• Season 1, Ep 3

Sneak Peek: Nationality

Zainab has a communication breakdown with a customs agent.

10/20/2016 ยท 2:21

Make some noisefor Zainab Johnson, y'all.

Make some noise for Zainab.

[cheers and applause]

- Hey.

I'm actuallyso happy

to be back in LA.

Like, I've been travelingso much internationally.

I know with the possibilityof Trump in office, I'm like,

"What other countrycan I live in?"


I, um--the first time I actuallywent out the country was 2003.

I went to Japan, right? I'm excited, you know?

I go through customs. The customs agent says,

"What's your nationality?"


I don't know why I said it so proud

like I was aboutto gentrify Japan or something.




[dramatic music]

"Are we not allowed?"


I didn't know the rules.I started feeling my skin like,

"Is he not sayingI'm black?

Like, what?"

"What's your nationality?" "African-American."

"Are you African

or are you American?"

"It's hyphenated. I'm both."

[laughter and applause]


"Are you African

or are you American?"

I said, "Well, see what happened was:

We was chilling in Africa..." [laughter]

"And, like, just tanning and in formation, eating good,

"and then boats,

"and then chains,

"and now I have the pleasure..."


"Of being both African

and American."

[laughter, cheers, and applause]

I just felt like maybe hedoesn't know American history.


I kept a smile the whole time.Like...

He looked at me with so much shame.

"Where were you born?" "Oh, New York."


"That's a easy question,"

and he looked at me and he's like,

"Dumb American."

He wrote it on my customs card, "Dumb American."

[cheers, laughter, and applause]

I'm Zainab.Thank you.

- One more time, Zainab.

- Thank you.

[cheers and applause]