|Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri|
"With their infernal racial set-asides, racial quotas, and race norming, liberals share many of the Klan's premises. The Klan sees the world in terms of race and ethnicity. So do liberals! Indeed, liberals and white supremacists are the only people left in America who are neurotically obsessed with race. Conservatives champion a color-blind society." ~ Ann Coulter
Is it really any wonder that Ann Coulter is probably the most despised woman in America? Not only does she belie her own racist views, she tries to blame liberals for the racism that is obviously not dead in America, despite her claims to the contrary. Case in point:
I have not watched the Miss America Pageant in at least 40 years. I find it sexist, misogynistic and exploitative. So much so, that I broke ties with a an old friend who raised her own daughter up in the pageant system over it's 19th Century ideology. Regardless of how you feel about America's obsession with beauty, Miss America is supposed to represent a decidedly American ideal. When Vanessa Williams was crowned the first African-American Miss America in 1984, the Internet barely existed. There was no Facebook or Twitter and the world was connected solely through the dominant media of the time (i.e. TV). The only controversy surrounding her crowning came later, when it was revealed that she had posde naked for photos with another woman and was eventually stripped of her crown, despite the protests of straight men who found the pictures wildly erotic.
Flash-forward 29 years. Nina Davuluri is crowned the first Miss America of Indian descent. Her talent was a "Bollywood"-style dance in traditional Indian garb. Beautiful, smart and talented, the winner of Miss New York won based on the criteria set forth by the Miss America organization and was voted the winner by a panel of judges which included two openly gay men (Mario Cantone and Lance Bass); a professional basketball player (Amar'e Soudemire); a concert violinist (Joshua Bell) a millionaire investor (Barbara Corcoran) and a former Miss America winner (Dierdre Downs Gunn). That's about as diverse a panel as I can imagine.
Still, almost as soon as Davuluri was announced the winner, a bunch of ignorant racists took to social media, spewing hateful and uninformed nonsense decrying the decidedly American winner a "Muslim" and a "terrorist." One Fox radio announcer went so far as to say Ms Davuluri didn't "embody American values."
To which I can only respond by asking "WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?!"
I dare any single White American, in any part of the country, to claim they did not descend from immigrants. Uncle P is descended from Hungarian and German immigrants, none of whom were born on U.S. soil. My paternal grandmother spoke Hungarian, Russian, German, Romanian and English. If she didn't want you to know what she was saying, she'd speak a language she knew no one else around her spoke. Did that mean she was un-American? No. It meant she had something private to say, just as I do, speaking French or Hungarian when I don't want strangers to know what I am saying. Does that mean Uncle P is not an American? Hell, no! I was born here, to parents who were born here. Just as Ms Davuluri was born here.
The America we know today; the America in which we all have the same opportunities; the America I know and love, was built on the backs of late-19th and early-20th Century immigrants, just as the America of the future will continue to be built on the backs of both native and naturalized Americans of today. Truth be told, if you want to get nit-picky about it, the long-oppressed and unfairly displaced Native Americans are the only real Americans. And yet they still suffer from the kind of ignorant racism which is sadly and deeply ingrained in so many.
I don't claim to have any answers, here. I have no idea how to fix this problem. I just know that it still it exists and only by exposing it, can we overcome it. I hope I live long enough to see the death of racism and the true globalization of society. Sadly, given the current state of affairs, that's a very long time away.
I realize I am hardly the only blogger to rant about this issue today. But I do hope that I am one voice among many who can collectively make difference and perhaps open the eyes of a few of the ignorant. America is known, among many other things, as "The Great Melting Pot" for a reason. Miss America 2014 both embodies that sentiment and reminds us all that few of us are actually indigenous, despite where or when we were born.
PS - If you don't know what "See You Next Tuesday" means, ask a savvier friend...