Why the racism surrounding Miss America 2013 makes me want to cry

Photo Credit: The Indian Express

On Sunday night, Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America.  She is the first Indian-American woman to win the crown.

This is really something we should be celebrating, right?  Miss America is really honoring the tradition of “The Melting Pot” that it was built on.

However, it was made pretty obvious that our “post-racial America” doesn’t want to share in the celebration.  Buzzfeed posted an article featuring choice Twitter posts bashing Davuluri, a.k.a. Miss New York, after she was crowned Miss America.

Many have things to say about the following:

  • The fact that she is not American because she is an “Arab”
  • That her win was in bad taste being that it was a few days after the anniversary of 9/11
  • “This is America. How can a brown-skinned girl win the “Miss America” pageant?” or “Miss Kansas should have won because she is white and blonde and likes tattoos and shoots guns and that is what America really is.”

First of all, Davuluri is Indian.  The term “Arab” generally refers to people from the Middle East and Northern Africa.  (I looked it up to make sure.  Please tell me if I’m wrong.  Please.)

Second of all, yes, people of a certain ethnic group were responsible for 9/11 tragedy, but, NO, it does not give you the right to equate brown skin with terrorism.  Violence is done by people of all skin colors.

Third of all, EVERY country has  ALL types of people in them.  Why is that?  The world has become globalized.  And why is that?  Because there are opportunities for EVERYONE in many different countries.  Everyone has a right to a dignified life wherever they are (as long as they’re not hurting anybody) and NOBODY deserves to be persecuted simply because they look a certain way.

To sum it up, don’t hate because a brown girl now represents the USA, because surprise, surprise many brown girls who live in and were born in America identify as American.  Not only does hate alienate one girl who is a very talented Bollywood dancer, but also, it alienates many other people who don’t deserve to feel alone in their own country.

***

Thanks for reading my rant.  As any type of commentary/critical article has, this probably has a lot of flawed/skewed ways of thinking.  Please note that I’m not an expert, but I have an interest in these kinds of social issues and I definitely appreciate constructive criticisms/continuing dialogue about what I’m saying above.

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