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Thread: Dominican Immigrants in the U.S.: Poverty, Education and Welfare

  1. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobraboy View Post
    I lived for over 35 years in a city populated by Spaniards over 100 years ago, then had an influx of Cubanos in the late 50's.

    I have many, many friends there with Spanish surnames. I've observed something very interesting: the immigramts speak their native tongue and adapt to survival English. The first generation spoke Spanish in the home, and English elsewhere...with a strong accent. The second generation spoke English primarily as their first language, but could speak Spanish with their grandparents, English with their parents My friends and peers). The third generation hardly speak Spanish (my friends kids). I have friends with typical Spanish names who don't speak Spanish.

    But Tampa never really embraced Spanish enclaves. They just spread all over the city. They may have pride in their heritage, but became cultural Americans as much as anyone including language. They are a classic example of assimilation.
    I'll probably get into trouble with this....but....IMO most of the Cubans who emigrated to Florida in the 50s were white European looking types, who may have had an easier time assimilating. Andy Garcias and Gloria Estefans. And they couldn't go home. Also, it's important to remember that during the 50's & 60's [when I grew up] assimilation was stressed and accomplished. The Dominicans came much later. And they came behind the Puerto Ricans, who themselves were not welcomed with anything resembling open arms. Most didn't look European either. They also have traveled back and forth to DR repeatedly, maintaining their culture - whereas the Italians, Germans, Irish, Poles, etc. who came to the US in the early 20th century rarely went back to their birth countries. It simply was too expensive and too time consuming until air travel was common after WWII, and by then they were old and their parents deceased back in the old country. They had a greater stake in America.

    I think the Dominicans who have come to the US in the past 30 years will prove to be much more ethnic for several generations than those groups who migrated before them.

    Time will tell.

    AE

  2. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter Ego View Post
    Good point Bob. Some very white Dominicans. But I think she meant 'white' as in 'gringo'/'non-Latino' though.

    I can kind of identify in a weird sort of way. My best friends as a little girl were Irish blondes with blue eyes. My brother was so blonde it was almost white. Almost all my many cousins were blondes. I was born with very dark brown hair, and always felt self-conscious about it because my family always commented on how pretty blonde/honey colored hair was. To me that meant mine must be ugly, so I felt ugly. It's not good to feel 'different', whether it be skin or hair color.

    I always cringe when I hear a Dominican called 'moreno' or 'negrito', etc., especially if they're kids. I know it's not meant or said as an insult, but I can't help but wonder if those kids feel self conscious when reminded repeatedly of their complexion [or their weight, etc.]

    You'd think I'd get used to it after so many years.

    AE
    Recently Yris and I went to visit the woman in Santo Domingo who did some work formatting Yris's book and arranging for the publisher. She was self described as black. We got a ride with Yris's cousin's husband who is Eddy Murphy looking. When we arrived home after meeting with the lady, Elias described her to his wife as a prieta, somewhat Ironic, considering she was lighter skinned than him. I just thought she was attractive and intelligent, as well as a good host. So the two dark people were conscious about her colour where as neither my wife or I really though about it. I know my certainly uses morenita...etc to describe people to others if she doesn't know their names so it must be ingrained in the Dominican Culture. I was a blonde growing up and I don't recall anyone I knew making comments negative towards people with blonde, red, or black hair but perhaps I just wasn't observant.

  3. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlterEgo View Post
    I'll probably get into trouble with this....but....IMO most of the Cubans who emigrated to Florida in the 50s were white European looking types, who may have had an easier time assimilating. Andy Garcias and Gloria Estefans. And they couldn't go home. Also, it's important to remember that during the 50's & 60's [when I grew up] assimilation was stressed and accomplished. The Dominicans came much later. And they came behind the Puerto Ricans, who themselves were not welcomed with anything resembling open arms. Most didn't look European either. They also have traveled back and forth to DR repeatedly, maintaining their culture - whereas the Italians, Germans, Irish, Poles, etc. who came to the US in the early 20th century rarely went back to their birth countries. It simply was too expensive and too time consuming until air travel was common after WWII, and by then they were old and their parents deceased back in the old country. They had a greater stake in America.

    I think the Dominicans who have come to the US in the past 30 years will prove to be much more ethnic for several generations than those groups who migrated before them.

    Time will tell.

