Calling Youth – Karan Johar – Lead India Ad

I like this ad. And the one below, coaxing youth to join politics in order to make a difference.

Voting is not the only way to make change in a democracy, especially not an election riddled with pathetic choices. But if we don’t like the choices, we must stand up and be counted.

I work mostly with young people. The passion, talent and boundless energy that I see in several of these individuals is unparalled by any other group. I suppose when we are young, we are idealistic and want to change the world. The older we get, the more cynicism and lethargy sets in. That is when we must remember how it was to be young and to empower our youth to lead this country, this world.

Speaking Assignment – San Jose City College

And I just rambled on and on …

Prerna Speaking at SJCC – Life Story from TakePart With Ideas for Change on Vimeo.

I am tired of sharing this ‘life story’ no matter how intriguing it may seem. It’s better when I am given some direction such as ‘talk about the history of your activism and organizing efforts.’ I can draw from my days as a high school policy debater and then coach and judge for the Urban Debate Leagues. That is really how I gained a lot of insight into the injustices that exist in this world and learned about this country. Nothing compared to the feeling of going up against richer and more privileged kids and coming out victorious. Watching empowered inner-city kids debate topicality, rip out critiques of nuclearism and ‘run’ plan-plan counterplans was a complete thrill. It is also at that point that I decided to stray clear from becoming a stereotype and embrace a different path in life, that of a civil rights attorney. I am not there yet and my goals have slightly changed but it is on the agenda. I have lived so many different lives and identities in the past 9-10 years–a policy debater, a student government bureaucrat, a fan-fic writer, a janitor, administrator of 2-3 celebrity fan-sites, a blogger, a tech-geek, an avid cyclist, an immigrant rights organizer, an undocumented student activist, a social-networking guru, and someone who just craves normalcy and boredom. I cannot wait for it to all reconcile.

Moron of the Week – Tom Tancredo and His Nativist Thugs

Former Congressperson, Tom Tancredo, was not allowed to speak at a recent event in University of North Carolina hosted by the Youth for Western Civilization [Read: Youth Against Multiculturalism and Diversity].

Protestors shutdown the event through their non-violent chanting. Someone banged loudly on the window to make noise and broke it. And just for that, all hell broke lose or so the media spins. Our resident anti-immigrant demagogue William Gheen was quick to compare it to the persecution of Jews.

That’s really a case of the pot calling the kettle black given that his organization–ALIPAC–has ties to right wing hate groups according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Nezua from the Unapologetic Mexican states:

Regarding Gheen: He is really stepping on ALL my nerves now. I am not only a Mexicano who takes all Gheen’s gross proselytizing personally, but also descended from the Jews he uses as a coin here. And as a descendant of Russian/Romanian Jews who fled Europe as stowaways because of Anti-Semitic violence-and only 3 generations ago-I find this comparison of my people to those who use divisive and exclusionary and inciteful and hateful and persecutory anti-ILLEGULZ speech that is fueling violence against my people-Latinos and other brown folk-EXTREMELY offensive and a wonderfully perverse use of suffering to further even more racism and oppression

Setback for free speech? Boo-hoo. Get over it.

At least Tancredo and his cronies do not have to worry about being invaded and detained by ICE whenever they practice their hate speech.

This is also the same Tom Tancredo that asked ICE to arrest and detain college immigration advocates when they were testifying for the DREAM Act in 2007.

Apparently, ‘free speech’ is only convenient when the speech in question is in agreement to one’s own sentiments and belief systems.

Read the whole piece at Promigrant.org

Change.org Endorsements from this Queer Promigrant Blogger

I have sent in endorsements for the following ideas for change in America. The Top 10 get sent to President on Jan 16 — Please register and vote at Change.org

I am actually quite excited about the new media activism and groups that have come forth and are using online tools to organize. When this is over, it would be great to sit down and evaluate where to go from here.

1. Pass Marriage Equality

2. Free Single-Payer Healthcare

3. Get FISA Right, Repeal the Patriot Act and restore our Civil Liberties

4. End the War on Drugs

5. End Corporate Personhood

6. Make the Grid Green

7. IMMIGRATION – Pass the DREAM Act and Same-Sex Immigration Reform and immigration relief for families.

And I may send in some more later as a ‘Desi Agenda’ for DesiPundit and DesiCritics, not that my endorsement means much. But hopefully, other blogger friends are encouraged to send in their endorsements too.

a glimpse into the life of an activist academic

“No, I just got back from URPE sessions at ASSA.”
“What? What is that?”
“An academic conference for political economists.”
“Oh, I thought it was another DREAM(immigration)-related conference.”

Welcome to my life. 24, gay, single, desi, new media blogger, civil rights activist, student organizer, aspiring lawyer, researcher, programmer, fiction writer, editor, graphic designer, fitness freak … and so much more.

The trouble begins when these many hobbies become jobs.  The above list in bold are actually jobs, in some cases–professional level jobs that should pay me.

I find myself spread so thin nowadays — my true passion is academia, be it writing or researching new material. And yet, given my wide array of skills, I somehow find myself ‘signed-up’ for  every sort of activity, even the ones that I am mediocre at i.e. programming.

I want to make a list of promises for my readers, the ones that have been emailing me with their concerns.

I am working so hard for immigration reform and LGBT rights in this country that I find myself swamped, and at times, divided between the two movements that are unfortunately separate for most people. They are not separate movements for me as a young gay immigrants, and not separate for someone like Mohammad, who is undocumented and gay. Forget the vile hatred from the anti-immigrant groups and the misguided opinions of Raza Educators who openly advocate against legalization opportunities for undocumented kids, the disconnect between my two communities is all too real and painful. And it happens quite often — when a gay brother is talking ill about ‘illegal aliens’ or when an undocumented student is making anti-gay comments.

Not realizing the intersectional, multidimensional oppression faced by many students like Mohammad is not only preposterous, it is part of the problem. And it must stop starting from you. If you support the DREAM Act, why not Uniting American Families Act? We are all human — why so hatred for someone based on an arbitrary thing like place of birth? By now this must be ‘ad nauseaum,’ to borrow from Dave Bennion at Change.org.

As an activist, we all need to deal with ‘special’ people at times. People who think they are organizers or have great ideas or only make a bee-line to you in order to ‘use’ you. I am of the welcoming nature, the coalition-building-everyone-under-one-big-tenth kind, so I am especially susceptible to that.

News from astrology-ville — My mom consulted a priest about my ‘issues’ and he told her that I had to be careful about my current group of friends. Regardless of the nature of advice, that is something I have always known — Why else would I keep everyone at a distance? But it certainly does not do anything to alleviate my trust concerns.

To add to the workload, I ave academic papers to write for journals and at the same time, finish up her ‘romantic-drama’ piece. Next, I will be told to screenwrite for a movie. Oh wait. Bummer.