Removal, betrayal, and resistance: Comparative analysis of black youth in the U.S. and Haitian-descendant youth in the Dominican Republic


Through a comparative analysis of the physical and social exclusion of African American youth in the United States and Haitian-descendant youth in the Dominican Republic, this paper traces the ways public policies govern the everyday lives of black youth. We examine how the legacy of these policies manifest in everyday violence with particular attention to the pervasive removal black youth from public spaces. The act of removal is a concerning manifestation of structural violence that has assumed global dimension, as the public has come to expect mass incarceration and deportation as natural state responses to perceived crime or deviance, constructed though it may be. The cumulative impact of structural violence inflicts betrayal trauma upon individuals and communities, eroding trust, violating a state’s obligation to its citizenry, and ultimately, denying humanity. To overcome the normalization of this betrayal, or collective betrayal blindness, we argue that youth resist by re-occupying the public domain. Through the reclaiming of space, youth demand accountability from not only the state but also its citizenry.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v2i2p40

Keywords: structural violence;comparative perspective; betrayal trauma; betrayal blindness; resistance


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