And this is news because people are awful
By Natalie Serafini, Assistant Editor
By now, you’ve probably heard about the latest plot to take down the United States of America. With 9/11 proving to be a failure 12 years ago, and no other initiatives thus far bringing “Death to America,” those sneaky terrorists have snuck an Indian-American into the Miss America pageant. Not only did they sneak her in, but they snuck her into the coveted title of Miss America, making her the first Indian-American to win. Shocking, right? How could those pageant judges let this happen? How could they have been fooled by her beauty, talent, and American citizenship?
Oh wait, I got that wrong. Twenty-four-year-old Nina Davuluri did not win Miss America as part of a plot to bring down the US, and she is not a terrorist.
You can understand my confusion given the deluge of racist and ignorant misinformation that has sprung a leak following her win. A brief sampling of tweets on the subject include: “For Mrs. America’s talent… building a bomb in 15 seconds! An getting it through Airport security in less than 30! #nojoke,” “A fucking god damn terrorist 9-11 bitch won MISS AMERICA WTF!! Gotta be Merican to win miss Merica #LoveItOrLeaveIt,” “First a president from God knows where, Africa and now a miss America lady that I can’t say or spell her name… Terrorist,” and “9/11 was 4 days ago and she gets miss America?”
Davuluri was 12-years-old when 9/11 happened. She is ethnically Indian, and was born in Syracuse, New York, US. Any racism directed at her would still be unwarranted even if she were of Middle Eastern descent, because ethnicity does not determine goodness. I’m German and Italian—a historical cocktail of horrors—but that doesn’t mean that I’m a Nazi or Fascist. The criticism she has received is all the more ridiculous because she’s not even from the continent that people think she’s from.
She didn’t attempt to hide her ethnicity, and actually made it all the more blatant by performing an Indian dance number. This was her first mistake—if I can briefly write from the perspective of this outraged public who thinks the terr’ists have taken over Miss ‘Merica. Her mistake was thinking that the world was ready for ethnic diversity, or that her brown skin and her cultural displays wouldn’t make the public feel distanced, vulnerable, and afraid.
I can’t believe I’m amazed at the depth of stupidity that has shown its ugly face following Davuluri’s win, but I am. I had thought we’d made progress when people supported a transgender woman participating in beauty pageants. What’s next? A black woman wins Miss America and the public responds with, “A slave wins Miss America? Wow, the American Civil War just ended in 1865 #2Soon”?
The situation is incredibly simple: Davuluri is an American, and has every right to participate in the same activities as other Americans. Her status as an ethnic minority doesn’t change her citizenship. Those who are calling her a terrorist should recognize that ethnicity doesn’t determine what a person’s life choices or beliefs will be. They should also recognize that their issues with Middle Eastern people don’t apply to someone who is of Indian descent.