Hasan Minhaj’s Patriot Act on Affirmative Action

Three comments

1 – He was relatively fair. I mean you knew what talking points he was going to deploy and what his conclusion was going to be.

2 – Minhaj is very American. A particular sort of American. Though the episode focuses on “Asian Americans”, Minhaj sounds like he was birthed out of The Daily Show comedy-clone factory.

3 – I don’t think it was that funny. And I don’t think the audience found it particularly funny either.

13 thoughts on “Hasan Minhaj’s Patriot Act on Affirmative Action”

  1. I saw much of this and decided not to post it as part of:
    “Is it time for Asian Americans and Latino Americans to ask to be considered “white”? (a)”
    It didn’t seem to have useful new information. What I will say is that he was fair, predictable, uncontroversial. He didn’t say anything I strongly disagreed with. He discussed the surface and avoided deeper issues. How useful is that?

    1. What a brilliant piece by Razib; I had never read this post.

      I do see that Minhaj (it sounds Gujarati but he’s a UPite) and Aziz Ansari have different views on identity.

      1. As Razib said its mostly how they foreground it. Being a Tamil i would say Ansari could be a more of rationalist/agnostic bent which is hardly different from other south indian hindus/christians. Minhaj is similar to other upper elite Hindus/Christians of N-Indian descent. Religion is comparatively important for them.

        Its funny how Ansari now bemoans too much wokeness. It would be interesting to see if they have a debate on it now. How “woke” is the “samosa” diaspora?

        1. Being a Tamil i would say Ansari could be a more of rationalist/agnostic bent

          I think you overestimate this (or underestimate religiosity in the south).

          I’m curious, have you every been around South India? Whatever be the rationalist/atheistic underpinnings of parties like the DMK, they haven’t percolated to the wider population. You should avoid projecting from your impressions of south Indians who live in the north.

          1. +1008

            I have always found South India to be the most spiritual and religious place I have ever been too. Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharasthra (technically West India), and AP. Rural areas more so. But big cities too.

            To the degree Sanathana Dharma lives . . . it lives most intensely in South India.

          2. i think the key with AA is that he’s smarter than hassan. i’m pretty sure his SAT was higher than 1310, and he’s an atheist, while hassan is still muslim in identity.

          3. “I think you overestimate this (or underestimate religiosity in the south).”

            I dont underestimate religiosity in the south, and i have lived there , though yes i am a North Indian. I was not talking just about Tamil, was talking about whole South in general. South is religious but it also has its irreligious/agnostic/atheist folks. Its not a value judgement, i would say the same of Bengalis as well. And even they consider themselves as the most “refined” religious hindus unlike the “crass” cow belt.

            In the North there is no counter balance , religion permeates everything, including politics. And politics and politicians are a good (not the best but still)barometer to judge how much religion dominates the public space. I dont consider the S-Indians who live in N-India to be accurate depiction of the South. My experience has been the opposite of what you presume, the S-Indians in the North tend to be upper caste and they become more religious than there N-Indian counterparts. They actually tend to cling more to their culture as all migrant community do, and religion is an important part of expressing that.

  2. Maybe Hasan Minhaj and family being from UP thought they were white, closer to Europeans. Then reality hits them in the face.

    In contrast Aziz Ansari is a short dark guy. There is no cultural ambiguity about being kind of European. Hence comfortable with himself.

    I was more comfortable about identity when in the US. Short (I never felt short) black guy from some Caribbean island. At least that what many thought (in the late 80’s) when I said was from an Island called Sri Lanka. Generally didnt bother to explain.

    In contrast I was more confused about cultural identity while growing up in Sri Lanka. Tamil heritage, culturally more or less Sinhalese. Now, I dont give a shit.

    1. The ‘comedy’ (it is more like a political rant) is painful to listen to to anyone even slightly invested in logic.
      Saying it is “one of the factors” doesn’t make race discrimination any more palatable. Imagine a woman denied membership at a golf club because the club uses gender as “one of the factors” considered for membership.

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