Jun 27 2014

Five Reasons Why I Refuse to Watch the World Cup

Published by Truthdig.com on June 26, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

Soccer (or football, as the rest of the world refers to it) is the most popular sport globally. But can you love the game while hating the World Cup?

The 2014 World Cup tournament in Brazil has attracted record numbers of American viewers, with reports of 23 million people having tuned in to a single match between the U.S. and Portugal alone. Worldwide, the numbers …

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Jun 20 2014

Why It Is Crucial to Examine India’s Rape Epidemic Through the Lens of Caste

Published by Truthdig.com on June 19, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

India, the world’s largest democracy, has a PR problem.

Despite the effort of politicians to present India as a rapidly modernizing state, gruesome incidents of rape keep making news, generating bewilderment among analysts. Take the latest instance of a double rape and killing of two young girls in a tiny rural village in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The girls were 12 and 14 …

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Jun 17 2014

Beyond Boko Haram: Long-Term Justice for Nigeria Lies in Economic Empowerment and Social Change

Published by Truthdig.com on June 13, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

Nigeria is unraveling.

And it is not just because young girls and women are being disappeared in broad daylight by the militant group Boko Haram, whose name translates to “Western education is an abomination.” It is not simply because the same group has also killed hundreds of Nigerians in raids in just the past few weeks with complete impunity.

Although an international campaign drawing …

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Jun 06 2014

The Common Roots of Misogynist Culture in Pakistan and the U.S.

Published by Truthdig.com on June 5, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

The stoning to death of a pregnant woman named Farzana Iqbal by members of her family in broad daylight in Lahore, Pakistan, last week has prompted protests in that nation by human rights activists. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced an inquiry into the slaying that was apparently spurred by the 25-year-old woman marrying a man of whom her family did not approve. The man himself …

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May 23 2014

A Third Lens: Why Awareness of Class Cultures Can Strengthen Movements for Social Change

Published by Truthdig.com on May 22, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

Many years ago I was involved in a small group of activists interested in opening a community space in our neighborhood where people could gather, watch films, take classes and do political organizing. We were a racially diverse group, and women were quite well represented. After many meetings and even a successful fundraiser for our project, we began noticing that we were unable to achieve anything …

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May 16 2014

Why Don’t We Care About Congo’s Dead?

Published by Truthdig.com on May 15, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

Is it true that atrocities in Africa garner little international attention because the victims are black?

The recent kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian girls has generated empathy and outrage worldwide, undermining such a claim. The international shame and guilt over Rwanda’s genocide, despite coming too late, also proves that global concern for African lives is not negligible. Indeed the news media often cover stories like the …

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Mar 07 2014

Luis J. Rodriguez: From Gang Member to Governor?

Published by Truthdig.com on March 7, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

There is little that Luis J. Rodriguez has not done in his life. The 60-year-old Chicano poet and best-selling author has been a member of a gang, faced felony charges, struggled with drug addiction, worked in various countries as a journalist, painted murals, taught prisoners, organized against war and racism, and run a cultural center and bookstore in Los Angeles.

Now he wants to be governor …

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Feb 28 2014

Does It Matter That the Oscars Are Overwhelmingly White?

Published by Truthdig.com on February 28, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

The short answer is yes and no. It matters because the prestige that Academy Award nominations lend to filmmakers and actors can pressure major studios to insist on greater diversity in films. But Hollywood and its award institutions are so far behind in representing the modern demographic shift in the U.S. that filmmakers of color and audiences who want diversity are creating their own content, buzz …

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Feb 20 2014

Protecting ‘Our’ Children in the Wake of the Michael Dunn Verdict

Published by Truthdig.com on February 20, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

When Florida shooter Michael Dunn heard his verdict Saturday, he may have been shocked to find that he faces at least 60 years in prison for the attempted murder of three young black men. Judging by letters he wrote while in prison, Dunn fully expected to be exonerated for shooting nine bullets into a parked car, endangering the lives of the four black youth in …

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Feb 18 2014

Immigrant Views of Dubai, the ‘World’s Fastest Growing City’

Published by Truthdig.com on February 18, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

The official airline of the United Arab Emirates offers the promise “Fly Emirates, Hello Tomorrow.” It is an apt suggestion given how futuristic the UAE’s main city, Dubai, appears. Gleaming glass towers punctuate the desert skyline, evoking a mirage rather than reality. The city’s ubiquitous malls are lined with shiny marble floors, mood lighting, and every global designer brand a shopaholic could dream of. Foodies find …

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