With a Masters Degree in  Public Policy from Columbia University, and a stint as a policy adviser for the City of New York,  Negin Farsad (@NeginFarsad) - an American of Iranian descent from Palm Springs -decided if she really wanted to change the world, she should make people laugh.  And boy does she ever! Her new book is ‘How To Make White People Laugh.'

Farsad uses her comedy to address social issues, including the treatment of Muslims in America. In a spoof video she performs a test to find out who is really Muslim by asking individuals to eat bacon. If a person refused to eat the bacon, no matter what their religion is, they had to sign the registry of Muslims. The reason for the bacon test? 

"One of the things I was trying to point out there is that if you're going to ban Muslims, you’re going to need to do it with a religious test, and they’re all faulty, including the bacon test. Because you’re right, vegans also don’t eat bacon, which according to the bacon test, would make them Muslim. Jews would be Muslim. So many people.” - Negin Farsad, author, 'How To Make White People Laugh'

 As a comedian, Farsad wanted to test the logical links of Donald Trumps banning of Muslims. It shows that many Trumps comments seem to be easy punchlines for Farsad’s jokes. She says that the scary thing is that he could be President one day, and she doesn’t want to be on any registry of some kind- she knows her rights. 

Keeping in full disclosure, Farsad interned for Hillary Clinton. Farsad reflects on the internship with Clinton as high level work, stuffing envelopes in the corner. She had an opportunity to meet Clinton and describes her as extraordinarily intelligent. 

Growing up in Palm Springs, Farsad was not around many Muslims. As a youth, she wanted to identify with other major minority groups, mainly blacks and Mexicans. “When I was a kid, I longed to be Mexican because Mexicans have a huge presence in southern California,” Farsad explains. “All my teachers could pronounce their names. They would roll Rodrigo, Aurelia, they would come to my name- ‘and we don’t know what to do with you’.”

The first chapter of ‘How To Make White People Laugh’ is titled ‘I Used to Be Black.’ Farsad shares her college experience in upstate New York. There were no Mexicans, and being white didn’t work out for her (too much Dave Matthews was involved.) She studied, and received her Masters in African American Studies. Although, she’s not African-American, she identified with the struggle and issues concerning African Americans.

She writes this book, as a way to build community. Farsad believes that if you get to know people it is really hard to hate them. It’s important to reach across the aisle, and to go on the other side of the tracks.