The Miss America Pageant, the premier beauty pageant in our country, concluded this past Sunday. Miss New York, Mallory Hagen, had held the crown since January but has finally passed it on to Nina Davuluri, the next Miss New York and a Syracuse resident who hopes to one day go to medical school.

After the stress of the pageant, which included a bathing suit contest, ball gowns, performances and questions from the judges, one would hope that Davuluri’s pressures were over. But almost immediately after she was crowned, Twitter and Facebook exploded with disgust over the judges’ choice.

Davuluri is the first Indian-American to win the title in the long history of the pageant. This generated a great deal of controversy. Twitter posts from all across the country read along the lines of, “Miss New York is Indian. With all respect, this is America” and “An Arab wins Miss America — Classic.”

There were also a lot of posts regarding the crowning of an Indian-American so close to 9/11.

“9/11 was 4 days ago and she gets Miss America!?” one viewer tweeted.

For the talent portion of the competition, many contestants played musical instruments or tried to win over the judges by singing a tender or uplifting song. Davuluri performed a Bali-fusion dance in full costume. This also brought great criticism from Twitter users: “Egypt dancing? Please, this is America.”

Miss America, with the grace and confidence that comes with winning the title, took all these comments in stride, according to Time Magazine.

“I have to rise above that,” she said. “I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”

Today, one would hope that a non-Caucasian woman could win Miss America without such vicious backlash. The racist comments posted to Twitter are atrocious and disgusting to read.

My generation should know better by now. We have passed laws and fought wars to end discrimination against people that are different but no less American than the founding fathers of our country.

As an American, I am proud to have a strong role model like Davuluri. She has fought against bulimia and takes a strong stand against eating disorders in general. Like the rest of us, she lives in an American city and, like the rest of us, actively works to achieve her American Dream.

Sanguinetti is a member of the class of 2015.



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