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Kal Penn: Time's Joel Stein is Xenophobic!

Kal Penn: Time's Joel Stein is Xenophobic!

Kal Penn is speaking out against Joel Stein for his so-called xenophobic piece against Indian Americans in Time magazine.

The 33-year-old actor and former Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement wrote a piece called “The ‘Hilarious’ Xenophobia of Time’s Joel Stein” via Huffington Post:

“I want to applaud Joel Stein for his hilarious account of Edison, New Jersey in his Time magazine article this week, ‘My Own Private India’; it is as unique and groundbreaking as Thomas Alva himself.

“Were it not for the intelligent, fresh sense of humor of individuals like Mr. Stein, the world may never know about Americans who happen to be of Indian descent. Gags about impossibly spicy food? I’d never heard those before! Multiple Gods with multiple arms? Multiple laughs! Recounting racial slurs like “dot-head”? Oh, Mr. Stein, is too good! I don’t know how he comes up with such unique bits. (I was worried that he’d missed an opportunity to joke about Dr. King’s predecessor, Gandhi, but I see that he got to that hilarity on Twitter. More never-before-heard satire!)

“Growing up a few miles from Edison, NJ, I always thought it was hilarious when I’d get the crap kicked out of me by kids like Stein who would yell “go back to India, dothead!” I was always ROTFLMAO when people would assume that I wasn’t American. He really captured the brilliant humor in that one too!

“Critics might call Mr. Stein‘s humor super-tired or as played out as the jokes about that cheap Jewish car that stopped on a dime to pick it up, or that African American kid who got marked absent at night school. Although unlike Stein‘s Indian American piece, in 2010 those other jokes don’t show up in mainstream media like Time Magazine. I wonder why that is…”
And here are a few snippets of Joel‘s piece:

– “In the 1990s, the not-as-brilliant [Indian] merchants brought their even-less-bright cousins, and we started to understand why India is so damn poor.”

– “Whenever I go back [to Edison], I feel what people in Arizona talk about: a sense of loss and anomie and disbelief that anyone can eat food that spicy.”

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Credit: Jody Cortes; Photos: WENN
Posted to: Joel Stein, Kal Penn

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  • offtheproperty

    People from California should stop bothering Arnold Schwarzenegger with their problems.

  • Joel Stein is a Douche!

    Wow, Joel is a douche. He is Jewish and knows or should know what it feels like to be discriminated. HOLOCAUST Joel :)

  • Alban

    No, he’s not xenophobic, there are too many Indians immigrating into America. They are not wanted in Australia and the U.K. so they flood into America. Dotheads go home!

  • [marie]

    I guess Stein would call that comedy… When people aren’t laughing, would this douche-nugget still consider himself a comedian..?

  • Donovan

    It bothers me so much when people confuse being intolerant and slyly bigoted with being witty. I agree with the former’s post on here. Someone from a social minority should know better than to stoke such ignorance for humor’s sake. Especially when the S H I T isn’t even funny!

  • Ozzy

    Indians stink and never wear deodorant they worship cows while the poor stave in the streets.

  • Jordan

    Hey backwoods retards on this site…
    Amerikkka was founded by immigrants, that was the WHOLE point of america. The white man doesn’t own the country, sorry to burst your little bubble. Go Kal Penn!

  • Owen

    If foreigners don’t like it perhaps they should just stay home. Americans don’t immigrate to your country so be quiet or go back. Please stop comparing the situation of American immigrants to today it is totally different. I think we need to declare a moratorium on foreigners coming here for the next twenty years unless they come from Europe.

  • alexis

    I don’t know which is worse. Joel Stein’s so-called “satiric” article or the ignorant, racist comments posted by several individuals viewing this site.

  • lina

    stein is such an idiot

  • Mycal jaksun

    What do you expect? Joos are some of the most racist zionistic supremacist in the world!

  • Disgusted

    That’s a great point. He is Jewish, he should know what its like to be hated for your race, religion etc. People like him will never let the world become a better place. Racism is just DISGUSTING.

  • Dayana

    They sound so bad.

  • JoyLee

    Joel Stein’s article is bad enough — but the remarks by some of these comments are just as bad. If all the foreigners should go back to their countries — I think that would leave just the American Indians.

  • Josie

    A jewish guy who has lived in America where he is considered white as rice ( not too long ago he was a K***e in America) has forgotten where he came from. Ironically, Hitler would have prefered Karl Penn to jewish Joel Stein.
    He needs a reality check, fast. (psst, this just proved that not all jewish people are funny).

