One of my favorite shows on Netflix is hands down Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj. Even though the show shares a name with the horrifying piece legislation, the show is an incredible fusion of comedy and politics. The law allowed the US government to spy on citizens after 9/11. Also, don’t worry, the Patriot Act legislation is no longer in place, but the show, however, is ever-expanding. 

It’s safe to say that his comedy is engaging, intelligent, and deals with extraordinarily important issues.

I completely believe that Hasan Minhaj is an icon in every sense of the word. His show tackles extremely heavy subjects. He’s also not a stranger to controversy and is infamous for picking fights with oppressive regimes. After the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Minhaj spoke up against the kingdom of Saudi. That episode was taken off of Netflix in the nation.

He has also addressed the issues of fast fashion, America’s broken policing system, and even video games. He takes issues that no one cares about and then completely changes people’s perspectives. For instance, I did not care about video games. At all. Then, Minhaj did an episode on sexism, racism, and inhumane working conditions within the industry. Now I care about video games.

Patriot Act is definitely a “woke TED Talk,” as described by Minhaj himself. However, it still remains miles ahead of dry late-night comedy. For instance, the show doesn’t occur every single day, it airs every night on Sunday. This means that each topic can be really investigated. Hosts like Colbert, Kimmel, and Meyers have to constantly switch the topics they discuss. Minhaj gets to really dig deep into certain topics.

When those topics align with my school projects, I know that Minhaj has got my back. Patriot Act is an unforgettable experience. Once you pick it up, there’s absolutely no going back. Minhaj represents me as an Indian American, but also a generation that is extremely conscious of their decisions. I didn’t know the implication of fast fashion or the toxicity of the video game industry. When I first discovered Minhaj, it was around the time of the college admissions scandal with “Aunt Becky.”

I had no idea what to expect, but I knew that Asian-Americans felt pretty strongly about the issue of Affirmative Action. Minhaj opened up about his original distaste for AA, then said, “I thought I wasn’t going to get into Stanford because some black kid was going to take my spot. But I didn’t get into Stanford because I was dumb.” Character growth.

Of course, as a high school student, I felt that line deep inside my core. As a human being, Minhaj teaches the importance of actually doing research and living with empathy. Minhaj said something that completely revolutionized the way I thought: “When you actually do the research everything secretly sucks.” This quote was so accurate.

However, even with Minhaj changing the face of comedy, nothing has put him into the so far into the limelight as the video Patriot Act released on June 3rd of this year. A 12 minutes video titled, “We Cannot Stay Silent About George Floyd.” This video racked up over 2.8 million views on YouTube and thousands of reposts on Instagram. Minhaj talks about the deafening silence amongst the Asian-American community. The comments echo the same sentiment. 

“Hasan said exactly what was on my mind.”

That’s when I realized what made Hasan Minhaj so interested. He represents everyone. He loves shoes, music, food, and has incredible amounts of empathy. More importantly, he changed the way I perceived the world. I now believe in a much more inclusive, supportive, and greater world. Everyone should watch the show for those reasons.

Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj is the key to a kinder and more informed future.

Update as of August 2020:

Did you hear? Netflix is canceling the show. Here’s what we have to say about it:

Hasan Minhaj’s Patriot Act changed the way I wrote about news

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  • Meghana Nakkanti

    Meghana Nakkanti is an incoming sophomore in high school. She has a huge passion for social justice, music, STEM, medicine, and politics. Her hobbies include singing, playing the piano, reading, writing, volunteering, and spending time with her family and friends.

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