Samhita Mukhopadhyay

Obama and the "Reverse Bradley" Effect

Post-racism verses the "real" Americans In light of claims that we have reached a place of post-racism, Latoya at Racialicious aptly points out multiple examples of how this is actually untrue. In light of the events of Hurricane Katrina, the Jena 6, the Jersey 4 and the Duke Rape case, all highly public moments where racism proved to be a relevant factor, we can hardly claim to be in a post-racial country. But the very nature of our conversation about whether or not America is post-racial proves that, in fact, it's NOT.

The Gwen Ifill defense

gwen_ifill.jpgOriginally published on Feministing Right-wing bloggers and journalists are making noise about Gwen Ifill moderating tonight's debate, because (gasp), she is writing a book about race and American politics. Naturally, this fact combined with her being black makes her blind to her own racism and favoritism of Obama.

Let the people of New Orleans know that you haven't forgotten about them!!!!

(cross-posted from Feministing) To update from my post on Tuesday about the demolition of four housing projects in New Orleans, activists (including my homies at Ruckus--raise the roof!) yesterday stopped the bulldozers with a 30 person blockade. via AP.

Save New Orleans public housing.

The post Katrina housing crisis is one that we know about but is failing to get as much national attention as it should. It is an ongoing problem and the structures that are supposed to be fixing up housing, providing and protecting the residents and working to "bring New Orleans back," have failed to keep their promises. New Orleans has been flooded with bad policy decisions in the last 2 years that has left thousands of people homeless.

Irene Morgan Kirkaldy

kirkaldy.jpg (picture via WAPO) Irene Morgan Kirkaldy, a black woman in 1944, refused to give up her seat on a Greyhound bus headed to Baltimore. She was arrested and jailed for her bold move, but her contributions resonated. Kirkaldy died last week.

Racial preference in schools

It was a sad day last month when the Supreme Court decided that segregation in schools was OK and when the ignorant Justice Roberts declared that "if we want to stop discrimination based on race, than we should stop discrimination by race." As though schools are equitable today. As though children all have access to the same kind of schooling, no matter what their race or socio-economic background. Clearly, an unpersuasive excuse on behalf of Roberts to justify a legal setback for schools some 60 years.

Native American women, domestic violence and Congress

Cross-posted from Feministing. Native and indigenous women are victims of domestic violence at higher rates than the average American woman. Why is that? A history of displacement, colonization and violence I am sure have something to do with it, along with lack of resources, legislation or education to help women out of bad situations. You know, just a few minor bumps in the road. I guess Congress noticed after an Amnesty report found that Native and Alaskan women are 2.5 times more likely to be victims of sexual assault in their lifetimes.

Indian wedding fever.

bi-racial-marriage-head.jpg This picture is too much for me. Talk about the wedding industrial complex has been all over the place and I like it. But the conversation of race and culture has been left out of the larger discussion. How does capitalism intersect with wedding rituals in cultures other than mainstream white culture?

Serena Williams: an inspiration

First posted at I am shamefully late on writing about this and I meant to write about this two weeks ago when the Wimbledom actually ended, but, ey, better late than never. I will be honest I don't know much about sports, but I always watch Serena and Venus Williams play tennis. First of all, because of how they have made history by overcoming serious odds and making it in a sport that has been historically dominated by white people.

"Please speak English when ordering"

Growing up in upstate NY, I remember going anywhere with my father meant dealing with people that did not understand him. My father moved to the United States when he was 30 and he has a thick Indian accent. Public encounters were always traumatic. People would treat him with such frustration and disdain as though he were a child, even though in actuality he has an MBA in Finance and runs a business. I remember all throughout my life people making faces and having trouble understanding my father because of his accent.

What does a politics of inclusion REALLY look like?

The politics of feminism are so complicated. As we continue to define and re-define what feminism "looks like" for a new generation of women, communication and alliance building is more important than ever. The assault against feminism continues from the outside and we are forced to be defined by opposing forces. As we all know, feminism isn't just one thing, it is many things, depending on where it is happening and who you ask. So where do women of color go? How are they included?