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June 13, 2016

Explaining Israel to Taiwanese

Last week the American Anthropology Association (AAA) announced the results of a historic vote over a resolution advocating the academic boycott of

April 23, 2014

Sotomayor’s Dissent

While our Constitution does not guarantee minority groups victory in the political process, it does guarantee them meaningful and equal access to

July 15, 2013

Institutional Racism Round-up

There are so many stories about institutional racism going around on Facebook and Twitter right now it is hard to keep track of them all. Here is a

April 25, 2013

The doctrine of noninterference

turned into a charter for all around interference for one reason: the occupying power gave itself the prerogative

December 14, 2007

Daffers

The BBC has a nice little photo essay about voting rights for Daffers [pronounced Dafirs], a DNT community. I suspect that these photos might be

May 24, 2007

Caging

From an interview with Greg Palast, where he argues that both the media and congress are missing the real story behind the US attorney scandal:

May 12, 2007

Disenfranchised

The following quotes and chart were culled from Jason DeParle’s New York Review of Books article, “The American Prison Nightmare.” The issue has

December 24, 2006

Fourth Estate

It is impossible to read a history of press coverage of the civil rights movement without reflecting darkly on today’s era of secret surveillance,

October 14, 2006

Ambedkar

Over at Sepia Mutiny, Siddhartha has an excellent post on one of the most important figures in Indian history, a man whose contribution is not as

September 3, 2006

The Cross Cafe

A year and a half ago I wrote about being weirded out by the name of a dish at a restaurant in an upscale neighborhood in Ahmedabad. I later learned

July 8, 2006

Never Again?

This is so important that I can’t believe the NY Times wants you to pay to read it. So here it is: Kristof’s latest article on Darfur … and Chad.

May 27, 2006

Incarceration Rates

Kieran Healy recently posted this chart showing incarceration rates in the US compared to other “basically well-functioning advanced capitalist

April 22, 2006

Immigration vs. Wages

One of the most interesting debates to arise out of the recent national debate on immigration is whether or not immigration drives down the wages of

March 26, 2006

106 Houses!

Last night Shashwati and I called Roxy in Chharanager and heard some terrific news. (Skype’s conference calling feature is amazing!) Just after New

January 20, 2006

Cultural Center

It is hard to understate the dramatic nature of the transformation Budhan Theatre has wrought on Chharangar. In the past, only policemen and

January 7, 2006

Mujhe Mat Maro Saab

Two days ago we filmed a protest play performed by the Budhan Theatre in front of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad. The play

January 3, 2006

Maninagar

The other day we visited Maninagar with Dakxin Bajrange. Maninagar is now little more than a street lined with tents. The people there used to have

December 10, 2005

Represent

Guest post by tf What is the CRAN? If you rely on The New York Times for your news, you don’t know. Same thing if your source is The Wall Street

December 1, 2005

Exotica

Guest post by tf The will to exoticize is often flagrant in Paris. This is a window display from an agency of a large French travel chain: It seems

November 27, 2005

Bruce Lee

The people of the Balkans may not be able to agree about much, but they can agree about one thing: they all love Bruce Lee! I was going to blog

November 20, 2005

Passbook

Writer Dilip D’Souza, a long time advocate of India’s Denotified Tribes, or DNTs, has a moving post promoting our film. He draws from his book,

November 18, 2005

Voter Identification

The Justice Department overruled objections to a Georgia voter-identification law: A team of Justice Department lawyers and analysts who reviewed a

November 17, 2005

Equanimity

Tehelka reporter Sonia Faleiro has written a wonderful story about Chharanagar, which she’s posted up on her blog, along with some pictures she took

October 21, 2005

Legal Fiction

Jeffrey Rosen called Chicago law professor Richard Epstein the “intellectual guru” of a movement to “resurrect the Constitution in Exile,” meaning

October 19, 2005

Morally Complex

Amardeep wrote a short review of Acting Like a Thief: I downloaded and watched the clip, and would definitely recommend it: another glimpse on how

October 18, 2005

Zeimo Zeiyang

賊模賊樣—以劇場對抗 That’s how Zonble translated Acting Like a Thief into Chinese on his blog. This is great — now we need more

October 17, 2005

Acting Like a Thief

Announcing Acting Like a Thief! Now available as a free BitTorrent download or, for a $50 donation, as a DVD. Acting Like a Thief is a short film

September 20, 2005

Katrina’s Poor

It’s been so long since my roundup on race, poverty and Katrina, that a new post is needed. First, some hard numbers on poverty in New Orleans, how

September 16, 2005

Separate and Unequal

Jonathan Kozol has an important article in the latest issue of Harpers. Although the magazine hasn’t made it available online, you can read it here.

