Opinion: It’s called Miss America not Miss White America

Bruce Walton is a senior columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]

Bruce Walton

Bruce Walton

Contact Bruce Walton at [email protected]

This year’s Miss America pageant has been a slew of firsts. As Elaina pointed out on Monday, Miss Kansas, also known as Theresa Vail, was the first contestant to openly have tattoos and the mixed reviews of her appearance and lifestyle was shocking and progressive. And on Monday, Miss New York also known as Nina Davuluri was crowned as the first Indian-American Miss America. But just like many Miss America’s from before, Davuluri is highly intelligent, talented, generous, accomplished and very beautiful.

But since her coronation, there has been a stir on twitter especially of racists complaining about Miss America being Indian-American. Ignorant people had claimed and spread the rumor that she was Arabic, making jokes and complaints about having a Muslim, Arabic Miss America. Some took offense that Davuluri won so close to 9/11 as if it was her fault or anyone related to her for the terrorist attacks.

They called her names like Miss Al-Qaeda and Miss Terrorist. People also complained about her, much like our President, not being a “real American” like savannah _dale97 who tweeted, “Miss New York is an Indian.. With all do respect, this is America.”

This common statement of America being “America” was used a lot when defending their outrage of Davuluri and it sickens me. With all “due” respect, what do you think America is?

Apparently these “real Americans” thought Theresa Vail, the tattooed army veteran, Aryan was more deserving of the title of Miss America. Although she is very American, she is as much American as Davuluri.

I don’t know how people still haven’t realized it yet but America has never been an all-white utopia of Anglo-Saxon protestant Christians in a racially homogenous culture. It never has but it is now only recently beginning to show through its international representatives like ambassadors, Heads of State, Presidential positions and yes, Miss America pageant winners.

America is not white. America is not black. America isn’t Middle Eastern, Hispanic, Asian, or even Native American. America is America, a country. A nationality is not a race, no matter how much people say “this is America” as if implying this nation is a whites only section.

In the past, white privilege has suppressed the rest of the minorities in America from reaching national recognition among whites in America. And although white people were the only notable characters in all forms of media like movies, books, plays and news, minorities have been very prevalent as well as educated and successful as whites and only now are being nationally recognized.

For the longest time there was indeed a white America and non-white America, but they both were still America. Now all that has been changing and we’re going to see a lot more amazing people of different colors, sizes and creeds because we are America, from African-Americans to Caucasian Americans and everywhere in between.