By Paul Gorski
Many news sources, including the New York Post (http://nypost.com/2013/09/16/angry-racists-react-to-new-miss-america/), reported a “racial backlash” to the crowning of Nina Davuluri, who is of Indian descent, as Miss America 2014 this past weekend. That is just embarrassing.
Soon after Davuluri was crowned, negative comments hit social media. People were tweeting complaints that Davuluri was a terrorist, not American, or that she was Muslim and not deserving of the crown. A Fox News host, Todd Starnes, tweeted: “The liberal “Miss America judges won’t say this — but Miss Kansas lost because she actually represented American values.” Having never heard of Starnes, I’m not sure if this is part of his normal banter.
Davuluri, neither an Arab nor a Muslim, was born in Syracuse, N.Y., raised in the United States, and is a University of Michigan graduate with a degree in brain behavior and cognitive science, and plans to use the $50,000 prize money to attend medical school. Sounds like a smart American to me.
So, why be so mean to her? Are these words not posted at the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”?
Are we not the world’s “melting pot” of diversity? Have we not learned our lessons from slavery, Jim Crow laws, the poor treatment of Irish immigrants, the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and other similar lapses in moral judgment?
I can’t say that Davuluri deserved to win the crown, as I haven’t watched one of these pageants in years, but to oppose her victory simply based on ethnicity seems so 1800s to me. Let’s move into the 21st century.
Congratulations to Nina Davuluri, Miss America 2014.
Paul Gorski (http://www.paulgorski.com) is a Cherry Valley Township resident who also authors the Tech-Friendly column seen in this newspaper.
From the Sept. 18-24, 2013, issue