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Miss America Pageant 2013: America, You Still Have Work To Do

September 17th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Normally, I’d pay no more than a passing glance at news of the crowning of Miss America.  Truthfully, I find the whole notion of beauty pageants nauseating.  This year, however, the Miss American pageant became more than just a vapid competition.  It became a national, and indeed international, discussion on ignorance and bigotry.  It also accomplished another feat.  While hateful messages were circulating social media, scores of people emerged to show us that not all hope is lost.

Shortly after being crowned Miss American 2014, Nina Davuluri, became the target of a campaign of hate unleased on the Twitterverse.  Why?  Miss Davuluri is of Indian descent and this didn’t sit well with some Americans, despite the fact that she was born in the good old U.S. of A.  Not only was Twitter filled with hateful and racist remarks, it also highlighted the sheer ignorance of people who clearly have never stepped outside their comfortable, albeit highly misguided, FAUX news bubbles.  Not only was she called some viciously racist names, she was also repeatedly attacked for being Arab, Muslim, and associated with Al Qaeda.

Wait – really?


Just to be clear, none of those can be said to be true of Davuluri.

If you happen to be one of those people who doesn’t understand why these are erroneous and highly bigoted sentiments, well, I feel sorry for you.  You clearly have no idea of the wonderful diversity among the people of this world, which is your loss.  I shouldn’t have to explain that an Arab and a Muslim are not mutually exclusive.  Nor should I have to tell you that India is home to Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Jains, Sikhs and yes, Muslims.  I’d even wager you’d find some (gasp) Atheists among its citizens.

So, what if she happens to be a Muslim, or an Arab, or any other religious/cultural identification?  The only thing that matters is that she is an American.  Every American should have stood up and cheered when she was crowned.  Assuredly, after you elected a black President the world thought you’d moved past the racism that has blemished your country’s history.  It seems, though, that a new target of racism has taken a foothold.  History may yet be doomed to repeat itself.

Thankfully, many Americans have taken to social media to condemn their fellow citizens for their unwarranted and misinformed attacks.  The world thanks you for reminding us that not all Americans are bigoted white men (those sweeping generalizations hurt, don’t they?)

It’s unfortunate that a bunch of under-educated, haters have tarnished the incredible strides America has made in forging an identity of diversity and equality.  This means only one thing – America, you still have work to do.

M. xo


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