With a Pultizer Prize and MacArthur “Genius” Grant under his belt, Junot Díaz has brought a lot of pride to his fellow Dominicans. However, Eduardo Selman, the Dominican Republic’s consul in New York, felt that Junot being critical about the immigration crisis in the DR was enough to disown him. Selman said Junot was being “antidominicano,” and he also stripped him of the Order of Merit Award given in 2009, according to the Los Angeles Times. So now you know, Selman is petty as hell.
On Wednesday, Junot, Haitian-Amerian writer Edwidge Danticat, and a group of activists asked members of congress to condemn the DR for the abuse that Dominicans of Haitian descent faced during the recent mass deportations. Junot said that the 2014 naturalization law “only adds to the discrimination,” according to EFE, which is why he joined the Derechos Humanos para Todos en la Repúblic Dominicana y Amnistía Internacional to condemn the law.
For his part, Selman denies that there has been any wrongdoing on the DR’s part. “We emphatically declare that in the Dominican Republic we have acted with transparency in the implementation of immigration measures, and there have been no registered cases of human rights violations or of statelessness for Haitians or any other foreigner, contrary to what is being said by writer Junot Díaz, who has proved to be antidominicano,” he said, according to Diario Libre.
Of course, the immigration crisis in the DR is a sensitive and complicated topic. Fairly, many Dominicans were angered by how one-sided the reporting of the situation was by many U.S. outlets, especially because anti-blackness is global. And there didn’t seem to be the same kind of criticism directed at the U.S. at a time when Black Lives Matter was also in the spotlight.
But, not everyone’s reaction was as extreme as Selman’s. Today at 4 p.m. in New York, a group of people planned to protest the Dominican government for trying to intimidate those who speak out.
On Twitter, Junot also has some supporters.