Miss America Winner Nina Davuluri Fires Up Social Media
While most Indians and Americans are raving about Indian descent Nina Davuluri winning the 2014 Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, NY on Sunday, social media seems to have gone outrageous with its comments. From racist back lashes to personal criticisms. It has been quite a Monday, I was privileged to work on a story with FOX 26 News Anchor Rita Garcia as we hopped around town talking to several Indian Americans to get their feedback.
According to prominent Indian American and active supporter of the Houston community Tanya Bhadra Pal, who was born in New York and raised in all parts of the world says, “So it’s ok if Indian-Americans/South Asians/East Indians/Asian Indians ‘win’ plenty of other titles, from the spelling bee to the Nobel prize, create and/or lead world class US companies that create jobs for all Americans, make milestone medical & scientific contributions in research & development, obtain prominent positions in universities/nonprofits/arts, win elected positions as congressmen/judges/etc all across this country… but winning a crown at a beauty pageant that is devoid of any real power, apparently, is the straw that breaks the camel’s back and brings the crazies out. Bless their stupid little hearts…”. Among the reactions to her facebook post was “the racist people need to get basic Geography lessons before making any remarks, how ignorant. Makes me mad and sad.”
It was very interesting to catch up with Houston based former beauty pageant contestant, fashion designer Tanaz Choudhury to share some of her view points. “I feel that taking the higher ground, as Nina commented this morning is cool. But sometimes just letting people know the obvious, ain’t so bad either. She needs to add Geography to her list of causes,” she chuckles. “But on a serious note, it is really sad that she is getting negative comments from both ends of the spectrum. The mean article about her being ‘Dark Chocolate’ versus the Indian perspective of beauty being ‘Vanilla’ is horrible and the racist comments and ignorance she is receiving from here is awful too. She is as much an American as any white, black or Asian. Ms. America was born here and that just makes me think… What is an American? I hope she manages to pursue her dreams and wears the crown everyday of her tenure.”
We also stopped at Poshak Boutique in ‘Little India’ of Houston on Hillcroft where FOX 26 Rita Garcia interviewed me and asked my thoughts. My opinion is that we should see past the negative and look at where America is today and how well it has embraced different cultures. I also spoke to the owner of Poshak Boutique Sameera Faridi who said its shocking to hear such ignorant comments in this 2013. “Some called her Ms Alqueda! Really!”
Sugar Land, Texas City Council member Harish Jajoo added that “Most Americans are extremely happy regarding an Indian American winning the Miss America Pageant, however it is always a few ignorant people that make such disrespectful comments.”
Although, the big question still remains “What is an American?” Share your thoughts and views…