I know I posted this on Facebook, but I feel it deserves a discussion. First of all, I'm really proud of all our creative Asian brothers dominating the living hell out of social commentary on YouTube these last few years. They are stepping all over the wimpy, whiny stereotype, let me tell you. Big ups to our brothers.
Now, here's what stuck out to me about Hassan (aside for the fact that I will be paying his comedy a lot more attention from hereon out): he says that when Sikhs were murdered during peaceful, minding-their-own-business worship on a Saturday, and a (fortunately empty) mosque burned down the next damn day, his white friends weren't.sayin'.shit. They were tweeting about ish like Greek yogurt.
I once wrote a post about paying close attention to your "friends", and not just about stuff like dating, but about stuff like this as well. White friends of Hassan who accidentally heard about the shootings and the burning are more likely to see Hassan separately from those incidents, as well as all the other East Indians, Arabs, Iranians and brown folks in general who've been profiled, harassed and even murdered
Then there are folks like me, who aren't his friends and don't know him personally. Most, if not all of you, will understand what I mean when I say I watch/read the news and then listen to Hassan and think, "That could've just as easily been him." That could've just as easily been Hassan Minhaj himself out somewhere minding his own business when some trigger-happy asshole decided to put them both on the news.
See, we don't have luxury of distancing ourselves.
I have a young nephew. When I read about kids like Trayvon Martin or Darius Simmons, I think of how that could be him. Some of you ladies are married or dating Asian men - he could be the next Vincent Chin or Danny Chen. He could be the one out somewhere running errands or peaceful worshiping in a temple or mosque, and you could wind up getting "the call" or hearing about it randomly on the news while you're home or out driving. It's horrifying and morbid to think about it, but it's real. We're seeing it now. We're living it.
It's not enough to watch your obvious enemies. Now's a great time to do an inventory with your "friends" as well.
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Bonus vids, Narrators...just 'cause.