“Sonali’s Weekly Columns” archives

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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Jan 02 2015

A Reason to Watch the Sexist, Racist, Militarist, Corporate Rose Parade

Published by Truthdig.com on January 1st, 2015.

I hate parades. I have always hated the bright exuberance, the cheering and the flag waving. Every New Year’s Day, millions of people around the U.S. and the world tune in or gather in person to watch the Tournament of Roses Parade, also known as the Rose Parade. I live in Pasadena, home of the Rose Parade, and every year I watch thousands …

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Dec 25 2014

The Sony Hack Revealed How Hollywood Fails Us All

Published by Truthdig.com on December 25th, 2014.

Whether or not North Korea was really behind the devastating Sony hack, and whether or not the U.S. government orchestrated North Korea’s Internet outage in retaliation, one thing is clear: The incident has exposed Hollywood’s serious race problem yet again. People of color are barely visible on our screens, while women’s roles are generally foils for men. When minorities and women are present, …

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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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