It seemed odd to me that on the job sisters who were from the Domiican Republic would say they were not Black, even when no one had mentioned race, or the question never came up, so I had wondered what the background of that was; this from Wikipedia; Ethnicity Dominican girls at carnival, in Taíno garments and makeup (2005)The ethnic composition of the Dominican population is 73% multiracial, 16% white, and 11% black. The multiracial population is primarily a mixture of European and African, but there is as well a significant Taíno element in the population; recent research has shown that at least 15% of Dominicans have Taíno ancestry. The country's population also includes a large Haitian minority. Other ethnic groups in the country include West Asians—mostly Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians. A significant presence of East Asians, primarily ethnic Chinese and Japanese, can also be found. Europeans are represented mostly by Spanish, German Jews, Italians, Portuguese, British, Dutch, Danes, and Hungarians. There are also tens of thousands of US citizens. A system of racial stratification was imposed on Santo Domingo by Spain, as elsewhere in the Spanish Empire. Its effects have persisted, reaching their culmination in the antihaitianismo of the Trujillo regime, as the dictator used racial persecution and nationalistic fervor against Haitians. A U.N. envoy in October 2007 found racism against blacks in general, and Haitians in particular, to be rampant in every segment of Dominican society. According to a study by the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, about 90% of the contemporary Dominican population has West African ancestry to varying degrees. However, most Dominicans do not self-identify as black, in contrast to people of West African ancestry in other countries. A variety of terms are used to represent a range of skin tones, such as moreno/a (brown), canelo/a (red/brown) ["cinnamon"], indio/a (Indian), blanco/a oscuro/a (dark white), and trigueño/a (literally "wheat colored", or olive skin). Ramona Hernández, director of the Dominican Studies Institute at City College of New York asserts that the terms were originally a defense against racism: "During the Trujillo regime, people who were dark skinned were rejected, so they created their own mechanism to fight it." She went on to explain, "When you ask, 'What are you?' they don't give you the answer you want ... saying we don't want to deal with our blackness is simply what you want to hear."