Does It Matter That Purvi Patel’s Baby Was Mixed-Race?

by Sharon H. Chang

In February/March of this year Purvi Patel, a 33-year-old Indian-American woman, became the first woman in the U.S. to be charged, convicted and sentenced for feticide and child neglect over the loss of her late-term fetus.

It started with barely a hunch. I read, “resulted from…relationship with a married co-worker,” “didn’t want her conservative Hindu parents to know,” “shouldn’t have sex outside of marriage,” and a light bulb was dimly lit in my mind. I reflected on those words and in them I saw boundaries, boundary-crossing: (cis)female/male, married/unmarried, Hindu/non-Hindu, proper/improper, faith/fear, expectation/defiance. The light bulb grew brighter; an unformed contemplation sat vaguely in the corner. Then other details emerged: immigrant/American, authority/subordinate, empowered/disempowered, justice/injustice. The light bulb grew even brighter, illuminating an idea that stood up and stepped forward out of shadow.

Continue reading…


Powerful article. Thank you for sharing Sharon!

200 Years of U.S. Immigration, in 1 Colorful Infographic

By Tanvi Misra

In 1819, Congress passed a law requiring that the arrival of all immigrants be recorded. Immigrant workers were needed, and the rest of the 19th century saw their numbers grow. From that period through today, America has seen waves of immigration, which Natalia Bronshtein has captured in a colorful interactive graphic.

Continue reading…


Update 2: New Article in TruthOut About Guest! · Guest: A New Film About The Guestworker Program

Hi all! I recently wrote this article in Truth Out “Is A Safe And Legal Immigration System Possible?” featuring stories and background from Guest. Please give it a read and spread the word, we only have two weeks left to raise what we need to make Guest happen!Thank you, as always, for your support,LVD


A border activist said “You are either a worker or a guest. You don’t have a guest in your house, then ask them to wash your dishes.”

During enslavement the workers were taken care of, although only like property, and only when not being beaten and raped.

Now that enslavement is over by law, the U.S. doesn’t want agricultural workers to even have citizenship.



Baby Gammy and the Sexual Politics of Mixed Race Asians

[Australia] Separated twin sister, Pipah, with Wendy and David Farnell (bio father)


by Sharon H Chang

A couple years ago young Thai mother Pattaramon Chanbua agreed to be a surrogate for Australian couple David and Wendy Farnell. It was a disaster.

Last week Thailand legally banned commercial surrogacy, which is now a criminal offense.



I always try to remember these children in the work I do. I consider them my brothers and sisters, part of my diaspora. Though sometimes distant in miles (sometimes not), our histories are nonetheless connected, fates intertwined, stories interwoven. I know in working to hear the experiences of their lived lives I can better understand my own and the life I now live with my family. Certainly I often find we have more in common than I would have ever thought. My hope is you can join me too in thinking about the painful patterns – the system – I have unveiled here; in sitting with the discomfort, reflecting on your connections to something that most refuse to even look at. There is so much to be gained from seeing and so much lost from leaving anything behind.


– Click through for more –



There are train wrecks all the time, but the trains keep running.


Surrogacy laws need to be written to include background checks and written so that no one is allowed to take advantage of the other.


Surrogacy needs to be win-win or no deal.


PS – half way down the article there is a horrific revelation if you haven’t guessed that already. better sit yourself down for this one.


I asked myself how the dad ever got out of jail, then I realized – white privilege.



As diversity increases, will U.S. be more or less politically divided?

The United States is rapidly transforming into a more diverse, more educated and older nation. Gwen Ifill talks to Karlyn Bowman of the American Enterprise Institute and Ruy Teixeira of the Center for American Progress about a special collaborative report that analyzes the implications of these changes and what they mean for American politics.



HT @LatinaLista


The answer to why all this talk about race



Race needs to be understood in different ways, the way that ice, water, and steam are different but still all forms of water.

The  lens of society

Society racializes us. A race label is applied to us regardless of our true ethnic heritage.

The lens of sociology

Race is the label used on birth certificates, the census, and school applications. These forms require us to self identify  in order to track discrimination, a requirement since the 1964 civil rights act. Race (phenotype) is based on our outward appearance, whereas race (haplotype) takes into account our whole physical identity – inside and out.

The lens of medical science

Most anthropologists describe race (phenotype) as a social construct, often used to discriminate and segregate. Whereas most medical scientists, curing diseases, describe race (haplotype) as real. Medical institutions collect data on self identified race (phenotype). As dangerous as the slippery slope of race-base medicine is, there has been success in finding bone marrow donors through race based donation drives for groups who find it challenging to find a bone marrow match for example. Bone marrow is more difficult to match than say blood. With blood there are four main types (A, B, AB, O). With bone marrow there may be as many types as there are haplogroups on the earth. The bone marrow donor database is in highest need for people of mixed heritage.

The lens of hate

Humans are tribal by nature. Wired into us is a fear of the new that we do not understand and therefore we have a fear of the other. The word for this fear of the foreign is xenophobia. There is a quick slippery slope from xenophobia to racism. Racism can quickly grow out of unchecked fears. Racism is further compounded for people who live in societies that normalize the doctrine of white supremacy. To abolish xenophobia we can start with abolishing the doctrine of white supremacy.

Ala. Democrat: 99 percent of whites would force daughters to abort mixed-race babies

Alabama Rep. Alvin Holmes charged Tuesday that 99 percent of his white colleagues would force their daughters to have abortions if they were impregnated by black men.

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What Mandela taught us –

In 1993, South African general Constand Viljoen was plotting an Afrikaner guerrilla war against multiracial rule. So Nelson Mandela invited him over for tea.

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White Mayor, Black Wife: NYC Shatters an Image

Another milestone is passing in America’s racial journey: The next mayor of New York City is a white man with a black wife. Even in a nation with a biracial president, where interracial marriage is…

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I heart New York!

I am so f’in excited about this that I can’t even organize my thoughts. But I’m gonna try.  So yesterday, just like the first time I voted for Obama, I ran to the school where I vote to mark my bal…

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