“Sonali’s Weekly Columns” archives

Mar 26 2015

Why Mexico’s Farmworkers Who Harvest Our Food Are on Strike

Published by Truthdig.com on Mar 26, 2015

The green Driscoll’s label on the organic berries that I buy each week are a comforting symbol of a family-owned company that got its start in California. Sometimes the berries are marked “Product of USA,” but more often than not, they are labeled as originating in Mexico. That is because Reiter Affiliated Cos., which sells berries through its affiliate BerryMex under …

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Mar 19 2015

To Solve California’s Water Crisis, We Must Change the Nation’s Food System

Published by Truthdig.com on Mar 19, 2015

The bold headline of a recent Los Angeles Times editorial by the hydrologist Jay Famiglietti starkly warned: “California has about one year of water left. Will you ration now?” The write-up quickly made the social media rounds, prompting both panic and the usual blame game: It’s because of the meat eaters or the vegan almond-milk drinkers or the …

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Mar 13 2015

It’s Time to Abolish Fraternities

Published by Truthdig.com on Mar 12, 2015

When I was a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin in the early 1990s, the Greek system was an entirely foreign concept to me—unsurprisingly, since I was a foreign student. My blonde roommate from Minnesota asked me in a thick Midwest accent if I was “gonna rush,” to which I responded, “Where to?” Observing her desperate courting of numerous …

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Mar 05 2015

Don’t Believe Media Coverage of Venezuela

Published by Truthdig.com on Mar 5, 2015

Diplomatic relations between Venezuela and the U.S. have just taken a big hit, with the government of Nicolas Maduro demanding that the American Embassy in Caracas reduce its staff by 80% and that U.S. visitors apply for visas.

Most symbolically, Venezuela has now barred a number of U.S. officials from visiting, including George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. The backdrop …

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Feb 26 2015

Our Anti-Immigrant Racism Is Rooted in History

Published by Truthdig.com on Feb 26, 2015

When actor Sean Penn asked, “Who gave this son of a bitch a green card?” in reference to Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s winning the best-picture trophy at the 2015 Academy Awards, many came to Penn’s defense, saying it was just a joke between friends. But others didn’t take kindly to the actor’s tongue-in-cheek treatment of a serious issue that has …

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Feb 19 2015

Can the Greek Tragedy Be Rewritten?

Published by Truthdig.com on Feb 19, 2015

Outside of Latin America, it has become exceedingly rare for left-wing radical organizations and political parties to transition from agitating in the streets to actually assuming power through elections in a few short years. That is only one of many reasons why the new government of Alexis Tsipras in Greece has captured the imagination of the global left.

In elections earlier this year, …

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Feb 13 2015

Our Attitude Toward the Elderly Is Getting Old

Published by Truthdig.com on Feb 12, 2015

While disembarking from a long flight recently, I was dismayed to watch a couple who seemed to be in their 50s openly roll their eyes and criticize another couple in their 60s or 70s who were holding up the line. The two elders were painstakingly removing their hand luggage from the overhead bins and making their way down the cramped aisles. Apparently they …

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Jan 30 2015

Supreme Court Moves to Undo Civil Rights Law … Again

Published by Truthdig.com on January 29th, 2015.

The U.S. Supreme Court has once again taken it upon itself to reconsider a landmark civil rights law. Under the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and subsequent legal precedents, individuals or institutions can be sued for racial segregation in housing even if they cannot prove that the segregation was intentional. But conservatives have long argued that segregation ought to be legal as long …

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Jan 16 2015

Hypocrisy Abounds: Free Speech As Cover for Islamophobia

Published by Truthdig.com on January 15th, 2015.

A magazine that most people outside France had never heard of before Jan. 7 now has legions of followers and fans around the world. The dominant narrative that has emerged from the horrific massacre of 10 staffers of Charlie Hebdo (plus police officers and hostages) is that the very foundation of freedom itself was attacked last week in Paris, and that the best …

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Jan 09 2015

Why Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Trial Is About Our Humanity, Not His Guilt

Published by Truthdig.com on January 8th, 2015.

As the remaining man at the center of the Boston Marathon bombing goes to trial, questions abound—not about his guilt or innocence, but about whether he gets to live or die. Ultimately his fate, and the process by which it is decided, will reflect the fairness of the U.S. justice system, the humanity of American society and our role in the world.

Twenty-one-year-old …

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