What is around us that would tacitly or implicitly give permission to someone to pick up a gun and kill nine people? All the signs, all the permission he ever needed was in a flag, in a sentence, in a supposedly harmless joke, in the privacy of a car, in a home late at night, in a status update. All of it, was always just there.
In the summer of 1966, my parents, Robert and Ethel Kennedy, traveled to South Africa at the invitation of Ian Robertson, President of the National Union of South African Students, or NUSAS. NUSAS, which opposed the racist Apartheid regime then in power in South Africa, wanted my father to deliver the keynote address at the annual Day of Reaffirmation of Academic and Human Freedom at the University of Cape Town.
It's an obvious analogy: There is a minority (mostly Sunni) elite ruling over a (mostly Shia) majority. The last few years have seen systematic discrimination, a repression of fundamental rights, and torture and deaths in custody. People aren't divided by race but by sect, which typically dictates where they live, what jobs they do, and whether they can achieve political power.
If the term "apartheid" shames the establishment into acting -- and prompts pundits to utter the word "race" when discussing inequality -- then by all means let's use the unflattering comparison. It's a fitting way of bearing witness to the life and times of Michael B and everyone else who has suffered under this abhorrent system.
The Dominican state is 10 years into a process of constructing a system of legal apartheid for Dominicans born to Haitian parents. This group of second- and third-generation Dominicans has always faced opposition to being fully recognized as Dominican citizens, but their government appears intent on legally cementing this discrimination -- and is increasingly close to this goal.