things. It’s harder to be oppressed and not to want to oppress others because that’s what you’ve been taught. It’s almost like all of us at the bottom want to either beat other people down to the bottom further, or pull everybody down to the bottom with us. When we figure out we can all rise, we’ll have it together, don’t know when that day will be, but I hope soon.

        • Eileen
          Posted at 20:50h, 03 January Reply

          I’m with you, Chantel. It is passing the buck and it seems easy on the surface. The reality is that we live in a karmic world. A few bad apples spoil it for the bunch but I remain hopeful that good is the only thing that can conquer evil. All I can do is be the change I wish to see, even in my confusion.

  • Vera
    Posted at 20:04h, 03 January Reply


    Came to this page through a tweet. I don’t agree with the ways and implementation of the Dominican Constitutional Tribunal ruling that encouraged you to record this video, I have stated that several times and I’ve been trying to create conscience about it through the media, still I disagree with most of what you have said.

    You can be racist no matter the color of your skin, and racism can exist towards everyone regardless the color of their skin. There’s racism in DR, there’s racism in the whole world, still I honestly believe it is not the source of this issue.

    On the other hand, Dominicans know who they are, an incredibly rich culture serves Dominicans when it comes to identity. I don’t think that’s the issue either. Most of the people who support this ruling is just stuck in a history that doesn’t apply to our present, they are nurturing hate that was seeded many years ago by their parents and the parents of their parents.

    This is a learned behaviour that has been there for a long time and has just been awaken. Not everyone is carrying that hate, some are trying to end it.. It’s not a matter of hair, skin, self-recognition.. It’s a matter of education, misunderstand of past events, misleading authorities, hidden political intentions, and so on along that line..

    This is just my opinion. Have a good day.

    • Eileen
      Posted at 20:39h, 03 January Reply

      Thank you so much for stopping through and leaving a respectful comment. You make VERY valid points. I do agree with you, not everyone is carrying the hate. Unfortunately the politicians responsible for this ruling are defining all of us. We do have an incredibly rich culture and I am so proud of being a Dominican. I appreciate you giving another perspective on a very complicated issue. I only gave my opinion and I hope that I do not define us all by adding my two cents. The conversation continues…

      Be well.

  • carolina
    Posted at 23:25h, 03 January Reply

    love it amiga. couldn’t agree more, yet I see all of these women going natural and feel like there is some hope, like will be able to rise above and make it better. It’s up to us.

    • Eileen
      Posted at 23:30h, 03 January Reply

      Thank you, Carolina. It’s trailblazers like you that knew we were better than the lies we’ve been told for far too long. What a breath of fresh air you are. I’m holding that vision with you for a better tomorrow.

  • dailycurlz
    Posted at 23:31h, 03 January Reply

    I move to the US a couple of year ago, coming from believe that I was “india” or “clarita” the word being black never occur to me, until some ask me why do I speak spanish is I am black, and the fact that even the Latinos in California don’t see me as Latina, because I am black. US not only opens opportunities, but also open our minds and eyes; now I am proud to be black, AfroLAtina, and I share every day how proud I am and try to teach others. But there in Dominican Republic was a completely different story, they don’t teach us that we are black, our moms make sure we erase all trace of “blackness” with relaxer. I think in Dominican Republic the government has to implement a good immigration system, but it make no sense that a person born in DR can’t be Dominican. Are we confuse? yes!! and this is nothing new

    • Eileen
      Posted at 23:48h, 03 January Reply

      How awesome to get a glimpse into the native Dominican view on this topic! While I do believe there is a positive shift on the island, where we are beginning to (finally) embrace our African heritage, there is A LOT more work to do. When I last visited in 2011, I was shocked at the number of women rocking out with their natural hair. This clearly is much more than just a beauty trend and hopefully some history and culture follows. We can only move forward now. I think this situation is exposing the truth and the lies to all and the world is watching.

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