The Audacity of Yorks

According to scholars, the social landscape in certain parts of India is carefully stratified into a pyramid where the Brahmins or priests are at the top and the Paryahs or untouchables occupy the bottom. This is called a caste system in which members of each group are born into their corresponding strata, practice endogamy, and are expected to die within their rank. For the untouchables, it’s a life with no hope for upward mobility, and if someone of a higher status comes within close range of an untouchable, such member is required to immediately undergo a thorough cleansing which is not limited to a bath and prayer. Caste systems were created in supposed effort to maintain “harmony” and forestall social chaos.

This got me thinking that if Islanders ran the country according to India’s social configuration, us Yorkies would be the untouchables of Dominican society. Along with the poor, we would be expected to relegate ourselves to our corresponding level with no hope of progress up the echelons of the social ladder. So far, we can always count on being “reminded” of our rightful place, as stated by many of the self-professed members of the upper class who have read this blog or who have vehemently stated on other cybervenues their disdain for Dom-Yorks:

-You can keep on being a ghetto creepy creature.-

-You are not and will never be part of the Dominican upclass.-

-All you do is bring shame to us real Dominicans.-

-If you are a real, first generation Dominican York you probably are mano de obra barata, nothing more.-

-Dom-yorks are the biggest chopos(*)-.

(All comments were posted in the official language of the Dominican Republic: English)

The following remark however, clearly illustrates the reason why us Yorks pose such a threat to the crumbling of the pseudo upper crust of the Island.

-Stop saying that you, with your poor ass and lack of class, can do the same we real educated and relatively well off Dominicans can do-

A reader of mine once said that money is the great equalizer. The threat that Yorks pose to Islanders is that we can have as much as or (gasp!) more than the average middle class individual living on the Island. Thus the social spheres that Islanders so desperately want to protect are rapidly becoming dissolved due to our ever-growing acquisition power. Me explico. If you believe that buying a luxury car is what separates you from the rest of the lesser mortals, then you will at any cost, try your best to prevent the underdog from doing the same. However, the salesperson at the car dealership is only interested in a profit no matter where the money is coming from. So now that Dom-Yorks can afford to buy not just one, but (gasp!) two luxury cars, the wannabe crème de la crème has no other option but to mortgage their house to buy an even more expensive car that will index the separation between Them and Us. Islanders thrive on exclusivity because it somehow leads them to believe that living in a bubble of privilege secures their supposed status in society. The problem is that because Dom-Yorks are surpassing Islanders in possessions, entrepreneurial ventures and education, Islanders are pissed that they need to work that much harder to outdo us.

Here are two examples of how the audacity of Yorks might infuriate the good people of the Island.

For my birthday, I decided to take my girlfriends out for a limo drive around The City. I was discussing the aftermath (pun intended) with my dad, and we came to the conclusion that between the four-hour 2010 Chrysler stretch rental, the case of vintage champagne and the consumption of other libations at our final destination, I had spent about fifteen hundred dollars. This is a whopping fifty-five grand in Dominican pesos! I have been told that this amount can well be considered a decent salary by Island standards. All I can say is that for a an average Yorkie such as myself, I rest assured that I will not have to wait months to make that money back, nor did I have to pawn my jewelry to have a little New York City style birthday celebration.

Another story is that of my friend’s mom who had returned to the Island on vacation. A successful business woman with a net worth in the millions of dollars, she had bumped into her childhood friend at an event. The Islander had asked what she was up to. My friend’s mom told her that for the past two decades she was running a very successful franchise. ¿Y qué título tiene esa profesión? She asked. Ninguno replied my friend’s mom. ¡Ah bueno! The Islander said disenchanted as she hurriedly blew off my friend’s mom with a good-bye kiss. Word has it the Islander was in the bathroom cleansing herself from her brief encounter.

Our audacity to step out of our “confinement” enrage Islanders so, the best they can do to make themselves feel better is shower us with epithets and slurs. Well sticks and stones… We shall laugh all the way to our investor’s and retirement fund consultant’s office. I leave you with a final remark, courtesy of another Dom-York detractor:

Well…they are, above all, New Yorkers. Who would want hang around those people? (*)

To what I say: No sweetie. You don’t want to hang out with us. You just want to be like us. Have some Irish stout and shut the fuck up.

Note: Quotes marked with an (*) were found on this thread.


31 responses to “The Audacity of Yorks

  1. Finally! A match for pretentious snobs, especially santiagueros.

    • Fr. Dunne,Thank you for the link to my blog and your kind words. Some months ago I did a post about your blog and inulcded a link to your province’s website, but somehow I failed to add the link to my sidebar. I corrected this oversight this morning. Be assured of my continued prayers for increased vocations in your province!In Christ,Brad

  2. YOU ARE SO MEAN!!!!!

  3. Damn! What did dominicans do to you? Chill out!

  4. no, she is not mean ,she is saying the things that we all know about the people from the island but we don’t say.I would say she is wise and fearless …..love you girl!

