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World

Web Desk
June 5, 2020

Comedian Hasan Minhaj asks Asian community to speak up for African-Americans

World

Web Desk
Fri, Jun 05, 2020

Comedian Hasan Minhaj is not known for mincing his words and he hasn't disappointed fans with the latest episode of the Patriot Act in which he used the George Floyd controversy to take aim at the Asian-American community's hypocrisy towards the blacks.

In the 12-minute digital clip, Minhaj slams the Asians in the US for not supporting African-Americans when it matters the most.

"Asians, we love seeing black excellence, Barack (Obama), Michelle (Obama), Jay Z, Beyonce...how could we be afraid, we love black America. Yeah, on screen, in our living rooms. But when a black man walks into your living room and god forbid wants to date or marry your daughter, you call the cops," he said.

Furthermore, he calls into question the role that two Asians played in the murder of Floyd, a Hmong-American police officer who blocked off the road so no one could help Floyd and the Arab-American store owner whose clerk called on the police to report the victim.

"That is America. A black man was murdered in cold blood, and we were on the (expletive) sidelines watching," said Minhaj. "I'm not saying we were the ones who killed George Floyd. But we have to be the ones who pull that cop off his neck!"

The comedian further pointed out how Asians made fun of the black community and how being dark-skinned was something not to be proud of in desi culture.

"If someone is dark-skinned in your family, we clown them. We call them 'kallu'. Our Bollywood film stars do skin whitening commercials so we don't look black. It is bad to be black in desi culture even though we all wish we were black," he said.

In yet another powerful scene, he spoke of how African-Americans have been murdered in the US for no fault of their own.

"But imagine if you lived in a country where the color of your skin got you killed for driving, jogging, sleeping, yelling, parking, babysitting, sitting in a van, selling CDs, selling cigarettes, opening the door, walking at night, wearing a hoodie at night, holding a toy gun, lying on the ground, being homeless, being in a dark stairwell, holding a cell phone, having a broken tail light, exercising horses, having a bottle of pills, shopping at Walmart, holding a BB gun at Walmart, holding a phone in your own backyard, eating ice cream in your own house, and shopping," said Minhaj, as photos of black people who have been killed doing these activities covered the screen one by one. "You would say, 'That is a lawless country — who the (expletive) is running the show?'"

In the end, he urged people of other colours in the United States to help out protesters b providing their services free of cost and owning not only America's good stuff but also its failures.

"America's story didn't start when we got here," he said. "When you became an American citizen you don't just get to own the country's excellence. You have to own its failures. That is the deal."

Floyd was an unarmed black man killed on May 25 by a white Minneapolis police officer, who knelt on his neck for almost 10 minutes. The police officer refused to relent as Floyd pleaded "I can't breathe" with them.

Floyd's death has raised questions about systemic racism and police brutality not only in the United States but also across Europe. Violent protests against police broke out in many cities across the US, with people demanding an end to white privilege and more accountability for police.