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Teachable Moments

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Teachable Moments
By Jean Paul Cortorreal

As the civil unrest marches through every state in America for the mistreatment of Black humans, with the latest example being the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a confrontation in the Inwood Section of Manhattan sparked controversy and what I believe to be a teachable moment. The residents of the often-rapped about and Hip-Hop artist visited Dyckman banded together to ensure the protests that marched through didn’t cause any destruction to their neighborhood. As looters have been leaving their mark on other parts of the city, this tight knit New York City decided to take matters into their own hands to protect their own blocks.

Commendable, and you guys have the right idea. Looters that exert their frustrations in a much more criminal manner than the peaceful protestors shouldn’t victimize their own neighborhoods. But the reason the streets are being occupied shouldn’t be overshadowed by deep-rooted racism that was displayed in the mostly Dominican neighborhood. With anti-looter forces marching the streets using police tactics to harass Black protestors many online saw what many have known, Dominicans have been handed down colonial-instilled racism and need to take steps to fix their internal issues.

This is where we teach each other where we went wrong and specifically don’t act like the police, during a time where cities in every state in America and other cities worldwide are in lockstep that they are an abusive occupying force. Luckily, community leaders in the anti-looter patrol stepped up and intervened before anything escalated and have since reached out to the Black young men that they were wrong in how things were handled.

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I’d like to speak for most of us when I say that protecting our mom and pop shops does not mean we are not in the fight with you. Material things and businesses do not mean more than a life. We also understand that sometimes, for changes, riots need to happen. That’s how it works. I also know that a lot of you would agree that destroying the businesses of minorities isn’t doing much for the cause. The real conversation I wish we could have, respectfully, at some point, is why our black friends think they are mistreated in our community and what we can do to change our behavior and subtle (sometimes not so subtle) internal racism/colorism. If you feel I’m wrong, educate me. Offensive comments will not be tolerated. 🖤

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The media and some social media sites are trying to start a race war. There is viral footage of brothers from dyckman addressing some black brothers making sure they are not looting in their neighborhood. The approach was wrong yes but the big homie @damayordp and @dyckmanstateofmind from dyckman acknowledged that and took control of the situation before it got crazy. salute to the bros out there @dyckmanstateofmind and @damayordp they jumped on live with me last night during #LateNightDownTheRabbitHoleWith45th and gave us the real story…. They are doing the right thing by protecting and policing their neighborhood …we not going to let a misunderstanding and the media turn us against each other.. and everyone is welcome in dyckman as long as you respect their neighborhood and come in peace like you should. I encourage every hood in NYC to follow their lead and don't allow looters to come vandalize your neighborhood.. great leadership my brothers @dyckmanstateofmind and @damayordp … salute (Share this post .. we spreading love and not letting them pin us up against each other)

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They have reportedly extended them a visit to Dyckman to show them some hospitality, and that is admirable. Taking the next step and identifying the root of issues and beginning to accept their guilt in perpetuating racism is what we hope to see from the Dominican community. As a Dominican man I understand, you grow up with your culture and your pride, you are conditioned by those before you to like what you like and then one day glass shatters as you find out you’re racist. There are many factors as to why that is mostly rooted in colonialism but the onus is for Dominicans to fix. It’s okay, reading your history will help you understand and I invite all to do this, as a teachable moment.

Congressman Ydanis Rodriguez was seen amongst his constituents calling for his people to come together in a time for unity. Coming together to fight the ultimate fight is something we need as we see the black diaspora and its allies in full force around the country in protest. As the other police officers that aided in the murder of George Floyd are officially charged, more unity will be needed, as the murderers of Breonna Taylor are still at large.

Texts To Learn More Dominican History

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-dominican-racial-imaginary

https://www.routledge.com/Blacks-Mulattos-and-the-Dominican-Nation/Franco/p/book/9781138785007

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