‘The Daily Show’ Correspondent Hasan Minhaj on How Racism Ruined His Prom Night

As the newest correspondent on The Daily Show, comedian Hasan Minhaj has been killing it. Minhaj has always been a witty comedian with his own flair, and now a wider audience is getting to see that. However, things have not always been smooth sailing for him.

As he recounts in the live storytelling show The Moth, Minhaj had a rough time fitting in as one of the few Indian American kids in Davis, CA. In fact, when his third grade teacher asked the class what they wanted to be when they grew up, Minhaj recalls writing “I wanna be white.”

Minhaj then went on to tell the heartbreaking story of Bethany Reed, a girl who became his bright spot during his senior year in high school. Apparently, Reed seemed to fully accept and understand him and even his strict immigrant father’s rules. By the time senior prom rolled around, it was inevitable for Minhaj and Reed to go together. Even though Minhaj had to sneak out of his father’s house to get there, surely this would be worth it, right?

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Hasan Minhaj in high school. Photo courtesy of The Moth.

When Minhaj arrived at Reed’s house, he opened the door and found the captain of the water polo team putting a corsage on Reed’s wrist. Reed’s mom explained to him that because they would be taking a lot of pictures that night, they didn’t know if it would be “a good fit” for Minhaj and Reed to be in pictures together. To make up for this, Reed’s parents offered Minhaj a ride home.

The full story, as narrated by Minaj, is definitely worth listening to. You’ll find yourself laughing and crying as Minhaj tells a second generation, Asian American story that resonates with many.

Of course, there’s no need to shed to many tears. After all, Minhaj seems to be doing great with his new gig. Check out his debut on The Daily Show below.

 

 

This is What Happens When You Ask Miss America to Prom

Here at Audrey, we’re a big fan of Nina Davuluri. The 24-year-old made pageant history by becoming the first woman of Indian descent to earn the prestigious title of Miss America.

As it turns out, there’s an even bigger fan of  Davuluri. Eighteen-year-old Patrick Farves showed the world just how much he loves Miss America by asking her one of the most nerve-racking questions that a high school student can ask.

He asked her to prom.

Davaluri was visiting a Pennsylvania high school to discuss diversity, science, technology, engineering and math studies. As you can expect, Davuluri had no idea she would leave with an invitation to prom.

According to Huffington Post, “The senior at Central York High School stood up and popped the prom question, then walked to the stage with a plastic flower. Davuluri just laughed and the students cheered.”

Unfortunately, school officials had already warned Farves not to go through with his plan. As punishment for breaking the rules, Farves has received three days of in-school suspension.

While we certainly don’t advocate for rule-breaking, we understand Farves’ affinity for Davuluri. Not only was she Miss America, Davuluri proved that she is quite an individual to admire.  After winning her title, she quickly became the focus of discriminatory and racist comments on various social media platforms. The aspiring doctor was referred to, among other things, as “Miss 7-11,” “Miss Al-Qaeda,” and as a “terrorist.”

Did these harsh comments get to her? Absolutely not. In fact, she commented on why racism gives her even more reason to keep going.

“I grew up watching Miss America for years and years, and as the daughter of immigrants, I always thought to myself that I could never be that — because I didn’t look a certain way; I didn’t fit the model of what was up there on that screen,” she says. “And it shouldn’t be about race, it shouldn’t — but it is. To be able to stand up there, and be an example for other little girls that America is now a very different place, that’s everything to me.”

“I’d already experienced [racism] on a smaller scale when I won Miss New York,” she added. “It’s part of the reason I was so determined to focus my platform on diversity. But you can’t just scream in the dark, you have to try to shed light and awareness.”

Need even more reason to love Nina Davuluri? Check out our top 5 reasons.