The court’s ruling…is an aberration which seems to draw inspiration from Hitler’s laws, by which Jews who had lived in Germany for centuries were deprived of their nationality…The judges know well…that immigration from Haiti to Dominican Republic has gone on for at least a century, being positively encouraged by Dominican landlords and businessmen in times of prosperity, and tolerated by the authorities. The country (or at least, its middle and upper classes) has benefited from the existence of a mass of cheap labor, with no job contracts, social security, or legal rights in general. One of the worst crimes committed during the tyranny of Generalísimo Trujillo was the indiscriminate massacre of Haitians in 1937, in which tens of thousands of…immigrants were murdered, mostly by mobs enraged by populist rhetoric. No less grave…is this Constitutional Court ruling, which…orders authorities to conduct a rigorous scrutiny of all birth registrations back to 1929, to determine which persons then had no right to Dominican nationality, so that their descendants may now be deprived of it. These people of Haitian origin, recent or remote, would thus become zombies, unqualified to obtain a legal job, study at a university or leave the country—all the usual rights of citizenship. Why? Well, for the same reason as Hitler’s victims. I am aware that racism is a widespread disease, and that no country, however civilized, is quite safe from it, especially when scapegoats are required to distract people from real problems and real culprits. But we have seen this too many times not to speak out against it, to try to prevent the tragedies that sooner or later must come of it.
Margaret Thatcher never talked about it, just like Indira Gandhi or Golda Meir never did. The first women in power have to act like men. Angela Merkel has been an inspiration for women all around the world. Considering how difficult it was to become the first female chancellor of Germany, I do not expect her to talk about women’s issues. I think as women become more accepted, they become much more free to be who they would otherwise be. Hillary Clinton was the third Secretary of State; she was also the first woman to make women’s issues a core part of her agenda as Secretary. If she had been the first woman in that position, I doubt she would have done that. I don’t think it’s fair to ask female pioneers to be both the first woman in a position and a champion for women’s rights. They are champions just by the fact that they have made it.
In 2010, Germany produced more than 5.5 million automobiles; the U.S produced 2.7 million. At the same time, the average auto worker in Germany made $67.14 per hour in salary in benefits; the average one in the U.S. made $33.77 per hour. Yet Germany’s big three car companies—BMW, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz), and Volkswagen—are very profitable. How can that be?