White Privilege is real: I know because I lost mine
Before 9/11, Dean was essentially a typical white guy. But in the decades after 9/11, Dean slowly lost his “white card” along with his white privilege as America began to view him as a minority. Dean’s evolution from white to minority was made clear when he was threatened with death by white supremacists who ran then one of the nation’s largest Neo-Nazi website because he was an outspoken Muslim American. (Dean sued these bigots in federal court and won.) Dean will use humor to share his personal story of how he evolved—against his will--from a “white person” to a minority, how white privilege is real since he lost his and answer questions as a “former white person” who is now a minority of how to have productive, honest conversation about race in America.
Dean Obeidallah wants to be your Muslim friend
Using facts and humor, Dean counters negative stereotypes about Muslims, shares why having a Muslim friend (or a friend of any minority group) is one of the best ways to counter misconceptions and answer questions people have regarding Muslims. In this funny and informative talk, Dean will share the experience of being a Muslim in America and steps he learned that can help people from other minority groups to counter bigotry and build allies.
My Fellow American Frenemy
We’ve always hated each other over politics: My dear “fellow Americans.” We’ve all heard this sentiment repeated our entire lives--but who are we kidding?! Be honest, do you really view those people you disagree with passionately about politics as your BFF’s? At this point, do you even have any friends left you disagree with politically?! The truth is “We, The People,” have always been less our “fellow Americans” and more our “fellow American frenemies.” Yet, this part of our political DNA is barely taught in schools—if at all. It all began with “The Founding Fathers”-who should more accurately be dubbed “The Founding Fighters”—who set the tone that all politics is personal—very personal. Indeed, our Founders went way beyond just firing angry words at each other, they often fired bullets—have you seen the play “Hamilton”?! In this funny and fact-filled non-partisan talk, Dean will lay out how from the founding of our nation through today, we’ve always battled passionately over politics because to Americans, politics has always been personal. Understanding that can hopefully lead to more respectful—yet just as passionate—discussions of politics so that we can engage each other not as enemies but as truly fellow Americans.
Dean Obeidallah is a lawyer turned writer, national radio host, activist and award-winning comedian who has used his skills to counter bigotry and misconceptions about Muslims and race in America.
His unique story of once being a “white person” who had all the benefits of white privilege to a minority to ultimately a person targeted for death by white supremacists (who he sued in federal court and won) is both funny and informative. Dean shares through his own story how white privilege is real—since Dean lost his—to being the living manifestation of the concept that in America “race is a social construct.”
Dean can be heard nightly across the United States and in Canada on SiriusXM on “The Dean Obeidallah show.” He writes weekly for MSNBC.com, CNN.com and The Daily Beast on issues from politics to the Muslim community to the intersection of politics and pop culture. In his “spare time,” Dean also hosts Salon.com’s “Salon Talks” where he interviews newsmakers, authors and celebrities for the publication’s online video platform and writes an accompanying article.
You may have seen Dean on Joy Reid’s prime-time MSNBC show, The Reid Out as well as on various others MSNBC programs. He has also appeared on just about every CNN show on air as well as ABC’s Good Morning America and The View. In the world of comedy, Dean has appeared on Comedy Central’s Axis of Evil special, Comics Unleashed, and The Nightly Show.
In addition, Dean co-directed/co-produced the comedy documentary, The Muslims are Coming! designed to combat anti-Muslim bigotry, is on the board of the Muslim Jewish Advisory Committee (MJAC) and is the co-creator of the annual NY Arab American Comedy Festival that will celebrate its 18th anniversary in 2021.