Could Hasan Minaj be our secret weapon against racism?
You might know him from his brilliant speech at the White House Correspondents dinner or from his reports and commentaries on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, but Hasan Minaj’s new stand-up special, Homecoming King, on Netflix is about the best thing I’ve seen on television this year…and I watch a lot of tv.
He is able to mix brutal honesty, gut-wrenching personal testimony and side-splitting humor about the immigrant experience and racism in America into an 80-minute one-man show. He can make us squirm in discomfort one minute and having us laughing out loud the next. The show is heartbreaking and hilarious.
It’s important for super-white people like me to pay attention to the Hasan Minaj’s of the world, superb storytellers who share their experience of being brown/black/different in America in ways that we can actually hear and understand. To be reminded that no matter how many friends we have from different races, religions and ethnicities, a) we will never really understand what it’s like to be them and b)we should never stop trying.
I won’t give away the ending, but Minaj does wrap up his show by concluding that he may, indeed, be the cure for racism in America. While he may not be able to cure it single-handedly, he is definitely on track to diminish its power and influence in the world.
You can watch Homecoming King in its entirety on Netflix or on YouTube.