    AE
    Those I know are European Spaniards. The Cubanos were late comers and although more "European looking" had to prove themselves to the entrenched Spaniards. In fact, there was some fairly harsh treatment of the trouble-makers from the Mariel lift...like body-of-known-criminal-dumped-in-the-street-as-a-message harsh. The Spaniards in Tampa were known for "taking care of their own." Italians, too. Tampa wasn't really a "white city" until the invention of air conditioning...

    Do you think living in an ethnic enclave in a foreign land is the best way to assimilate in any country? Could that be why some immigrants have a more difficult time? Like Dominicans in Washington Heigts?

    I know a bunch of Dominicans of all shades living in Orlando and Dade County doing a fine job of assimilation.

  4. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob saunders View Post
    I was a blonde growing up and I don't recall anyone I knew making comments negative towards people with blonde, red, or black hair but perhaps I just wasn't observant.
    I had red hair until my early 20's.

    I took plenty of heat for that.

    I thought my name outside the neighborhood was "Red"...

  5. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobraboy View Post
    Do you think living in an ethnic enclave in a foreign land is the best way to assimilate in any country? Could that be why some immigrants have a more difficult time? Like Dominicans in Washington Heigts?

    I know a bunch of Dominicans of all shades living in Orlando and Dade County doing a fine job of assimilation.
    I don't think it's better Cobraboy, just very different. For lack of a better comparison, Italian Americans my age who grew up in Brooklyn's Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge or even Queens' Howard Beach are VERY different than Italian Americans like me who grew up in other parts of NYC or Long Island. They talk differently, they act differently, they live differently. They even dress differently. You can't compare Orlando with Washington Heights. You CAN compare Washington Heights with Bensonhurst, both are very ethnic enclaves. My husband is very assimilated in most things, but we've never lived in a Latino neighborhood and he's worked for 30+ years in an Atlantic City casino. He's been an American citizen for 28+ years, keeps himself very informed with US politics and news, but a day doesn't go by that he doesn't visit República Dominicana Completa. Portal Dominicano to read all the Dominican news. His sister has been here 20+ years, and if you met her you'd think she arrived this week. She's also an American citizen, but not an assimilated bone in her body.

    I totally believe in assimilation, but not at the cost of your own ethnic identity. When in Rome, and all that.....

    AE

  6. #196
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    Well thanks God for that report!!

    It is to our advantage the report represent us that poor, other wise there would be lot of jelous people coming after us to get our money We need to kep sending money back home to our families and banks, and of course buying beatiful homes back in Quisqueya la Bella.

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    I just came back from DR, my first trip after I moved to Us in April 2008, This short vacation changed my mind about the paradise, I found every thing different, I don't understander how living all my life in the DR I didn't see so many problems that I noticed during this week, I was upset to see in the poverty in what most people live in my country, how dirty is the neighborhood where I grew up in Santiago. I got really sad about all theses problems, but more sad I was when the air plane took off and I could see through the window that I was leaving back my family over there.
    Tears came out of my eyes.
    Now I know that I'll have to assimilate the American customs and as soon as possible to I will start the immigration process to bring my two daughters and my mom to the States.

    JJ

  8. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by bachata View Post
    I just came back from DR, my first trip after I moved to Us in April 2008, This short vacation changed my mind about the paradise, I found every thing different, I don't understander how living all my life in the DR I didn't see so many problems that I noticed during this week, I was upset to see in the poverty in what most people live in my country, how dirty is the neighborhood where I grew up in Santiago. I got really sad about all theses problems, but more sad I was when the air plane took off and I could see through the window that I was leaving back my family over there.
    Tears came out of my eyes.
    Now I know that I'll have to assimilate the American customs and as soon as possible to I will start the immigration process to bring my two daughters and my mom to the States.

    JJ
    You sound like my husband JJ. He always looks forward to going to DR [we usually go a couple of times a year, a couple of weeks each time] and within a day or two of getting there he's complaining about the life, the government, the traffic, the poverty, the tigures, the danger in the streets, etc. This time we're going for a month, and renting an apartment instead of staying at a hotel, to see if it's really where we want to retire [soon]. Sometimes he's ready to go home after a week, and sometimes neither of us wants to leave. Years ago we sponsored his sister and one brother, the sister came, the brother turned in his green card because he knew he'd never want to live here, and the rest of the family never wanted to come to the US except for visits.

    AE

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