What South Asian Americans Lost When We Canceled Apu

A Comedian’s Special—And My Experience as a Simpsons Fan—Point to the Good, the Bad, and the Complicated When It Comes to Representation

“Bring Back Apu” is a new comedy special from Akaash Singh, the 38-year-old Indian American comedian who wants The Simpsons to revive the Springfield Kwik-E-Mart owner. For nearly three decades, Apu was voiced by the white comedian Hank Azaria—until a backlash forced Azaria to give up the role.

In the 2017 documentary, The Problem with Apu, South Asian American comedians Kal Penn, Aziz Ansari, Aasif Mandvi, and Hasan Minhaj famously spoke of the ways Apu’s character was weaponized to bully them when they were children. So why does Singh want to bring back …

Dreaming of a Better Nutcracker | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Dreaming of a Better Nutcracker

It’s Time to Break With Outdated Tradition and Dare to Reimagine the Iconic Ballet

When July came and went and there was no audition notice from my daughter’s ballet school, no Doodle poll to survey my rehearsal availability, and no newsletter from ballet companies …

When Newspaper ‘Stereotypes’ Got Americans Laughing at the Same Jokes | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

When Newspaper ‘Stereotypes’ Got Americans Laughing at the Same Jokes

In the 1920s, News Syndicates Used the New Technology to Homogenize Papers Across the Country

From today’s vantage point, when many American cities struggle to sustain even a single print newspaper, the early decades of the 20th century look like glory days for local …

How Big Data Can Make Us Less Racist

Computing Power Can Help Us Make More Efficient Decisions About Who is Friend or Foe

Donald Trump wants to ban all Muslims from entering the United States and has called for a wall to keep out Mexicans, whom he has called rapists and criminals. Many …

Is Hawaii a Racial Paradise?

Races, Ethnicities, and Cultures Mix More Freely Than Elsewhere in the U.S., But There Are Limits to the Aloha Spirit

Early in the 2008 film Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Jason Segal, playing a guy who travels to Hawaii to get over a breakup, drunkenly pours out his feelings to two people …

I Heart N.J.

Call It Smelly. Call It Sleazy. Call It the Armpit of America. To Me, It's Home.

I’m sitting in a circle during the second week of my freshman year of college, listening to everyone perform the introductions that have become comically commonplace: name, hometown, dorm. It’s …