September 15, 2005

Hooch and Hamlet

This December, Shashwati and I are going to India to shoot a documentary film about the residents of one city’s slum who are using theatre to fight

September 2, 2005

SS Deep Dixie

I earlier referred to Amardeep’s post on issues of race in the coverage of Katrina: First, have you noticed that numerous articles refer to the

July 23, 2005

Oompa-loompanproletariat

After spending some time worrying about the exploitation of Oompa-Loompa labor, I was happy to learn about efforts on their behalf. These incldue:

July 14, 2005

Second-Generation

I haven’t read the book, or seen the movie, but I can assure you that they will be issuing new printings of both versions of Hanif Kureishi’s My Son

July 3, 2005

Live8

I didn’t see the concert, but I’ve been following responses on the blogsphere. Here are some highlights: Ethan Zukerman wonders whether the whole

July 2, 2005

ITV

When I was visiting Aborigine villages in Taiwan I noticed that every house had a satellite dish on its roof. Anthropologist Scott Simon explained

July 1, 2005

Flying Rodentalism

Shashwati left it to me to discuss the strange orientalism of Batman Begins. Let me start with a brief movie review: It was good, but I wasn’t

June 23, 2005

What’s happening in Kashipur? [Invited Post]

This post is by filmmaker Vinod Raja. On the 25th May I was attacked while filming a peaceful rally by the Kue Kondhs, an Adivasi (tribal) community

April 21, 2005

Peking Man

This post was occasioned by a news article, discovered on Howard French’s blog, about a recent Chinese study which “found that Chinese ancestors set

April 14, 2005

Ancestors

Back in 2003 I wrote this post about how DNA can reveal people to have very different genetic backgrounds than what their ethnicity might otherwise

April 13, 2005

African Natives

It was just a matter of time before something like this happened (via the Taipei Kid). Taiwan on Tuesday apologized for offending African

April 7, 2005

IFTU

Matthew Harwood has an important article in the Washington Monthly about how failure to embrace Iraqi unions undermined post-invasion reconstruction

March 27, 2005

Discrepancies

Nathan Newman asks why the Republicans aren’t planning on fixing racial differences in health care, when they have so recently been willing to

March 25, 2005

Minor Edit

Sheesh, make one small edit in a Wikipedia article, and spend the rest of your day justifying it! {wikipedia, photo}

March 16, 2005

Race [an invited post]

On Monday the NY Times ran an op-ed pice by Armand Marie Leroi, an evolutionary developmental biologist, on the concept of “race.” This paper

March 11, 2005

New SATs

David Goldenberg, writing in the online magazine Gelf, takes the “New” SATs to task. Most disturbing is the effect that the changes to the test are

March 9, 2005

Usury

Kevin Drum is at a lost to understand why there is such wide support (in Congress) for the bankruptcy bill. He need look no further than the recent

March 6, 2005

Complexity

One of the biggest problems with political activists — wherever they lie on the left-right spectrum — is the

March 5, 2005

Triskelion

In the Star Trek episode “The Gamesters of Triskelion” prisoners are controlled through collars around their necks. While Homeland Security

February 26, 2005

Roundup

Around the web: Who the heck is Kurban Said? Every Calvin and Hobbes (via Incoming Signals) Fascinating Occupations Seven Mistakes Superheroines

February 20, 2005

Encouraging

Via Ampersand, a story in the L.A. Times about a Tennassee judge who is threatening to take children away from immigrant mothers who fail to learn

January 29, 2005

Bigotry

Krugman, after showing that Bush’s “claim that blacks get a bad deal from Social Security is false” (because the higher death rate among blacks is

January 7, 2005

DNT

In my last post I wrote about India’s Adivasis, or “Scheduled Tribes.” Accounting for over 85 million people, they account for the bulk of India’s

