Racists Mad at First Indian American Miss America, Nina Davuluri’s, Non-WASPness

MissAmeica_Natalie_DavuluriDo you know what a WASP is? It refers to someone who is white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant (aka white people). Do you know what it isn’t? Brown, black, yellow, or red people (aka everyone else).

Last night, the 2014 Miss America Pageant occurred. As such, a beautiful young lady was crowned. This young lady, Nina Davuluri, just so happens to be Indian American. You know, like from India.

In fact, she is the first Indian American to ever win the title. What does that mean? It means that her family’s origins can be traced back to India. She is an American citizen but she just so happens to have a diverse background when compared to many previous Miss America winners. She was born in New York and has lived in plenty of “American” cities . But, she is certainly brown, in other words, not white.

Now, while this is not shocking to other non-whites and non-racists, some folks really have a hard time digesting how a brown person can be named “Miss America.” I mean, we’re all white, right?

It saddens me that my fellow Americans are so ignorant. It really does. But, these sentiments are real. After Davuluri was crowned, Twitter imploded as flabbergasted racists could not even fathom what possessed pageant judges to award this gorgeous lady with an American crown. To these simpletons, Indian American is synonymous with ties to Al-Qaeda, Arab uprisings, and the 9-11 tragedy. How could she be allowed to win the Miss America pageant? You know because Indian Americans are all the same as Osama bin Laden, right?

Let’s take a quick roll call of the slurs and insults. (These tweets have been adjusted as they keep disappearing throughout the day)

She was called an Arab (whatever that means).

Arab Tweet2







Arab Tweet









She was linked to terrorism.

terror tweet








She was attached to 9-11.

9-11 Tweet








She was called a Muslim (like that’s an insult).

muslim tweet
















And, she was just plain ‘ol racially profiled (Indian American = foreigner).

arab tweets3
















The subtlety in that last tweet is in the turban wearing emoji with the gun to his head, brilliance I tellya. And check out all the retweets of that hatred. Racists have friends ya’ll.

What is perhaps the oddest part of this entire ordeal is that these folks’ concerns were about how “un-American” her winning was. Somehow, having a brown person whose genetic lineage doesn’t hail from some WASP-y country like Sweden, Germany, England, etc. means that she is somehow unworthy of the crown. So, basically, only Sarah Palin is allowed to win Miss America.

Not only that, if her lineage comes from anywhere near the Middle East, she is automatically a slap in the face for all the “real” Americans like poor Miss Kansas.

(The tweet was removed but we can still show you the lovely meme for Miss Kansas)


Sad how this poor white woman was robbed of her rightful honor of Miss America ’cause she shoots guns and arrows, wears tattoos, and hunts and stuff. Duh, she is so much more American than Davuluri, right? I actually had no idea what this pageant was about until the Racist Twitter Mafia emerged from hiding to alert me.

When I first saw the uproar, I wasn’t surprised. It is to be expected. We are consistent about this stuff you know. Stereotyping and racial profiling others is kind of our thing. We especially love to do it to brown and black people. Yet, these racists present such a conundrum as to stereotype themselves, a relatively new concept in the racial animus stratosphere. And, their idiocy takes on so many multitudinous dimensions, they are almost innumerable to count. They are saying that someone without guns, blonde hair, pale skin, and/or other traditionally white features is undeserving of our namesake.

In a sense, these folks are defining “American-ness” by excluding people from one of the most populace regions in the world. And, in the same breath, they have made it clear that anyone from this area is not only unwelcome in the American social ideal, they are also a threat to American culture itself.

This ordeal is simply a case study of when ignorance meets the Twitter-verse. First a black POTUS and now an Indian American Miss America, they likely feel their very existence slipping away from them. Both dumb and angry, these folks prove that post-racialism is a far off notion that we’ve obviously got to work a lot harder to achieve.


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Jenn M. Jackson

Jenn M. Jackson, PhD is a co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Water Cooler Convos. She is a native of Oakland, CA. Jenn is a radical Black feminist scholar who believes none of us are free until all of us are free.