  • Serio

    We have to remember that America belongs to the Natives. Everyone bombarded the Natives’ country and now everyone is calling it their own. This land is the land of the fortunate, freedom and opportunity. Not only that we live in the best nation in the world so why are people complaining.

  • gigi

    I’m with Kal on this one and am left wondering why attacks on certain ethnic groups or even religions are considered fair game.

    Stein’s comments are outrageous. Shame on him.

  • anon

    It is ironic isn’t it? Many native Indians think the country would be better off if all white people went back from whence they came.

  • terrence

    Really, Joel? —–Insert unfunny racist joke about Jewish people—–

  • WTF

    People that think like Joel Stein are the problem in this country. Unless this pale face is native american he is also from immigrant family himself. So it is okay for his ancestors to come to america but none else is allowed. F*%k Y@u Joel Stein.

  • flutters

    Is this Time magazine going for Ramin Setoodeh/Newsweekesque outrage? What a ridiculous column by Joel Stein. It’s not funny at all.

  • nikki

    GO KAL! I completely agree with his letter.

    Joel is usually a hilarious writer but after reading this piece I was surprised and disappointed that Time even printed something like this.

    Much thanks to Kal for speaking out about this.

  • Sunny

    Oh, it’s always been fine to put out racial slurs by jewish people, but god forbid anyone says anything remotely anti-semitic–oh, horror, branded racist, reminded of hollocaust, etc. Seems like these days only jews feel entitled to make racial comments without feeling guilty. why are we still surprised? they are not people are care about. Nice that Kal stood for this idiot’s article.

  • shiva

    joel stain is one hEll of an asinine d*ckhead… what this stain-azz wrote was NOT humorous… humor? yeah right… the piece was vacuous, nescient & noxious… Time mag is also culpable for publishing the trash.
    Thanks Kal Penn for seeing the real sh*t in the so-called “humor”… It’s time to b*tch slap this piece of sh*t!

  • Dee

    Wow, I totally agree with all the other posters who mentioned as a fellow minority you would think Joel Stein would do exactly that and THINK before writing this article. No matter how you slice it or how Joel Stein defends this piece as being “satiric”, it’s exactly the type of subvert racism that makes it “ok” to write or say stupid, ignorant things about other cultures. Seriously, you would think a man in his position would have grown some perspective.

  • Caca

    Hey Joel, I guess both me and you would have to go back to Europe.

  • John Hopkirk

    I’m so sick of ethnic minorities playing the race card, it’s sickening it really is. These savages milk this opportunity we – as White Americans – wrongly give them. They are given all the opportunities and what thanks do we ever get from them? They send all their money back home and don’t spend much in the USA so they contribute nothing to our economy. They fail to integrate, a lot of them can’t speak English and refuse to learn. They also insist on cooking curry every day, it stinks! These people offer nothing to the USA yet we let them stay and take our jobs, look at our women and eat our food, and we get spat on for our troubles. Yet if we so much as even mutter a derogatory remark about them, they go running off to the media crying ‘racism’.

    I’m at my wits end.

  • offtheproperty

    Joel Stein is just peeved because something precious and good has turned to crap and getting worse. Because of immigration.

  • dollhouse

    @John Hopkirk:
    Maybe if you weren’t such an uneducated inbred hick than you would be qualified to work certain jobs that “indians” are taking from you. Go sleep with your cousin some more, it’s what you’re good at.

  • Ben

    @John Hopkirk: The house you live was built by a “Foreigner”. Your local doctor is most probably INDIAN. One day, you might need a Lawyer. God forbid they’re not white LMAO. People like you and your kind make me sick.

  • bobby

    Pathetic that Time would publish this garbage. Anything remotely similar about African-Americans and you’re not going to be published anymore. But I guess it’s O.K. to make jokes about these people. Wow….

  • Lilly

    My initial reaction is that being jewish, Joel should be more aware of the effects of reducing a minority to racial stereotypes. However I then wonder if bringing attention to his race doesn’t take away from the main point which is RACE DOESN’T MATTER and cultural supremacy has no real place in the world today.

    While my family originally came here in the early 1800s and have kept a detailed account of our genealogy and the contributions generations past have made to America, I also grew up in a very ethnically diverse urban environment that has in equal part helped shape me into who I am today. I can’t forget the America my family fought for anymore than I can ignore the multiculturalism that America is made of today.