January 6, 2005

Adivasi

India is a settler state, like Australia, the United States, South Africa, Israel, Canada, Taiwan, and many other states where the indigenous

January 2, 2005

Bhangis

I find myself hesitant to write this post because it touches on two issues that are often harped upon in the Western press when writing about India:

November 28, 2004

McCarthyism

Nathan Newman has an important post about attacks on Columbia University professors who express anti-Israeli views. Professors who have voiced

October 17, 2004

Yellow Peril

I can’t tell you how often I’ve spoken to American middle class liberals whose biggest worry in life seems to be the population explosion amongst

September 27, 2004

Responsibility vs. Rights

I don’t normally resort to name-calling on this blog, but Ted Rall is an idiot. Here is what he says about voters who don’t know that Bush is rich,

September 23, 2004

0 for 5,000

Until it was reversed by a federal judge, a recent court case in Detroit was the only terrorist conviction obtained from the Justice Department’s

September 22, 2004

graphophobia

logophobia: fear of words graphophobia: Fear of writing or handwriting. A Midwest Airlines flight from Milwaukee to San Francisco was canceled

September 17, 2004

Najaf Treat

The first day after 9-11 my Shashwati and I, worried by stories we had heard about a racist backlash, went to eat at our local Afghan kabob house to

September 7, 2004

Bride Song

As of December 2003, 247,966 Taiwanese had married foreigners, most of these were men marrying women from Mainland China (over 50%), Vietnam,

September 7, 2004

Arrival Day

From Jonathan Edelstein: Welcome to the second annual Arrival Day Blogburst, commemorating the arrival of the first Jews in New Amsterdam on

September 5, 2004

Predatory Lending

When I lived in North Philadelphia, check cashing places (which charge nearly 300% interest) were the only businesses I saw in the poorer

August 22, 2004

Darfur

this is not the genocidal campaign of a government at the height of its ideological hubris, as the 1992 jihad against the Nuba was, or coldly

August 21, 2004

Wackenhut

Yes, there is a little gulag in New York City. It is located in Queens and its name is the Wackenhut Detention Center. And everybody should know

August 17, 2004

Non-violence

In his book Stupid White Men, Michael Moore included an open letter to Palestinian President Arafat: I have the key to your success. I know how you

August 14, 2004

War on Immigrants

Two big changes in policy this week translate into a major assault by Bush on undocumented immigrants.

August 9, 2004

Honestly

Last week, Kevin Drum wrote: Mark Kleiman thinks there are a few little seedlings of evidence that people are growing up and talking more honestly

August 2, 2004

Mysterious Arabic Woman

I haven’t seen too many of Sakina Jaffrey’s films. I first saw her in the brilliant Canadian film, Masala, where she plays the daughter of her true

July 31, 2004

Republicanism

No, not the American political party, but the French system of government. Writing in The Guardian, Jon Henely blames French anti-semitism on French

July 18, 2004

Betel Nut

Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) is the Vice President of Taiwan. She has always been criticized for being “outspoken.” Although I feel many of the things she’s

July 18, 2004

Censure

Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-FL) represents 600,000 Americans in the Duval County/Jacksonville area. She was censured by Congress for

July 17, 2004

Lançados

The term lançados is derived from the Portuguese verb “to throw out.” It refers to Portuguese settlers who came to the coast of West Africa as well

July 12, 2004

American Jews

Ever since the 1993 Oslo Accord proved that negotiations were possible, surveys have consistently found that 50 to 60 percent of American Jews

June 29, 2004

Passed

In a New York Times Op-Ed aritcle, Brent Staples says something which suggests that the use of the term “pass” to mean, citing definition “5. d” in

June 27, 2004

Arab Israeli

People tend to view Israeli politics entirely through the lens of relations between Israeli Jews and Palestinians, forgetting that there are many

June 25, 2004

Jim Crow

Read this article (emphasis added): In the 2000 presidential election, 1.9 million Americans cast ballots that no one counted. “Spoiled votes” is

June 18, 2004

Plea Bargaining

I was watching last night’s Frontline on “The Plea” (you can watch it online starting Monday), and I was struck between the similarity between how

June 6, 2004

Depression

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968 said: When there is massive unemployment in the black community, it is called a social problem. But when there

June 3, 2004

Patai Review

Earlier I expressed my dismay that the Neocons were so enamored of a book entitled The Arab Mind. As a result of that post, someone brought to my

May 26, 2004

Never Again

“If ‘never again’ means anything, then it’s now or never in Darfur”. More info.

