On Saturday night at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner, Hasan Minhaj dazzled and delighted a somber Washington crowd, but it was the last leg of his incredible monologue that really highlights the importance of events like this in Washington. Listening to Hasan Minaj talk about being a Muslim immigrant at the WHCD was such a glaring, beautiful, eye-opening example of what has already made America so great, and right now, that's a message we all benefit from hearing — POTUS included.
He continued later on,
When he talked specifically about the task of being involved with the dinner this year, Minhaj said:
Minhaj's entire set was bursting with humor and relevance, but it's his final message that leaves an important mark, not just for the media community, but for the United States overall. Say what you will about our many, many failings (and there are a lot), but the United States is one of very few places in the world where a person of color — in Minhaj's case, a "first-generation Indian-American Muslim kid" — can bring an entire room to its knees by making fun of its leader. Whether or not our president is listening, that's saying something, and it's saying something huge.
Yes, our country has a long way to go before all of its citizens are considered equal, protected, and valued in our society, and yes, the United States could be doing better in about a zillion things. But we're a nation in progress, a dream that continues to evolve as its people do. We're changing, and along with it, our policies and practices will eventually catch up.
But tonight's WHCD was a reminder that we're on our way. We're getting there. And we don't need a leader who says bigoted, racist, and often xenophobic things to take us there. We need more voices like Minhaj's.