Nina Davuluri stars in the second-stupidest racist beauty pageant controversy of the decade
IT’S not every day you think “The Internet’s main problem is that there aren’t enough antiquated old farts posting on it”, but such was my reaction to the idiotic Twitter controversy spawned by racists griping because the new Miss America is named Nina Davuluri and has ancestors who hailed from India, which is nowhere near Arabia and doesn’t even have the same religion, but this was too fine a distinction for the jackholes tweet-ranting about Miss America’s being an Arab Muslim terrorist to discern.
So. I hoped that, upon closer inspection, it would turn out the controversy happened because a bunch of ancient gray-heads old enough to reminisce about Jim Crow all decided to open simultaneous Twitter accounts. But no—it came from Americans supposedly young enough to know better.
Granted, finding stupidity in Internet comments is like finding salt in the ocean, and the people who posted racist tweets were vastly outnumbered by the people collecting racist tweets to archive them on public-shaming blogs, so there’s no worry that such obnoxious commentary is the first sign of some impending white-supremacist American revolution.
Still, even if you don’t give a rat’s ass about Miss America contests, it remains appalling to learn so many of your non-old compatriots are not only bigoted enough to think Miss America’s “supposed” to be white, but stupid enough to think this a perfectly reasonable complaint to post under their own easily (traceable Twitter) accounts. And it’s damned annoying when a cultural dinosaur like the Miss America pageant proves more progressive than Americans who weren’t even born until after the Internet officially became a Thing.
This wasn’t the first time a dark-complexioned American beauty queen was accused of terrorist intentions, either. Back in 2010 a Lebanese-American woman named Rima Fakih faced similar slurs when she became that year’s Miss USA. Indeed, she got it even worse than Davuluri: this year’s racist pageant umbrage came primarily from random twits on Twitter, whereas in 2010 there were actual professional conservative pundits accusing Fakih of terrorist connections (which makes perfect sense only if you believe religious fundamentalist Sharia-loving terrorists would also support bikini-beauty contests).
So for all the many reasons we Americans have to feel ashamed of our jackhole countrymen, perhaps the most embarrassing of all is knowing: this is actually an improvement.