My parents didnâ€™t have much growing up: my dad was a truck driver, and my mom worked at JC Penney as a clerk, as well as a bunch of other odd jobs. They struggled to find work. We lived in public housing. I learned quickly that I would have to work hard and study hard to follow my dreams. I got my first job while I was still in elementary school â€“ selling TV Guides door-to-door.
I enlisted in the US Navy after high school and then worked my way through college and law school. I went on to a career in law, and then business, before deciding to run for Governor in 2010. In 2010, our state was in a free fall: we had lost more than 800,000 jobs during the four years before I took office, the real estate market had collapsed, and state debt had grown by about a billion dollars a year for two decades.
Nina Davuluri is the first Indian American to hold the title of Miss America. It should be something for all Americans to celebrate. Alas, it's a victory marred by waves of racist backlash in social media. Davuluri is called a "terrorist," and derogatory references to convenience stores - "Miss 7-Eleven" - and Muslims are mentioned. But the biggest complaint? Miss America should be more "American."
Perhaps what the haters resent is that immigration and diversity have irrevocably changed who is an American these days. U.S. demographics are shifting toward a reality where non-white groups are emerging as majorities. By 2050, whites will represent less than 50 percent of the U.S. population, while minorities will reach 54 percent, an astonishing shift.
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Nina Davuluri made history as the first Indian American to be crowned Miss America. She is gorgeous, does a mean Bollywood routine, and plans to become a doctor. Move over spelling bees, #DesiPride is gonna rock beauty pageants in malls across America.
OK, so it's no Tahrir Square, but many Indian Americans felt her victory offered vindication in a culture that prizes hot blondes as the exemplar of all-American beauty. A point Davuluri herself made when asked about Asian TV personality Julie Chen's decision to have plastic surgery to make her eyes less Asian: