The Current

How Jasmeet Singh used comedy to diffuse anger facing racism

Jasmeet Singh grew up in Guelph, Ont. He is Sikh. He wears a turban. And he felt the sting of racism growing up. But the bullying he experienced in high school set him on a path toward a surprising career — becoming one of Canada's biggest YouTube stars.
Canadian-Sikh YouTube star Jasmeet Singh aka Jus Reign says his life was disrupted in high school following 9/11. He says that is when he discovered comedy could diffuse the anger and confusion he felt about the new racism he was subject to. (Handout photo)

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Jasmeet Singh, who experienced racism growing up in Guelph, Ont., says after 9/11 the content of that racism changed. In fact a rumour spread through his high school that he was Osama bin Laden's cousin.

It was a difficult period in his life. He felt angry and confused. But then he discovered a new way to address these kinds of comments — comedy. 

"Instead of being involved in a conflict physically or just being violent with somebody, I would just diffuse whatever ignorant remark they would say and just prove why it was ignorant but in a humorous way," says Jasmeet. 

After graduating high school he took those comedic skills online creating short videos under the name Jus Reign about everything from things white guys say to brown guys, to spoofing Punjabi TV ads.

Jasmeet Singh has become one of Canada's most popular YouTube stars.

Listen to Jasmeet Singh's life-changing story at the top of this post.

This segment was produced by The Current's Marc Apollonio and Josh Bloch.

The Current wants to hear our story about a moment that disrupted your life. Email us and write in the subject line: Personal Disruption.