May 20, 2004

Ebonics

Geoffrey Pullum’s scathing letter to William Raspberry about Ebonics reminds me of how hard it was for me to teach about Ebonics to undergraduates.

May 19, 2004

Patai

I’ve had to look fairly hard for anyone else in the blogsphere who is as upset as I am about the idea that there is something we can call The Arab

May 16, 2004

Apology

—> Sign the petition! Remember James Yee? Here is what Jeanne at Body and Soul wrote back in February: … James Yee, the Muslim chaplain at

May 15, 2004

Cyderabad

The NY Times technology section has a good article about some of the reasons the BJP lost the elections: In a country of 180 million households,

May 14, 2004

Zimbardo

There have been a couple of posts I’ve read recently referring to the Zimbardo experiment in discussing Abu Ghraib. The best one was by Rivka, who

May 6, 2004

Gulag

More on Abu Ghraib (in no particular order): Sidney Blumenthal: Bush has created what is in effect a gulag. It stretches from prisons in

April 28, 2004

Language Reform

Konrad Lawson, whom I’ve long known only as the person behind the Macintosh software company Fool’s Workshop, has an excellent blog, Muninn, which I

April 19, 2004

Vajpayee

Is Vajpayee “the benign face of Hindu extremism,” or simply “the right man in the wrong party”? Does it matter? For all its emphasis on development

April 19, 2004

Superflurous

A conversation between, Ghassan Shakah, the mayor of Israeli occupied Nablus, and the unnamed occupying Colonel, as reported by Ghassan Shakah:

April 15, 2004

Jew

If you use Google to search for “Judaism,” “Jewish” or “Jewish people,” the results are informative and relevant. So why is a search for “Jew”

April 12, 2004

Riots

The BBC reports that 21 Hindus accused of killing 12 Muslims in the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat will be retried after they were acquitted last

March 20, 2004

Offensive

And the award for the most offensive article this year goes to the NY Times for… This malarial West African dictatorship quashed another coup

March 13, 2004

Eugenics

The March 8th issue of the New Yorker has an excellent article (by Claudia Roth Pierpont) on Franz Boas (1858-1942), the “father” of American

March 3, 2004

Chinatown

It seems that the Romans don’t like the idea of a Chinatown in Rome. Which is funny, because much of the Italian Market in Philadelphia, and the

February 29, 2004

Much Ado about Nushu [an Invited Post]

This is the first of what I hope to be many such “invited” posts. by Laura Miller [invited author] The recent Washington Post article by Edward Cody

February 28, 2004

Huntington

Not satisfied with casting the future of international relations as the struggle between White Protestants and the rest of humankind, Samuel P.

February 17, 2004

Arab

Question: When is an Arab not an Arab? Answer: When its a story in the New York Times. I used to have a ritual of buying the Sunday Times, but the

February 10, 2004

Balfour

I’ve written twice recently (here and here) about the misuse of the term “anti-Semitism.” So I was happy to see an extended article in The Nation

February 10, 2004

10,000

More than 10,000 civilians, many of them women and children, have been killed so far in the Iraqi conflict, The Independent on Sunday has learnt,

February 10, 2004

Boobs

Looking for Janet Jackson’s Boobs? More here.

February 3, 2004

Ghan

This new Australian train line which connects the South to the North for the first time, is called the “Ghan” in honor of the Afghan camel riders

February 2, 2004

Emancipation

Looking back, however, what is even more surprising than slavery’s scope is how swiftly it died. By the end of the 19th century, slavery was, at

January 27, 2004

Anti-Semitism

Earlier I discussed the rampant misuse of the term “Anti-Semite”. But Daniel Levitas points to some really disturbing trends within the United

January 25, 2004

Lunch

When I was studying Chinese the school had a policy that we had to speak Chinese all the time, even during our lunch breaks. A well intentioned

January 21, 2004

Brown

For those who didn’t look at the “Education Life” supplement to this week’s Sunday Times, there was a nice collection of articles covering the

