Social media has been ablaze since the first Indian-American was crowned Miss America. Many people hurled hurtful and racist comments at Nina Davuluri, who has remained gracious in spite of such ugliness.
On Twitter, some even referred to the pageant winner as a terrorist, mocking her Indian roots with shocking displays of cultural ignorance.
Davuluri was born in New York state and is the first Indian-American to wear the glittering crown. Many welcomed seeing a minority represented on the stage, with Questlove taking to Twitter to commend her for illustrating a true American story.
Yet, moments after the historic win, Twitter was also flooded with hateful comments, some congratulating al Qaeda because "our Miss America is one of you" and insisting that "this is America, not India."
"Whiteness is still at the heart of what America is conceived to be by many people," University of Minnesota professor Jigna Desai explained.
Desai told FOX 9 the demographic makeup of the United States is rapidly changing, and the pageant is simply reflecting that reality.
"America doesn't only look like Miss Kansas. Kansas is part of what America looks like, but so is Miss New York, Miss California -- so is Miss Minnesota. She's also Asian-American," Desai said.
Rebecca Yeh, this year's Miss Minnesota contestant, finished in fifth place. She's a 2011 graduate of Brainerd High School.
Desai admitted that she was baffled by the ignorance and racism on display online, but it's spilled into other realms as well. Even FOX News commentator Todd Starnes suggested that Miss Kansas, the tattoo-sporting, bow-hunting, National Guard soldier lost "because she actually represented real American values."
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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