4 Responses

  1. Tim says:

    On Twitter you will find a diverse array of racist comments on just about any topic possible. On any forum that is open to everyone on a public platform, you will get trolls whose comments will virally rise to the top of the feed due to shock value.

    Now, whether or not these people believe what they are saying doesn’t matter. Their ignorant comments are the ones being talked about. Sad, considering there are many MORE progressive and wonderful comments on the topic from all races supporting the new Miss America.

    The funny thing is when you actually go to twitter and look at some of these bigoted Miss America Tweets instead of just re-purposing a viral buzzfeed, you’ll find the racist comments come from a rainbow of sources. Black, white, latino…everyone.

    You group white people together as WASPs (most of whom are not) and then go on to insinuate that this racism is born from the white population, when in reality, Americans of all races have participated in this social media flurry of shame. <— do you see the irony here? Maybe we can be brought together through our intolerance of each other…most likely not, but it's a thought.

    You've grouped all white people together, labeled them,and made them the object of blame. Now, I understand there are many racist white people who would best serve America in a rocket fired at the sun, but in your enthusiasm to assign blame to one racial group, you are quickly becoming the very thing you write against. A close-minded individual who sees race as what defines a person not as just a part of who they are. I self-identify more strongly by my personality, morals, and intelligence (or lack thereof) far more than by how dark or light I am.

    Time for you to open up your mind as well. Rhetoric such as this piece is harmful to American race relations, and is actually along the lines of an old school of thought. One that I hoped would die out with the Boomer generation…I guess I was a bit too optimistic.

    We should, instead,be focusing on how astonishing it is that we have a 21st century competition where women are judged on their ability to wear a swimsuit.

  2. Thanks for your comments Tim.

    I think you may have misunderstood the post. At no point do I assign racism to ALL white people. But, the concerns displayed on those Twitter feeds (highlighted in my post) came from (what seemed like) white Americans. I did review many of their feeds and they self-described as white in many cases. I agree that everyone is bigoted. And, you’ll find on this site that we have highlighted bigotry in black and Latino communities as well. However, these insults shown above seemed to come primarily from one demographic.

    I share your concerns about racial grouping. However, in America, most white people actually ARE WASPs. This is factual. And, in this country, racism is indeed born from whites as racism can only originate from a majority population. Racial animus or bigotry from black, Latinos, Asian Americans, and other groups cannot (by definition) be racism. So, your point there is counterfactual.

    You are free to identify as however you’d like. I personally do derive much of my identity from my race but then again, I come from a dual-minority background and my race greatly contributes to how I am perceived, received, and treated in many social arenas. I don’t think that makes anyone close-minded but it does, in some cases, inform their life outcomes, social groupings, and other facets of their personal lives. How dark or light folks are can make a huge difference in how they see the world and how the world sees them, no?

    A final note, this post in now way says that all whites are racist. That would be absurd. Neither does it set the expectation that folks on Twitter be MENSA members (as I said in the post I was not surprised by the reactions). But, if one reads this post unfiltered, you’ll find that I am actually noting that post-racialism is an unreal concept given that these types of issues still occur no matter the race/s whom originated them.

    I am all for beautiful women in a pageant if that is what they choose to do. For young women, it gives them something extracurricular to do and helps boost their self-esteem. I think Ms. Davuluri is gorgeous and deserves the same respect anyone else does regardless of her vocation, race, creed, color, religion, sexual orientation, or anything else.

    Thanks again:)

  3. Joe says:

    Hi Jenn
    I dont know if twitter or online comments are real representation/measure of how racist we whites are? Maybe they are manybe they arent. I get a feelin they arent. However I do believe polls can exploit it. And there have been polls that have demostrated your point. But I would not get worked up over a thing like Miss America most of us had no idea it was on or still exists. Im not that impressed with the winners looks and think you should have won. God Bless

  4. jake smith says:

    Hi It seemed to me some of these comments were meant to be funny. I have a hard time believeing online tweets really measure racial attitudes. Sorry I can laugh at almost anything. I do believe polls can she racial ignorance and I can find polls to make your point. I personally do not find this lady that pretty. I think you should of won. God Bless