January 20, 2004

Bandanna

Now the french are proposing to ban Bandannas, in addition to “Islamic headscarves, Jewish yarmulkes and large Christian crosses.” I posted over the

January 16, 2004

Compassion

“True compassion,” King declared, “is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs

January 7, 2004

Anti-Semite

Joshua Marshall points out a very disturbing trend. It seems conservative commentators are labeling anyone who criticizes the right as an

January 5, 2004

Morality

There was some discussion about this essay on the movie The Return of the King, over at Uncle Jazzbeau’s Gallimaufrey. Before I comment on this

December 27, 2003

Untouched

In an otherwise innocuous article by the BBC about Amis Aborigine song and dance from Taiwan, they write: The tribe was virtually left untouched

December 21, 2003

Monkeys

Do you remember this advertisement from the back of comics you read when you were a kid? I sure do, which is why my attention was caught by the NY

December 19, 2003

Southern

The Black Commentator called this speech by Howard Dean “the most important statement on race in American politics by a mainstream white politician

December 16, 2003

Vouchers

Richard D. Kahlenberg and Bernard Wasow have an excellent article on “school choice” in the latest Boston Review New Democracy Forum. First, they

December 12, 2003

Underrepresented

“The statistics in the Color of Money demonstrate the point we all know intuitively: communities of color and the poor are severely

December 8, 2003

Samurai

After reading Scott Tobias scathing review of the movie “The Last Samurai” I personally have no interest in seeing it. A coffee-table book posing

November 26, 2003

Jindal

Why did Bobby Jindal loose the New Orleans governor’s race? The Black Commentator argues that it was a mixture of solidarity with the democratic

November 20, 2003

Confederate

Three excellent articles relating to the flap over Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean’s “confederate flag” remark. First, from Paul

November 14, 2003

Hate

Talk Left opposes hate crimes legislation because he sees it as an ineffective and unnecessary extension of federal power. Debasish Mishra, a board

November 7, 2003

Lynch

Anyone riding the subway in NY city noticed the difference in how papers covered the announcement of Jessica Lynch’s new book about her rescue from

October 23, 2003

Eminem

Calpundit brought my attention to this post by Matthew Yglesias, where he points out that the New York Review of Books article on Eminem fails to

October 20, 2003

Inequality

I want to thank Nathan Newman for pointing out an article on an issue close to my heart: inequality. Ever since reading Amartya Sen’s book,

October 13, 2003

Trademark

The Redskins football team can keep its trademark name and logos, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, because a group of activists didn’t provide

October 13, 2003

Attitudes

In his recent post on education Calpundit finds himself “reluctantly” siding with some very harmful views: In the Washington Post, William

October 11, 2003

Ashkenazi

Two recent articles of interest: First, one about a “black man” who discovered that his DNA didn’t contain any of the traits usually associated with

October 11, 2003

Discrimination

In the latest in of his excellent series of articles on the gender wage gap, Barry over at Ampersand has made a strong case (as if it needed to be

October 7, 2003

Compassion

Calpundit reports on Bush’s new blog. I found this quite disturbing: The “Compassion Photo Gallery” is here, and it turns out that “compassion” is

September 25, 2003

Said

Edward Said, the world-renowned scholar, writer and critic has died aged 67, it was announced today. Here is one of the last things he published

September 19, 2003

Islamic

It seems that working for an organization with the name “Islamic” in it, or having a common muslim name are both likely to get you locked up in a

September 19, 2003

Class

Calpundit asks: “is there any kind of rough consensus about what income it takes to reasonably label someone as “rich” or “poor” or “middle class”?

September 12, 2003

Crime

Some interesting facts about crime rates and prisons: …crime rates in America, after rising sharply through the 1960s into the early 1970s, began

August 26, 2003

Racism

Over at Nathan Newman: … a white criminal gets more job interviews than a black person with no record at all. It almost boggles the mind that there

August 5, 2003

Lynching

Orcinus has an important post today, read it! Between 1882 and 1942, according to statistics compiled by the Tuskegee Institute, there were 4,713

July 23, 2003

Cossack

Growing up the only thing I knew about Cossacks was that they raped and killed Jews. Recently, reading Red Cavalry by Isaac Babel, I realized how

June 30, 2003

White

With the vice president attending the funeral of one of America’s most famous civil rights opponents, I think it is worth while taking a look at the