Updated: May 23
Dominican men cheat. Dominican men want you to be their mom. Dominican men want you to be in the kitchen all day. Dominican men are controlling. Dominican men are abusive. Dominican women want all their bills paid. Dominican women are jealous. Dominican women aren't ambitious. Dominican women only care about their looks. Dominican women have daddy issues.
All stereotypes. Some I'm sure as a woman you have repeated. Some I'm 100% sure I and many other men have. The problem with stereotypes is that they are a cognitive shortcut. When one person does something to you you go ahead and paint the entire group as such. But the issue lies in the fact that we [humans] as people don't solely function as a group. We are all different. Stereotypes have ramifications that stretch so much farther. Example: Some people say Dominicans are loud. We as Dominicans sometimes say we are loud. I once heard about a Dominican couple who wanted to rent an apartment and got turned down despite having everything necessary to obtain it. Why? The real estate agent who was Dominican as well relayed "concerns" to the landlord that they could possibly be "loud" without ever having interacted with them outside of an apartment viewing. Maybe it was his past experience with a Dominican rental. Maybe it's just his own beliefs. Whatever it may be it was wrong and that white landlord now has a belief of a group he never interacted with, a belief that he may pass on in his increasingly white-dominated sector of real estate. That's the power of stereotypes. They end up hurting minorities more than anyone else. In an era where we are so focused on viral videos, memes, and quotes that we love re-posting but never live by, I've really begun to think about and question how we as Dominicans portray how we love each other in romantic relationships. And the reality is, we don't portray ourselves. My parents. See above. That’s July 1, 1978. They've been together for 41 years. Celebrating 42 this summer. They've had issues like any couple of their era and ours. Some I've seen firsthand. Some I'm sure I haven't. But I'm sure one of the factors that have kept them together [amongst many others] is that strong... to be continued.
Claudio E. Cabrera is an award-winning audience development expert and journalist, Afro-Latino advocate, and is publishing a book in 2020 titled "Y tu ere/eres Dominicano/a" which focuses on his life, dealing with issues of race and colorism in the Latino community.
This collection of 12 short stories takes you from Cabrera's childhood to present day as he explores a variety of life events, through sharing these stories, relays a similar experience many Afro-Latinos have.
Stories of meeting girlfriend’s parents who still discriminated against him even though he was of the same nationality, to encounters at local stores where his Latinidad was questioned, Cabrera not only takes you through the pain and the insecurities that these events have caused, but also how he came to love himself, his complexion, and being proud of his roots. Follow Claudio on Instragram @claudio.e.cabrera