“Sonali’s Weekly Columns” archives

Aug 22 2014

The Pastor, the Police Officer and the Political Activist: Three Perspectives on Ferguson

Published by Truthdig.com on August 21, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

Police brutality against black men has become a shockingly common phenomenon in the U.S. The names of those who have died at the hands of law enforcement or their unofficial vigilante deputies over the past few years are too numerous to count. Eric Garner, John Crawford, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Kendrec McDade, Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin are just …

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Aug 15 2014

Like South Africa’s Apartheid, Israeli Occupation Will End—It Is Only a Matter of Time

Published by Truthdig.com on August 14, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

The temporary end to the bombing of Gaza has enabled Palestinian residents to slowly return to normal. But “normal” is defined by a seven-year-long blockade, endlessly frustrating checkpoints, the threat of beatings and arrest by Israeli police, and of course recovering from the loss of nearly 2,000 people and thousands of homes. Today 8-year-olds in Gaza have survived four brutal military operations and know …

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Aug 07 2014

Justice for Eric Garner: Street Protests and Prosecutions Will Not End Police Brutality

Published by Truthdig.com on August 07, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

“I can’t breathe” was one of the last things 44-year-old Eric Garner said after being arrested by New York Police Department officers and placed in what appears, in a bystander’s video, to be a chokehold. The asthmatic African-American man was being detained on suspicion of illegally selling cigarettes on the sidewalk and died shortly after being taken into custody. With the city medical examiner Read more

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Aug 05 2014

Understanding Israel’s War as Racist Is Crucial to Ending Occupation

Published by Truthdig.com on July 31, 2014

By Sonali Kolhatkar

The nearly month-long attack by Israeli forces on Gaza has revealed that anti-Arab racism permeates many levels of Israeli society. Indeed, to acknowledge Palestinians as humans worthy of a state, a home and basic necessities such as medical care, electricity, food and water, would undermine the brutality of Operation Protective Edge.

Racism among the Israeli population is either stronger than ever, or simply more visible today …

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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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