Olympian taekwondo fighter Luis Pie has helped the Dominican Republic keep their streak in the sport by winning the bronze medal in his 58kg weight class. Unfortunately, instead of celebration, there's a lot of controversy concerning "Luisito's" nationality.
Last year, the Dominican Republic passed a law called Ley de Naturalización Especial (or the Special Naturalization Law) that says if you're a Dominican of Haitian decent who was born in DR before 2010, you are not registered in the Civil Registry and therefore are undocumented in the country.
So what does it mean? That because of an arguably racist law, this hard-working athlete who is representing the country he was born and raised in on an international playing field isn't being counted as such legally?
Regardless of the trials and tribulations that Pie endured to participate in the games, he gladly competed and won a medal for la republica dominicana. To make it even more impactful, this made him the first person to win a medal for DR at the Rio Olympic games.
"We're going to keep working to bring more wins to [Dominican Republic], the country deserves it," he said to CND radio about the medal he won.
Hopefully this provides Dominicans a chance to reflect on the racism and xenophobia that persists in the island's legal system and society. The cultural and racial background of an individual should not influence the way one's nation categorizes them, particularly the nation they were born in. The anti-blackness that is at play here should be accounted for, especially at an event like the Olympic games, where such a strong sentiment of patriotism is in the air.