Hasan Minhaj wants his community to step off the sidelines.
In a digital-exclusive “Patriot Act” monologue, the host addressed the death of George Floyd and the ongoing protests, with a message targeting his fellow Asian-Americans.
Noting that while the officer involved in Floyd’s death has been charged with murder, others were involved, including a Hmong-American police officer who blocked off witnesses and has since been charged with aiding and abetting murder, and the Arab-American store owner who called cops in the first place.
“That is America. A Black man was murdered in cold blood, and we were on the f**king sidelines watching,” Minhaj said. “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!”
Minhaj also called out non-Black people who engage in anti-Black racism.
“We think we’re not a part of the story but we’re at the scene of the crime! That’s why the full picture matters. This doesn’t happen in a vacuum — it happens in a system,” he said. “We have to donate our money and time to Black organizations. We have got to get our civics law school nerd s**t on right now.”
The host compared police violence against Black people in the U.S. to the situations in countries many Asian immigrants have emigrated from.
“Imagine if you lived in a country where the colour 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, showing photos of the many Black people killed by police. “You would say, ‘That is a lawless country — who the f**k is running the show?'”
Finally, he said, “America’s story didn’t start when we got here. 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.”