Name of AAPI FigureHasan Minhaj
What is the person’s Asian heritage or ethnicity?Indian American
Area of InfluenceComedian (The Daily Show, White House Correspondence Dinner, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj,)
Date of birth or time period23-Sep-85
How did this individual make a contribution to their field or to society/culture at large?As a comedian in his mid 30s who is South Asian and raised by with immigrant parents in a bilingual home — he brings a fresh perspective on current events, pop culture and political topics.
Why did you choose this person? What about their story speaks to you?Oftentimes, Asian Americans are taught that we are supposed to a-political and not make waves — hence the model minority stereotype. He punches back on that distorted mirror with humor and honestly. A key strength is being a comedian whose jokes resonate with a diverse audience while not hiding his own identities (Indian American, Muslim).
How does this person inspire you?He inspires me because he talks about sometimes popular (e.g. lack of voting in the Asian American community) and sometimes obscure political topics (e.g. disposable clothing). He spend a whole show digging into a topic in depth (like John Oliver). I also like that he does not pretend to be someone else. He is also very open and honest about the discrimination he faced right after the 9/11 terror attacks and even some of the nonsense that he faces now. He makes lighthearted fun of everyone including other desis (people of South Asian descent). Yeah I am sure some people may find that offensive but so what? It’s ok to laugh at yourself and with your own folks. I would rather people be honest than have people pandering. On the other hand, Netflix did cancel his show so maybe he had a little too much truth telling.
What surprised you as you were learning about this person?His mom covered up with his dad when he was just starting out at comedy clubs.
Resources to share if others want to learn more (optional)–list websites, books, or other resources you used to learn about the personNetflix Patriot Act
Submitted byAnonymous
City, StateLexington, MA