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:
Dominica hotelier, Gregor Nassief, has issued a third letter to LIAT, this time to the shareholders of LIAT, the Hon. Prime Ministers Dr. Baldwin Spencer of Antigua and Barbuda, Freundel Stuart of Barbados, Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica and Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines calling for them to "take ownership" of the airline and the crisis. The letter calls for them to "act in the interest of your citizens, your visitors and your economies" and to "break the cycle of perpetual unaccountability." The public complaint is enclosed for publication.