Anti Haitianism

In her preface to Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola, Michele Wucker asks, “Did different languages make people think in fundamentally incompatible ways? Did culture make it impossible to find political solutions to conflict?” (viii). Wucker goes on to say, “The more time I spent on Hispaniola, the less I believed that the cultural differences were at the root of the problem” (viii). If “cultural differences” do not account for anti-Haitianism in the DR, what does? How do we make sense of the 1937 Massacre and the national and international events leading up to the killings? In the decades since Wucker published her book, what conditions have changed, what has stayed the same? In a well-organized/well-developed essay, with a clear thesis, examine a root cause or causes of anti-Haitianism. Explore the issue and its subsequent effect/s on the two nations in detail. Though the problem may seem to be culturally rooted, show how it may actually have far more complicated origins. Support your analysis with quotes from the readings and/or film, In the Time of the Butterflies.

Also, consider how Michele Wucker uses the symbol of the cockfight to tell the story of Hispaniola’s two nations and how the Mirabal sisters used the symbol of the butterfly for their resistance movement. Briefly explain why these symbols are effective. How and why do political, cultural, or national symbols, like those in the film or the book, work?

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