Hasan Minhaj is right in the middle of the culture war.
On Tuesday, the “Patriot Act” host appeared on Global’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to talk about the state of the world, including the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests and the pandemic.
On the death of George Floyd, Minhaj has been talking to family members and friends in the Asian-American community about issues of anti-Black racism and protesting.
“A lot of times when we talk about race in America, we consider it in our community to be a very Black-white conversation,” he said, “and we don’t think that we’re participants in it. And I think there’s two key pieces of information we take for granted.”
Minhaj pointed to the advancements of the Civil Rights Movement of the ’60s as having helped immigrant families like his.
“The legislation that was passed in 1964 and 1965, the immigration act that passed in 1965, we are beneficiaries of that,” he said. “That’s the reason my dad was able to come here in 1982. So, whether we like it or not, Martin Luther King Jr. cc’ed us on that email of progress. So we owe a lot to the African-American community here in America.”
Later on the show, Minhaj described the generational war that he’s also involved in as a millennial.
“Stephen, you know there’s a war right now,” he joked.
“Gen Z hates my generation, the millennials,” Minhaj explained. “For the longest time there was a big thing between millennials, Gen X, and we all collectively hated the boomers. But right now, my generation, we’re getting our asses handed to us. We’re getting made fun of our dietary habits, we’re getting made fun of our love of pop culture and Harry Potter and ’90s television. And I’ll be honest, a lot of my core demographic has been ripping me a new one in the internet comments.”
Minhaj admitted, though, that he has at times engaged with his critics.
“They’ll be like, ‘Oh, like that joke is so cringey,'” he said. “And I’m like, ‘Really, Brandon? You’re unemployed.’
Minhaj added, “What am I doing? This guy is nine years old. But I’m not gonna take crap from a person who is dunking on me with their older sister’s cracked iPhone 6S.”