Essays

Published on Washington Post. With the news that two suspects of the Boston Marathon bombing are accounted for, one dead and the other in custody, I breathed a sigh of relief. A terror-stricken week that began with bombings and ended with shootouts was finally over. But the moment the suspects were identified as Muslim marked a new period of anxiety and vulnerability for millions of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian Americans, including me. As a Sikh American who has chronicled hate crimes and profiling against our communities since Sept. 11,

Published on the Melissa Harris-Perry Blog. As the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on two marriage equality cases last week, my partner and I watched the television set with bated breath. When the camera zoomed in on the steps of the Supreme Court, and LGBTQ Americans took the podium to tell their stories, we took one another’s hand and choked back tears. We are a straight couple. The Supreme Court’s decisions on Proposition 8 and DOMA will decide the fate not only of about 9 million LGBTQ Americans and 14 million

Published on the Melissa Harris-Perry blog. In the public debate raging over Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s new book Lean In, we should pay special attention to the voices of young people–women and men of different backgrounds. This week alone, I have heard from dozens of Millennials in their 20s and 30s, all from working class and middle class families. We know that “leaning in” to careers comes at a cost: it requires us to “lean on” other people for duties like cleaning and childcare. The people we lean on are often from

By Valarie Kaur and Sharat Raju Published on Huffington Post. Six months ago today, a small Midwestern town was rocked by a mass shooting at a house of worship. The massacre in Oak Creek, Wisconsin that claimed the lives of six people on August 5, 2012 is only one in a tragically long list of recent mass shootings. Yet in this political moment - when sustained public pressure could lead to real gun control reform - the Oak Creek tragedy and response offers a vital lesson: the efficacy of resilience. We

Published on Washington Post. When my plane landed in Connecticut early Friday afternoon, I was glad to be home. I had just spent the week in Oak Creek, Wis., with families of victims murdered in the mass shooting on Aug. 5, 2012 at a Sikh temple. Their grief is still fresh, and it was both heart-breaking and cathartic to facilitate discussion and healing. I could never have imagined that I would be traveling from the site of one mass shooting to another, this time in my own backyard. The

Published on CNN. As a politically active Millennial invested in this year's election, I was surprised by my own response to the first presidential debate: I was bored. But not for all the reasons the pundits are talking about. To be sure, President Barack Obama's lackluster performance and Mitt Romney's free rein over the moderator led us into the weeds of policy without a compass. But that wasn't the only reason the candidates didn't speak to me. The debate was supposed to be about domestic issues, but focused exclusively on