“Sonali’s Weekly Columns” archives

Dec 19 2014

Black Women’s Lives Matter: Film Reveals Little-Known Story of the Grim Sleeper

Published by Truthdig.com on December 18th, 2014

As an invigorated movement emerges against police killings of black men, a timely new documentary examines American law enforcement’s negligence in the grisly killings of black women for over two and a half decades. The HBO documentary “Tales of the Grim Sleeper,” by filmmaker Nick Broomfield, delves deep into the story of a man who is allegedly responsible for the murders of African-American …

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Dec 11 2014

Ferguson Is Baghdad Is New York Is Kabul

Published by Truthdig.com on December 11th, 2014

There is a pattern emerging in my Facebook feed this week. One group of friends has been posting stories of police brutality and protests accompanied by personal statements of outrage. Another group has been remarking on the disgusting revelations from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s CIA torture report and the need for accountability. There is little overlap between the two groups, and yet the …

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Dec 05 2014

Seeing Ferguson Clearly: 12 Double Standards That Expose White Supremacy

Published by Truthdig.com on December 4th, 2014

The word “Ferguson” has become synonymous with racism and police brutality in the U.S. today, in the same way that the name “Rodney King” did in 1992. And yet there remains a persistent and reactionary response from some white Americans who vehemently view themselves as the victims and black Americans as “violent thugs” who deserve the treatment they receive from police and the …

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Dec 01 2014

This Thanksgiving, Let’s Talk About Genocide Rather Than Pilgrims and ‘Friendly Indians’

Published by Truthdig.com on November 26th, 2014

Fox News reprinted a Daily Meal story last week that described the first Thanksgiving in 1621 like this: “a three-day celebration of the first successful harvest, bringing together pilgrims, Native Americans, and a bounty of food.” Hand in hand with this story is the role of “Squanto,” often referred to as a “friendly Indian,” who “taught the Pilgrims about the land, where …

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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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