Junot Díaz Just Lost an Award for Speaking Out.
October 28, 2015 4:53 PM   Subscribe

New York’s Dominican Consul General revoked Díaz’s Order of Merit last week, calling him “anti-Dominican.” Díaz was accused Thursday of being "antidominicano" by the Dominican Republic's consul in New York, Eduardo Selman. Díaz has also been stripped of the Order of Merit awarded to him by the Dominican Republic in 2009. Diaz lost the award after he and Edwidge Danticat were in Washington, speaking to congress about the anti-Haitian initiatives in the Dominican Republic. (These were discussed previously on MetaFilter.)

An interview with Diaz and Danticat about the Dominican Republic and Haiti history.

Diaz has beencriticized before for speaking out on this issue.

Teju Cole wrote a Facebook post about Diaz losing the award:

Easy to get it mixed up, easy to think the writer, because he or she once or twice did something you like, is actually there to do things you like, which you then pay for and applaud. But no: we are here, above all, to bring into the world what has difficulty being born.
posted by frumiousb (9 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Every once in a while, losing an award is actually a bigger honor than getting it.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:59 PM on October 28, 2015 [63 favorites]

 We emphatically declare that the Dominican Republic has acted with transparency before the world in the implementation of the immigration measures,” Selman said

"We're emulating the Nazis, but we're not attempting to hide it, so it's totally A-OK!" -- An Asshole
posted by axiom at 5:04 PM on October 28, 2015 [4 favorites]

I just read This Is How You Lose Her and it was incredible.

What the DR is doing here is deeply fucked up.
posted by Aizkolari at 5:09 PM on October 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think of myself as being aware of current events, but I somehow was completely unaware of this. Christ.
Thanks, frumiousb
posted by sotonohito at 5:16 PM on October 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

Good for Junot. He is a great writer and his willingness to speak out on this issue is purely to his credit.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:47 PM on October 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

I am ambivalent on Brief/Wonderous Life, but this kind of parrhesian truth-telling is so necessary that I hereby promise to buy all of his future books.
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:03 PM on October 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Step 1. Make them give you an award.
Step 2. Make them take it back.
Step 3. Be badass.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:28 PM on October 28, 2015 [4 favorites]

Heroes. As Arbitrary said.
posted by effugas at 12:27 AM on October 29, 2015

Junot Díaz wins one of his country's highest civilian awards. Speaks out against injustices his country is committing. The DR revokes the award. Bill Cosby wins one of his country's highest civilian awards. Commited and likely commits injustices left and right. Movement grows to revoke the award, but "there's no mechanism to do that."

When we argue against a mechanism to revoke the Presidential Medal of Freedom, we are exactly thinking of what happened to Díaz. We assume that if there is a mechanism to revoke, said mechanism will be used to exact retribution against those who are not allied with the current government. So we are absolutist, preventing any form of revocation, regardless of the reason. Maybe this could be solved with nuance? I don't know.

I find the harmonies and dissonances between the two situations fascinating. Not so much parallels as alternate-universe, even evil-opposite-universe events.
posted by aureliobuendia at 10:34 AM on October 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

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