September 19, 2013

Miss America controversy unwarranted

James Bright, Managing Editor,
The Express-Star


This year's winner of the annual Miss America pageant looked a little different from the typical Caucasian champion, and the social media world responded to the change. 

Nina Davuluri of New York became a hash tag sensation almost instantly after the Indian-America contestant took the top prize. Tweets misidentified her as being of Arabic descent and alleged she belonged to an array of terrorist organizations. Others said she didn't deserve the title given she wasn't American. 

The reality is Davuluri is American, born in the U.S. and the people of Grady County are fully aware of it. 

Respondents to a question on The Express-Star's Facebook on the treatment of Davuluri were almost unanimously in her favor. 

"It's Miss America not miss black, white, purple.. You get my drift.. If your a Miss and an American it's game on," Christie Bard wrote. "America is a rainbow of color and cultures."

Bobby Jo Nunn addressed her concerns siting a popular American mantra. 

"I thought this was America land of the free," she wrote. "I just don't understand why people have to see color and not what the person had accomplished in their life."

Some said Davuluri was a perfect representation of America. 

"America is a country of immigrants, if people don't recall that! It began in 1620 with the pilgrims, well if we look around, America continues to be a country of immigrants," Karen Tillman wrote. "There is so much diversity in this country, just look around, who doesn't have or has not had an Indian doctor, who has not seen a foreign engineer, this young lady is who represents what the nation is, not only one race, not only one ethnicity , but the combination of different ones. What matters most in people is who they are, their accomplishment, their values, not the color of the skin."

Other respondents found the debate in its entirety to be ridiculous. 

"Was she born in America? If not I have an issue, otherwise people need to shut up," Jessica Brookman wrote. 

Regardless, all respondents echoed each other in finding the racial comments to be uncalled for.