    Nor should I want to. We should strive for more than mere tolerance, because the energy we spend trying to understand other cultures will ultimately put us in a better position to compete in an ever growing interdependent global economy.

    But that’s just my opinion, man.

  • Samuel

    As a white American male, I’d like to apologize on behalf of all ignoramuses of Stein’s special breed. How embarrassing.

  • Amelle

    I’m shocked that 1. Time went ahead and published this article. And 2. At some of the equally racist comments on this ASIAN man’s blog. Amazing.

  • Darren

    “In the 1990s, the not-as-brilliant merchants brought their even-less-bright cousins, and we started to understand why India is so damn poor.”

    What a basic backwards complete and utter sh*tbag. I can not believe his article was printed to begin with.

  • Lisa

    The nerve of some commenters. What are you doing on a gay asian-american man’s blog? Get out of here and direct your frustration onto yourself.

  • JohnMayer

    “Whenever I go back, I feel what people in Arizona talk about: a sense of loss and anomie and disbelief that anyone can eat food that spicy”

    this tw@t doesn’t know when to fvking STOP

  • Markus

    Just read Stein’s entire piece. My eyes are bleeding. What an abomination. Wrong on many, many levels and not only offensive and rather frightening the cold way it is written, Stein’s lack of education and common sense is showcased clear as day in more than 1 paragraph where he gets a good number of things completey wrong. FAIL.

  • slander

    So sick of racism and other pure prejudice masked as “I was only joking” Satire. Racism is racism.

  • LDN

    What a tool. WTF @ Time publishing this, I can’t make sense of that.

  • Sophie

    Kal, you kick ASS!

  • Jesss

    The saddest part is even many Indians have joined in to ‘lighten up’ over his oh so cute and charming little satire… heh hhehhh , let’s laugh at ourselves!


  • Simi

    @Ozzy: F**K YOU!! Dumb Sh*t. You clearly are a racist hick who has no idea that your oh so precious country was built by immigrants. Stop hiding behind your computer and posting racist comments on a gay ASIAN American man’s website. B*tch.

  • Henna

    There have been recent troubling developments in NJ against Indians. Please, let’s take a minute from our celeb and fashion world to reflect that we need to stand united:

    Joel Stein of Time magazine has written a scathing openly racist ‘humorous’ article against ‘dothead’ Indians (discussing his hometown Edison and the growing Indian population & his discomfort of it), which is uniting Indians all over the world to have a peaceful resistance against any form of negativity on any group. If people may recall, the dothead name was derived from the dot-buster movement, designed to promote violence against Indian-origin people. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO US.

    Please take a moment to join the petition; and please take a moment to write to Time magazine (, if you believe that all groups, including Indians, deserve positive treatment:


    @Owen: There is so much wrong with your comment, I can’t even. America was founded by the Native Americans. You know? The Red INDIANS !!!! WHITE FOLK like YOU f——–g destroyed THEIR people and their land and took over. It is incredible the way so many Americans have simply wiped the very Fact that their country is built on Native blood from their brains.

    Stein, my God what a punchable mug. Stein, you stupid, stupid man. India is still “damn poor” even today because they are still suffering from the effects of The British colonization which destroyed the domestic economy of India and DRAINED all their wealth from them!!!! Alll to benefit Britan. What a messed up world.

  • Sarah, LA

    Our country not only was built by Immigrants but founded by the Indians. Oh, the irony. Oh and you go Kal Penn with your charming, badas.s self.

  • Imogen, London

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Kal. He is one of my favourite people. This made me love him even more.

  • b

    Joel Stein is a racist bigot. Perhaps we should eradicate him and all the rest of the Jews from this country? Oh wait, I think that’s already been attempted at least once in modern history.

    Stupid asshole.

  • b

    @John Hopkirk:

    Are you Native American? If not, then STFU.

  • riri

    While Indians are a wonderful group of people (has NOTHING to do with race and ethnicity- which is the same race as the Pakistani people, by the way), I do think there is a difference between people who fled persecution and BUILT this great country and people who come her now AFTER the country is already developed to better their life.
    The ones that came when there was no real “country” and turned it to such a wonderful place of freedom and opportunity are not the same as immigrants today.
    So I have no problem with immigrants if they are legal and CARE about America and have something to contribute.
    But if they are only after exploitation and don’t really care about America and have nothing to offer- then stay HOME.