“Sonali’s Weekly Columns” archives

Nov 20 2014

Mexicans Have Had Enough of U.S.-Backed Violence and Exploitation

Published by Truthdig.com on November 20th, 2014

Mexico’s nationwide general strike on Thursday, Nov. 20 is a unified rallying cry to end the corruption, crime and violence that have plagued the country for decades and are symbolized most recently by the apparent slaying of 43 students in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. But, lest we Americans consider ourselves outsiders, observing another nation’s mayhem with detachment, it is important to clarify that Mexico’s problems …

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Nov 14 2014

How Democrats Failed Black and Brown Communities … Again

Published by Truthdig.com on November 14th, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

Republicans are celebrating. In less than two months they will hold a majority in the U.S. Senate and in the House of Representatives. Six years into the tenure of a president they openly revile, they will present a united front for corporate interests, religious extremists and gun enthusiasts with glee.

Voters turned out in historically low numbers (36 percent of those …

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Nov 07 2014

Entirely Predictable: The U.S. Is Leaving Afghanistan Worse Off Than Before

Published by Truthdig.com on November 6th, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

With very little fanfare and barely any major news coverage, U.S. Army units have begun leaving Afghanistan. The drawdown signals the wrapping up of what became—officially at least—the United States’ longest war. A few thousand American troops will stay indefinitely. And, says “Reena,” a spokeswoman for the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), the U.S. is leaving Afghanistan …

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Nov 03 2014

Leading Indian Journalist P. Sanaith Says India Follows the U.S. Model at Its Peril

Published by Truthdig.com on October 31st, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

Palagummi Sainath, or P. Sainath, as he prefers to be called, is India’s most decorated journalist. In addition to the World Media Summit award that he just won, he is the recipient of many prizes, including the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award for his work covering India’s poor and rural areas. What sets Sainath apart from most Indian journalists is that …

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Oct 24 2014

Stranger Than Fiction: ‘Citizenfour’ Is a Dire Parable of Whistle-Blowers and Government Spying

Published by Truthdig.com on October 23rd, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

Laura Poitras seems to have an instinct for a good story. In an interview on “Uprising” about her new film “Citizenfour,” she told me, “When I first started receiving these anonymous emails [from Edward Snowden], my gut instinct pretty early on was that this was probably legitimate. And then my second feeling was that it’s quite dangerous.”

Still, that …

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Oct 17 2014

Hysteria Over Ebola Fuels Racism, While the Real Disease Is Capitalism

Published by Truthdig.com on October 16th, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

The Ebola crisis has gripped the American media, and by extension the imagination of the public, punctuated by breathless pronouncements from TV news reporters of the medical status of actual and potential victims of the disease; hysteria-inducing magazine covers, like this issue of Bloomberg Businessweek sporting the message “Ebola Is Coming” in blood- smeared letters; and Facebook feeds dominated …

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Oct 10 2014

The Rise of the New, Liberal Islamophobia

Published by Truthdig.com on October 9th, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

The recent television kerfuffle involving “Real Time” host Bill Maher and guest Sam Harris over whether Muslims are bad people because their religion is, in the words of Harris, “the mother lode of bad ideas,” is symbolic of the new American Islamophobia.

Muslim-bashing has become a popular sport several times over the last decade and a half, most notably in the …

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Oct 03 2014

In Defense of Daniele Watts

Published by Truthdig.com on October 2nd, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

In a recent Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times, actress Daniele Watts told her story of a controversial encounter she had with a Los Angeles Police Department officer. It was an incident that garnered much media attention, most of it negative. Although the African-American actress, best known for her role as Coco in “Django Unchained,” was eloquent in defending her actions, I believe it is …

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Sep 23 2014

Black Men in America Are Traumatized by Racism—Are We Listening?

Published by Truthdig.com on September 23rd, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

Editor’s note: This is the second article in a two-part series about the impact of racism on African American men. Click here to read the first installment.

The topic of racism often generates discussions of justice, equality, freedom and human rights. But what about trauma? Although trauma is often accepted as a predictable outcome of war, physical and sexual abuse, and witnessing violence, racism is …

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Sep 19 2014

For Black Men in America, There Is No Break From Racism

Published by Truthdig.com on September 19, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

The events of this summer in Ferguson, Mo., highlighted an ugly truth to mainstream Americans: Black men in this country are viewed as so suspicious by law enforcement that they are often shot first and questioned later. It is a reality that black men have been living with in the United States since the very beginning.

As of 2010, black American men had the shortest …

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