Free Speech and Religion

How to Make White People Laugh: Joking Our Way to a More Tolerant Future

June 1, 2016  • Aspen Institute Arts Program

Negin Farsad, a TEDFellow and co-director of the documentary The Muslims Are Coming!, calls herself a social-justice comedian. Her work seeks to prove that deep-seated and sclerotic prejudices about race and religion can be as effectively challenged with humor as they can be with activism. In her hilarious new book, How to Make White People Laugh, Farsad uses her humor to frankly address the mistreatment and misperceptions of Muslims in this country post 9/11 and challenges false narratives around issues pertaining not just to race and religion but to gender, ethnicity, and sexuality that thrive in American cultural and political life. To discuss these questions and more, Farsad will be joined by Imam Daayiee Abdullah, one of the world’s only openly gay imams and the founder of the Mecca Institute. Moderating the conversation will be Dean Obeidallah, comedian, radio host, and Farsad’s co-director of The Muslims Are Coming!

The Washington Ideas Roundtable Series is made possible with the generous support of Michelle Smith and the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation.