United States is the Victim of Dominican Republic’s Xenophobia

soy dominicano

“I Am Dominican and I have rights” Source: Human Rights Watch

Article (re)defined by JB.

Summary: 

Published in the “Liberty” section of the Cato Institute’s website, this online article focuses on the economic hardships endured by Haiti causing migration to the Dominican Republic and the United States.

Comments:

It is interesting that this “Ethnic War” is described in nearly purely economic terms.  Granted, the Cato Institute is a public policy think tank “dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace,” the framing of migration issues in economic terms leaves out the impact of Haiti’s colonial legacy along with the Dominican Republic’s deportation legacy.  Though the article mentions Haiti’s liberation in 1804, there is no discussion of how the international community for years refused to recognize the Haitian government which has produced a long-term detrimental effect on economic growth.  Issues tied to ethnicity are embedded in webs of power inclusive of, but not solely reliant upon the economy.  Bandow’s focus on economics has left many gaps and inadequacies in discussing this situation. Continue reading

Sustainable Military Missions Rely on TVET in Liberia

 

Article (re)defined by JB.

Summary: 

Providing an overview of a mission to assist Liberians with the construction of army barracks, the author Aaron Boehm creates a celebratory tone resonating of the heroism and strength of the Michigan National Guard.  He includes quotes from representatives of the Michigan National Guard to explain the importance of this mission and to highlight their previous international work.

Comments:

Historically, the Liberian Armed Forces has received ongoing support from the United States since the settling of freed American slaves in Liberia.  This historic partnership has been important to Liberia’s ability to maintain independence and essential in rebuilding Liberia post-war.  However, the discourse around these kinds of missions continues to position the United States as the holder of knowledge and expertise.  Countless scholars have critiqued this notion of the Western “expert” in developing countries offering claims that part of the reason so many countries continue to lack in their development efforts is because local knowledge is not valued, projects or missions are not designed with local people as part of the process and partnership efforts become ongoing because they are otherwise not sustainable on the ground.   Continue reading

Modern Policing Demonstrates Ties to the US’ Colonizing Past

Article (re)defined by JB.

Summary: 

This Reuters US Edition article “Disturbing Schools’ law criticized after South Carolina student’s arrest” by Harriett McLeod highlights criticisms of the 1962 South Carolina law that can result in a $1000 fine and up to 90 days in jail for those who ‘disturb school’.  This law came under criticism due to the recent arrests of two students over the use of a cell phone during class. Main criticisms include the broad (lack of) definition of what it means to disturb school in comparison to other states, the large number of students referred to the justice system for infractions due to this law, and the disproportionate amount of black students that are arrested in comparison to white students.

Comments:

The post-colonial US South still embraces the violence that characterized race relations between blacks and whites prior to the Civil War.  The slave patrols of the colonial era have become bureaucratized, official, government-supported.  Though slavery was abolished in 1865 and the 1960s were the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, South Carolina still saw fit to pass a law in 1962 that would criminalize student failure to comply with normalized classroom instruction.   Continue reading

Women, Rurality and the Resource Deficit in SE Liberia

Barclayville student presentations. Grand Kru County, Liberia.

Barclayville student presentations. Grand Kru County, Liberia.

Article (re)defined by JB.

Summary: 

Southeast Women’s Cry for Fixing SE Education” highlights the work of Liberian NGO, SEWODA (Southeast Women’s Development Association) in identifying educational resource deficits in the Southeast region of Liberia.  The article situates SEWODA’s findings historically to support their urgent call on the Government of Liberia to bring development to this rural region.

Comments:

“Southeast Women’s Cry for Fixing SE Education” was published in a widely circulating Liberian newspaper, the Daily Observer. Though it reaches an international audience, its intended audience is primarily the Government of Liberia.  “Let every Liberian official, from President Sirleaf to Vice President Boakai to Foreign Minister Ngafuan, to Finance Minister Konneh to Defense Minister Samukai to Internal Affairs Minister Dukuly to Education Minister Werner to Health Minister Dahn and all the other GOL officials remember this history” is a call to particular sitting government officials to address the historical inequities that continue to plague the Southeast.  According to the article, there is a long history of neglect in the Southeast along with an underlying claim of lack of development in rural areas.  Though the history and urban/rural divide are central to this argument about equity in the Southeast, the driving force behind this politically-situated news story is “the women”. Continue reading