Monday, September 16, 2013

Racism Rears its Ugly head as An Indian-American Woman Wins The Miss America Pageant

Sunday night Nina Davuluri, Miss New York, was crowned the winner the 2014 Miss America Pageant. She is the first contestant of Indian descent to win the coveted and prestigious honor.
Pageant Winner Nina Davuluri

According to Buzzfeed, when her win was announced, Twitter immediately exploded with hateful tweets, with people calling her an Arab.

Click here to see some of the tweets. Interestingly, when you click through to the actual Twitter pages that the tweets originate from, almost all of the comments have now been deleted by the original authors.

In one of our private internet groups, commenters had more congenial feelings:
  • What's with the people. Those are such harsh comments. 
  • I'm not a Miss America Pageant fan, but I'm trilled to hear an Indian-American won! And really sad to see how young these people are that are making these comments. American schools are not doing their job if ignorance like this is showing up. America has become such a cynical and unloving place. We should be celebrating this as a win for American Diversity.

    And in response to this tweet, from @JAyres15  that read: "I swear I'm not racist but this is America," one person wrote:
  •  "I swear I'm not racist, but this is America" Really, you aren't a racist?

Nonetheless, today (with her photo and name removed) the Tweeter posted a retraction:
Other news agencies cited tweets which referred to the stereotype of Indian Americans working at convenience stores ("Miss America? You mean Miss 7-11"), and which misidentified her religion and ethnicity, associating her with Muslim or Arabic terrorist groups ("Miss America right now or miss Al Qaeda?").

Some tweets questioned her citizenship ("If you're #Miss America you should have to be American"). She responded to this criticism, "I have to rise above that, I always viewed myself as first and foremost American."

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