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Miss America represents diversity

Editorial cartoon by Jacob Bogdanoff

Editorial cartoon by Jacob Bogdanoff

Following the crowning of a new Miss America on Sept. 15, an immediate racial backlash surged throughout the nation, with some of the most hateful responses being posted online.

“We’re making history right here,” said 24-year-old Nina Davuluri, the first contestant of Indian heritage to win the competition. Yet the newly crowned Miss America’s celebration was short-lived, as Twitter showcased even the most racist reactions.

Some of the rude comments mentioned that Davuluri was not beautiful enough to win, and that she was nothing more than a 7-11 employee and terrorist. One tweet even read, “Miss America right now…or Miss Al Qaeda?”

Perhaps one of the most surprising tweets came from Fox News host Todd Starnes, who griped, “The liberal Miss America judges won’t say this – but Miss Kansas lost because she actually represented American values. #missamerica.”

Yet if the ignorant media anchor had done more research, he would have known that Davuluri is a native of Syracuse.

“The girl next door is evolving as the diversity of America evolves. She’s not who she was 10 years ago, and she’s not going to be the same person come 10 years down the road,” Davuluri said in an interview with CNN.

Citizens from India are even criticizing Davuluri’s win, claiming the win would have been greater had she been of a lighter skin tone since light-skinned women are valued more in Indian culture, according to CNN. But what viewers from both India and America are failing to see is that beauty runs deeper than skin complexion. Indians and Americans should celebrate Davuluri’s win, as it is a historical feat for both.

When did becoming the Miss America pageant become an entire foundation for portraying American values, anyways? The Miss America winner has never truly been representative of the entire nation.

Americans should not forget that the nation was founded upon emigrating cultures, religions and ethnicities brought together as one diverse whole.

Being white is not an American value, it is a trait of an individual.

There is no single trait that is more American than another.

Luckily, there are still celebrities using media platforms to recognize the ignorant comments being made, including Jon Stewart who used his show to critique the misspellings and poor grammar of the racist tweets. Others, such as Tyra Banks, used Twitter to congratulate Davuluri.

In the end, to be American is to be an immigrant. To say Davuluri is “not American enough” is just ignorant.

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