(This is a two-part article – I’m breaking this post up into two parts in the interest of avoiding infodump. I’m planning to segue to India’s obsession with fair skin in Part II).
It’s a week now since she was chosen, but the current Miss America, Nina Davuluri, is of Indian-American origin. Aaaand her choice was accompanied – as many of might have heard – many many ignorant, and even racist comments. There’s a whole assortment to be found on Public Shaming on Tumblr, but comments range from calling her a terrorist, an arab and/or muslim, Miss Foreign Country or Miss 7-11.
Honestly, I just have to roll my eyes at the ignorance displayed. The ones that made me laugh were the ones that equaled the “disaster” of her win with the loss of their favorite sports team. Really? If someone you think someone is a terrorist, a loss of the Yankees, Cowboys, or whatever favorite sports team is as bad or worse? I mean, really????
Miss America’s response has been thoughtful and level-headed, which I would imagine is a necessary quality for her role. I’m pretty excited that she was chosen, since Indian-Americans are a part of the melting pot that is America. Oh, and Nina Davuluri wasn’t the only Indian American in the running for Miss America – there was also Bindhu Parmathi, Miss DC. I do know first hand how frustrating and painful racism and ignorance can be. I feel especially bad for Sikh friends who so often are automatically thought of to be terrorist. Does dark skin, dark hair or a turban automatically mean that you’re a terrorist? Plus, who looks at a beauty pageant and thinks terrorism?
Stephen Colbert really says it best:
By the way, if you’re interested in more non-intelligent Twitter rants, check out some of the comments on Kenichi Ebina’s win of America’s Got Talent, which includes comparisons to Pearl Harbor, and racial slurs like chink and jap. I don’t follow that show at all, and had no idea that a winner had been chosen, but I love checking out Public Shaming to reassure my faith in the human race – and then I’m reminded that some people seem to be terminally ignorant. Well, they could always expand their horizon. But that kind of idiocy is one of the reason I’m rarely on Twitter…
- The Ugly, Racist Response to an Indian-American Miss America (slate.com)
- Miss America Nina Davuluri Responds to Racist Backlash: I’m “First and Foremost American” (gossipcop.com)
- But Don’t Call Them Racist: Right Wing Freaks Out Over First Indian-American Miss America (VIDEO) (addictinginfo.org)
- Sure, There’s No More Racism in America (CNN Entertainment story on Miss America) (rawevents.wordpress.com)
- Miss America attacked for being ‘Arab’ and a ‘terrorist’ after historic win (pix11.com)
- ‘She looks like a terrorist’: newly crowned Miss America faces torrent of vile Twitter abuse over Indian roots (standard.co.uk)