+
More

Chelsea Handler was asked what she thinks when she hears ‘Muslim.’ Her answer is telling.

Why do so many Americans only think of stereotypes when they think of Muslims?

Kumail Nanjiani has an idea.

While the actor and star of HBO's "Silicon Valley" chatted with Chelsea Handler on her Netflix talk show, the topic of his upbringing and religious faith came up. Nanjiani is Pakistani-American and Muslim — and he's annoyed at what many Americans fail to see in people who look like him.


“I think the issue with Islam has been that there’s no pop culture image of Muslims who are open-minded really," he observed. "Like, when you think of Muslims," he asked Handler, "what do you see in your head?”

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Handler answered his question honestly: She thinks of serious-minded men — with beards.

And that perfectly reflects the problem.

Nanjiani went on to explain (emphasis mine):

“Right, that’s what I mean! My wife … she wanted to start a Tumblr called, ‘Muslims Having Fun.’ Because you never see them! Like, when you go to like, a theme park, you see Muslim people and they’re eating ice cream and they’re screaming on roller coasters. Why don’t we ever see those Muslims? Why do we only think of Muslims on the news when we think of Muslims?”

Nanjiani's point is one that resonates with most marginalized groups — people of color, immigrants (documented or undocumented), members of the LGBTQ community, disabled people, and many others who are so often stereotyped in Hollywood and on the news, if they're even represented at all.

If we only see limiting, harmful depictions of a certain group of people in the media, how can we ever see them as our fully human equals in the real world?

It's an injustice Nanjiani is trying to break — just by being himself.

GIF via Netflix.

Watch the clip from Nanjiani's interview with Handler below:

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

Because you're a girl.

This article originally appeared on 04.14.17


I was promoted a few weeks ago, which was great. I got a lot of nice notes from friends, family, customers, partners, and random strangers, which was exciting.

But it wasn't long until a note came in saying, “Everyone knows you got the position because you're a girl." In spite of having a great week at a great company with great people whom I love, that still stung, because it's not the first time I've heard it.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less