Why am I writing about Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, an American winning the Miss America contest? Because apparently racism is running rampant and it demands to be discussed so that our children know better. People are very ignorant and say awful things when hiding behind a computer. This story affects me and my daughters. We come from a culturally diverse background and this racism makes me mad! Fighting mad. I want a better world for my daughters to grow up in.
A native or citizen of the United States.
Americans are citizens, or natives, of the United States of America.
Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, 24, won the coveted title of Miss America. For the talent portion of the competition, she performed a classic Indian dance fused with Bollywood moves. Her platform was “Celebrating Diversity Through Cultural Competency.” How ironic that the world has none for her. Twitter immediately blew up with angry hate tweets.
Ms. Davuluri hopes to become a doctor, like her father, who is an obstetrician. For her question portion of the competition she answered a question about Julie Chen’s plastic surgery and answered with poise and intelligence with a message to be confident in who you are. Love yourself. She just happens to be the first Miss America winner of Indian descent.Does that change how American she is? If you are born in the United States, you are American.Because if we are not and are only the sum of where we descended from than NONE of us are American.
Davuluri is more than just a beautiful woman of Indian descent; she is an American who we should be proud to have represent us. Davuluri, a New York native, was on the dean’s list and earned the Michigan Merit Award and National Honor Society nods while studying at the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a degree in brain behavior and cognitive science. She is passionate about healthy lifestyles after a personal battle with obesity and bulimia in her youth.
When I think of Miss America, I don’t think of “alabaster skin” being the top qualification for being a representative of our country. I think of a beautiful, intelligent, well-rounded young woman of high moral character who my daughters can look up to; a young woman with hopes and dreams, tolerance and compassion born in America.
The color of our skin should not be the litmus test for how American we are. We cannot be measured by the creaminess of our complexion. Exotic eyes and features do not make us love the United States less than our fair-skinned counterparts. In some instances, it may make us love it more because we don’t take for granted how great this country is. For us, this is the realized dream this is the something better and most of us had to work hard to get here.
The United States is a giant melting pot of assimilation. Unless you are Native American, you are not native. We are all foreigners. Let’s get that straight from the start. If you want to split hairs, I am 1/8th Cherokee and even though my father is from Mexico, doesn’t that still make me more American than most? Our country is diverse and many of us are first generation Americans. The skin color of Americans runs every color of the spectrum from milky white to deep chocolate, and we are all Americans. We all deserve human respect and rights.
People taking to twitter to complain that our new Miss America is Indian American is disgusting. The ignorant remarks about her religion and her heritage are racism at its worst. I take offense and I say we should not tolerate the bad behavior of a few racists. Our differences as a people in the United States is what makes us great; this is why so many people want to come to this country because it is symbolic of freedom, tolerance and supposed to be a place free of persecution but that is simply not the case.
As Americans we need to all look in the mirror and ask ourselves is this what we want our America to look like? I want to live in a country of diversity and tolerance. What do you want your America to be?
This post was originally published on The TRUTH about Motherhood.
Deborah Cruz is the chief creative officer of The TRUTH about Motherhood, a parenting and lifestyle blog where she divulges the brutally honest truth about everything with a lot of passion and a little humor. Her husband always knew she had a feminist streak but since becoming a mommy to her girls, it has become her personal mission to protect the uteruses of all womankind. When she is not Throat Punching people or giving you the low down on parenting, you can also find her freelance writing at Mamas Latinas, Aiming Low, Modern Baby, Everyday Family, Moonfrye and Smart Mom Style. In her “spare” time, she tweets like it is her job @TruthfulMommy and might have a small addiction to Facebook.