  5. Dat’s what I’m talkin’ bout! I wonder how many of the haters can actually afford to buy a case of flower P.J.?

    • 5a1I’m from England and I am absolutely snuentd by this horrific story. Something is badly wrong with the law in Florida (and the USA) if Mr Zimmerman doesn’t go to jail for this Reverse the positions and a black man would already be in jail, awaiting trial for murder, for the same act.. He left his vehicle and followed the child, seeking a confrontation, against the advice of the 911 operator. He then confronted and murdered Trayvon, for the sole reason, that Zimmerman believed a young black male in his neighborhood must be regarded as a threat. I don’t know the guy, so I can’t 100% guarantee he is a racist, but he does appear to call him a coon on the recording and his actions back that up. As for his father saying he’s not a racist because he has (had) black friends.. That is laughable the stock defense of a racist.. And btw Zimmerman Snr, Junior doesn’t have any black friends anymore! Even if he isn’t prosecuted, he will never be safe again, which is not a nice way to have to live, but he only has himself to blame

  6. Holla Nuala!

  7. LMAO!!! This is WAY too funny. Love love the “official language” comment. Yeah! So much for “orgullo dominicano” when half to the country is switching to English…

    • it was like playing all sorpts with mixed team: when women dominate classes, men respond by pulling back. They de-professionalize, and quality suffers. I am a modern woman, with two degrees, enough education to know he’s right. I’ve played on mixed soccer teams. Men do pull back. That’s why the NFL doesn’t have mixed teams. Title IX that!And most women don’t want it. Most women, not all, want a decent education and a stable family life to raise kids well and love a husband. They don’t want to be Madam Curie! That’s not a stupid goal, but they’ve been made to think so. That’s a goal, Europe’s finding, that they wish they had guarded better in the hearts of their RUINED young women.. So, much as I’d like to hate on Bishop Williamson–he’s got a point, doesn’t he. The Catholic tradition was, women who wanted it could get a university education. That was the practice of centuries, from the earliest Catholic universities. Women were not pushed nor prevented. They were, however, confirmed in their role as mothers and wives. This was wise. It was protestantism that insisted on ‘literacy for all’–and couldn’t stop. Oh how we shall come to rue it.

  8. Interesting and funny post. Unfortunately, the experience is parallel to other other countries where those who leave are the most marginalized in their country. It’s fucked up and wrong.

    However, we should be careful not to buy in to their same ideology. Primarily, that people’s value comes from how much they own. The average Dom York or other immigrant cannot afford a $1500 birthday party. It doesn’t make you better or them worse.

    Money is the great equalizer, but that’s unfortunate. People = People

    • I agree with you. But I don’t think she’s saying that she is better than anyone else for shelling a grand for her b’day. I think her point is that people back home think that she doesn’t deserve to do that because she doesn’t belong to the “right” social level. It’s her way of saying f-you.

      • True that. Also, anyone with a degree and a decent job in NYC can shed a couple of grand for a birthday. It’s obvious she is not an “average” Dominican-york immigrant which is another point she is trying to make.

  9. The funny thing is that some Islanders try to mask their belief in the caste system by giving back to the less fortunate. Then they turn around the next day and partake in a highly exclusive, invitation only, vip event of the screening of the oscars…the Oscars, red carpet and all. They so live in a fantasy world that they can’t get out of and have the balls to criticize us. They could learn a few things from us.

  10. Well written… you’ve done it again Nuala!!

  11. Verdadero Dominicano

    You are an idiot.

    This is the problem with you. You think it all revolves around money. MONEY IS NOT THE GREAT EQUALIZER. YOU ARE JUST AN IDIOTIC, UNEDUCATED MORON THAT GREW UP IN THE OUTSKIRTS OF NEW YORK, THE CAPOTILLO OF NEW YORK.

    P.S.: The official language of the Dominican Republic is Spanish. It just makes sense to bash your stupid ramblings in a way you can understand.

  12. It’s called sarcasm VD.

  13. @ Verdadero Dominicano….more like verdadero idiota…..why don’t you enlighten us oh great one. Its morons like you that makes this blog everyday more and more true. What do you know about where Nuala grew up, I mean you really have no idea what the outskirts of NY is. This is me brushing my shoulders off….hater!!!

  14. HAHAHAHA HERE WE ARE AGAIN!!! Ballahs in da house YO!!!! Where ma’ niggaz at?!!! I represent one of those capotillo barrios… so what? Make up your mind…. who are the real dominicans? Because according to you verdadero dominicano, people from capotillo aren’t? IT’S ALL GOOD BABY BAYBAY!!! NOW WE SIP CHAMPAGNE WHEN WE’RE THIRSTAY!!!

  15. Wrong response verdadero. Your suppose to say “Mielda mano que apero ta eso, eso ta full, full de to, a nivel. Eso ta aperisimo “

  16. Verdadero Dominicano

    Yeah, anonymous. That´s the only language these guys understand.

    @J.B.:

    I don´t know where “ya niggaz” at. I tend to run away from your kind.

  17. I am not talking to you douche bag! I’m talking to my peeps who have made it in spite of adversity. Besides you should really consider hanging out with us sometime. It could be your only opportunity to enjoy the “real” finer thangs in life that you enjoy so much. Why don’t you take a break from drinking Johnnie Blue, and join da players for some Cristal?

