Hasan Minhaj, Riz Emma, NPR discussed on It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders


Do the writing. But you know, having insurance doesn't hurt. This is a thing. Everyone is like, oh, my parents did. My parents said, even if they're a little too enthusiastic about what they want for your life, big picture, they are concerned about the right things. There you go. Your security. They're trying the best they can. They're trying to love you the best way they know how. They just, you know, they're overzealous. You know how it is. And you know, another I'm a parent, I'm an older, you see things from their perspective. Parents instinct is protection. That's all it is. And for my parents generation, especially that immigrant generation, you have to realize they left with they came all by themselves. They were young kids, there was no community. They had the funny accent. They weren't seen as average that you had to put their head down, they could only do a few reliable, safe, secure jobs to send money back. And so once they made the Concorde American Dream, they wanted to hand that checklist down to the kids and said we don't want you to suffer how we suffered we learned the hard way, go get a stable degree in a stable job and keep your head down and be safe and marry someone who's ate on the hotness skill and get a Toyota or Honda that immigrant vehicle of choice. And there's a love there in a concern there. And the reason why so many of my parents generation, the kind of mocked or ridiculed or didn't invest in journalism or podcast host or writers is because we saw no models of success. So they're like, you just can't expect me to have faith. My faith has to be rooted in something tangible. Show me success. And then maybe I'll invest in this. And when I was growing up, we didn't have Hasan minhaj and riz Emma then Mindy Kaling. Flash forward to now, look at you on national public radio, talking about your book. I can't imagine an NPR 15 years ago. Letting the two of us get a whole hour. Seriously. I think 15 years ago, let's take it back, like, 2006. This would be wild. This would be wild. You know what would happen? This is what would happen. Like the whitest white NPR host probably would have been sick. And then they would have gone to the next two hosts who would have been in a car crash God forbid and healing. And then there was another white person who's never done a radio show. And they got like a panic attack. And then like, Sam, you got to do it. And then with me, like, 17 guests would have like bailed the last second. And we've heard about this war a lot. He has a book coming out. And then that's how we get an hour. There you go. There you go. Up next, how 9 11 changed was reality. And prepared him for the rest of his life. Stay with us. Been baller worked at a record label, but he thought his boss was giving young artists a raw deal. I was like, yo man, it's not like you can't still get rich and they can still eat. I'm talking everyone eat Wagyu. Oh, his boss was Dr. Dre. And he fired me. I was like, look, I'm gonna pivot and do something. All he did was change the game of high end, custom jewelry. Here how? On the limits from NPR. You know, so much of your life changed on 9 11. And a big turning point in the book is that event and what it meant for you going forward. I want to go back to that scene because it was very vivid for me as I read it. Where were you when you found out about the attack? 20 year old UC Berkeley senior undeclared in my pajamas woken up by my roommate in our apartment a mile away from UC Berkeley. He knocks on the door and I'm sleeping. He's like, you gotta get up. I'm like, come on, man. It's freaking exhausted, I stayed up all night playing NBA two K then ten minutes later I get another knock. You really have to get up and see that something's happening. So we're both in our pajamas, blurry, watching the tower on fire. Maybe the pilot had heart attack. That's what happened. He was trying to land the plane maybe, a Laguardia, something happened, and then you saw the second plane go. Once you saw the second plane, that's when we realized something this was deliberate. And right there and then you kind of do the minority prayer, which all minorities know. And the minority player goes something like this. Please let it be a white guy. And if you're white or self identifies white, it's not because we want any harm to come to you, going full circle with the beginning of this conversation. We realize that when it's a white person, all of whiteness is not convicted. Well, the white guy is like, this lone wolf, who was misunderstood, you know? Just a dude. You know, crazy dude did it. You want to have white uncles and white aunties in your community having to stand up like Uncle Sam with flags like waving in the air and saying, I love America and let me prove my moderation and come to my churches. And you won't be investigation and surveillance and hearings, right? Like you won't be held, you won't be interrogated or indicted and have to prove your loyalty or prove your whiteness. But for the rest of us, we're effed, all of us collectively. And then when they saw that on the scroll at the bottom, suspected Osama bin Laden in Muslims, that's when I remember I closed my eyes and I just realized things were going to get really bad. And I was a member of this Muslim student association. I was elected to the board. And I joke that had Muslims known that 9 11 would happen, these horrible conspiracy theories, which we did not know, because Muslims also died that day. I would have joined the Indian student association. I would have learned how to do punga, whatever you do, though. Do not join the sick student association because that poor group got screwed. First hate crime after 9 11 was a sick man in this shows you how stupid racism is. 19 foreign hijackers 15 from Saudi Arabia to from UAE one from Lebanon, one from Egypt, brought down the two towers, killed 3000 people. And so the first hate crime after America was in messer Arizona where a white supremacist blamed a middle aged sick gas station owner balbir Singh for the violent acts of 19 foreign hijackers because he was brown skinned had a beard and a turban and he was sick. Bigots aren't nuanced. This country lost its damn mine after 9 11. And so here I was a Muslim student association board member and I had Muslim women born and raised in America emailing me. Should we go to school? There are hate crimes. We're afraid. I had my first hate mail. Just think about it. I'm in California, born and raised in the Bay Area to Pakistani immigrant parents, and I am being blamed for the violent actions of 1940 hijackers. And that's where it all began. And I always tell people, that was the baptism by fire. That was the turning point, the fork in the road. That was the danger room simulation for the rest of my life and with the rest of my career. For my generation. Yeah. You know, you wrote about how much work you had to take on at Berkeley in the aftermath of 9 11. You and other students and the Muslim student association just took it upon yourself to do a lot of bridge building. You hosted Friday prayers for the entire campus. You held forums with all different kinds of speakers and groups. And you said something that really stuck out to me about that experience and that year after 9 11. You said it was quote training ground. An X-Men danger room simulation that would prepare you for the rest of your life. Explain. Yeah, I mean, you become overnight the Muslim firemen. You become the Muslim walking Wikipedia. You become the person if you're thrust in that spotlight, where you have to be an expert on the drop of the dime on all things Muslim and Islam and.

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