Moments… no, seconds after the new Miss America was crowned, the Twitterverse exploded with racist Tweets. Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, is the first woman of Indian descent to win the title of Miss America. The 24-year-old from Syracuse is studying to be a doctor. After she became Miss New York, Davuluri told the Syracuse Post Standard:
“Everything happens for a reason. If it’s meant to be it’s meant to be. It’s a win-win just to be in it.”
If Ms. Davuluri is correct and everything does happen for a reason, maybe the reason she won the title of Miss America was to demonstrate that Americans come in all varieties. After all, in a competition that included one contestant rocking a knee-brace (Miss Florida) and the first ever contestant with tattoos (Miss Kansas), this year’s batch of beauty queens was pretty diverse.
Ms. Davuluri performed a Bollywood-style dance for the talent competition, wearing a traditional (and gorgeous) Indian dancing costume. Though she missed her cue at first, she managed to make up for it and wowed the judges. She was given a question about plastic surgery – the questions were a curious mix of serious and stupid – and finally ended up with the crown at the end of the night.
But not everyone was happy for her. In fact, some were downright angry. On Twitter, the outrage began to fly as soon as her name was out of the host’s mouth. One of the earliest came from a guy named Luke Brasili:
What the hell does 9/11 have to do with this? Because she has dark skin she’s somehow tied to what happened on that day? What kind of troll logic is that?
Fox Radio host Todd Starnes was convinced that the “liberal judges” were at fault. He — and many others — was rooting for Miss Kansas to win.
He didn’t quite get it out of his system with that, however, tweeting a bit later:
“American values,” Todd? What, like intelligence, hard work and integrity? Oh, right… what would you know about any of that?
This idiot can’t even tell the difference between Indian-American and African-American:
Hey, way to pull off a racist two-for-one. Idiot.
This guy was really angry. Maybe it’s because of the wingdings taking over his name:
And expect to see this cute little meme popping up all over Facebook this week:
Well, gosh! If she loves to hunt that should make her a shoo-in, right? And, while I like her ink and thank her for her service in the National Guard, there is nothing about any of those three things that should automatically qualify her as Miss America.
But there were many, many Tweets expressing support for Ms. Davuluri and decrying the racism on display over her win. Even some humor:
But that last message, from Questlove Jenkins is how we should be viewing this. It is amazing. And it is the American story. And all the racist haters are the ones who should be ashamed. Not our new Miss America.
And before anyone takes me to task for supporting the pageant — I don’t. I did not watch it. I never watch it. But this win is a historic event and a step towards the diverse-and-proud-of-it America that I hope to see before I die. Besides, all that hate coming across my Twitter feed made me want to scream. And I do that best in words.
Here’s the video of Nina Davuliri’s Miss America-winning performance (note how “real American” Miss Kansas jumps up when the announcer calls up Miss New York):