  18. Pingback: My Burning Bush | Nuala Knows

  19. Sorry Nuala, I am going to have to strongly disagree with you on this one.
    First of all, there’s a historical background for the disdain “islanders” have towards “dominicanyorks”. First and foremost, it goes to the time where the “cadenuces” were a synonym of dominican immigrant. I do not know of anyone who would like to be identified with that type of people, I bet you wouldn’t, I know I wouldn’t. The truth of the matters is that dominicans abroad, in general, have done nothing to bring pride to the island. We are stereotyped as DUMBminicans by gringos, and guess who’s fault is that? Unfortunately, 90% of dominicans immigrants have no education, civil manners and so on.
    On the other hand, and you know this from knowing my family, in the Island , class “casts” and social range goes beyond money and material possession. Contrary to USA, where money talks, not even in your wildest dream, you would be a candidate to move in the same circles the Trumps and the Hiltons (to mention some of the douchebag socialite) do. But in the Island I have “codeado” with the big money people without being necessarily one of them. And is not something I am bragging about, I am just making a point.

  20. Well, there’s an exception of dominicanyork we collectively must be proud of: Junot Diaz. Although he was born in the Island.

  21. @Lobo I understand your point. But we shouldn’t fall into the trap of making generalizations. Both you and the author seem to make blanket statements about Island behaviors vs. York behavior. Who is to say that the great majority of Dominican-Yorks are ill-mannered and who is to say that all of the cream of the crop Dominicans are all well mannered? Is a person with education better than a person with no education? Why should you care what gringos think about us? Do you model yourself after them? How is that better? I am not trying to attack you. What I do enjoy is having interesting discussions with people that have an interesting point of view. I hope you take it in good faith. FYI Junot Diaz was born on the Island, but he has definitely identified himself as being a Dominican York, although he grew up in NJ.

  22. CUNYstudent, under no circumstance I model myself after Americans or American culture. I personally think that Americans try to be so “politically correct” that the borderline hypocrisy. I am a blunt person, and I called things the way I see them. But that not the topic of this conversation.
    So, to get back on track, I am going to make two parallels that I believe to be appropriate with the discussion we are having. Island Dominicans are not the only ones to marginalize with abroad born fellows. And I am going to mention two different episodes I have had with two friends of mine, one Puertorrican, one Italian.
    On a conversation I was having with a good friend who is an islander Puertorrican, I made the “mistake” of calling someone “Puertorrican”. My friend got all out of shape, almost defensive, and explained to me how that other person was not Puertorrican but “Newyork-Rican”. I have to emphasize that my friend got very offended by my “ignorant” statement. To this day, I haven’t met the first Islander Dominican that gets personally offended when someone “mistakes” a Newyorker for an Islander.
    I also have an Italian (born in Italy) friend that gets very offended when Guidos call themselves Italians or even Italian-American for that matter. My friend rushes to state that they are not remotely Italians because they don’t even speak the language. That being Italian is more than eating pasta. Which brings me to the point I want to raise: as I mentioned on my first post, unfortunately, 90% of Dominican immigrants are people with no education, or class or manners (and to answer your question, no I don’t think educated people are better than uneducated people. But when people don’t make an effort to better themselves and to behave civilized, then yes, I look at them in a rather judgmental way) and they pass to second generations, who believe being Dominican is listening to loud music, men plucking their eyebrows and eat fritura in a corner.
    Again, this is not a generalization, as I said, we, abroad Dominican, Islanders and Newyorkers (or born in Lawrence or Lynn MA, where ever there’s a big Dominican community) have the responsibility of showing to the world, that a Dominican is not a person like the one I described above.

  23. Point well taken. But I think that the issue at hand that neither the author nor those who identify as being “real” Dominicans are acknowledging is the social class and ethnicity or culture should be treated separately. The behaviors you describe seem to me aligned with economic status, meaning that if both Islanders and Dom-Yorks, have the same social background, then they may exhibit similar behaviors. Playing loud music is not exclusive of Dominican Yorks, neither is being “classy” exclusive only to Islanders. I perceive the author to be the “flip-side” of Islander middle class. If you take the variable “nationality” out of the equation, she would be not different than the average Islander middle class person. Also, if people want to generalize and perceive all dominicans to be “fritura eating loud music playing people” then that is THEIR prejudice. Should we generalize all gringos as dumb republicans who only care about guns and religion? Or all Mexicans to be illegal immigrants? My two cents.

    • 419Well being as I’m a White American and being as this has become about race. I have never met any White folks that look like him. He is not White. Also to say that Hispanics are not risact is b.s. I’m the only White guy at my work and the rest are hispanic, I would say 80% of them don’t like Black folks or don’t trust them. Hell most of them don’t even like me for that matter, but some have come around Now as far as Zimmerman goes He’s just another trigger happy piece of shit where somebodys kid paid the price. Justice will be served due to so much media attention, otherwise I’m sure this would have been swept under the rug with a warning and a slap on his wrist

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