Miss America Victory Marred by Racist Slurs

Twitter rage after Indian American from New York wins crown

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Mel Evans / AP

Miss New York Nina Davuluri, center, reacts after being named Miss America 2014 pageant as Miss California Crystal Lee, left, and Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan celebrate with her, Sunday, Sept. 15, in Atlantic City.

On Sunday evening, 24-year-old Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America, making her the first Indian American to hold the title. Moments later, the racists rushed to Twitter. What followed was a rather appalling display of ignorance and hate, from comments linking her to terrorism, to references about convenience stores, and cries that Miss America should be more “American.”

But Davuluri has graciously dismissed the haters: “I have to rise above that,” she said. “I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”

Thankfully the days of peroxide blonde barbie dolls dominating the pageant are long gone, with two of the runners up this year, Crystal Lee and Rebecca Yeh, boasting Asian roots. And this really shouldn’t be a surprise given that white children have fallen into the minority of those born in the U.S., according to the latest census data.

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It took about an hour for the rest of the Twittersphere to drown out the bigots, with many applauding the choice of Davuluri, who ran on the platform “celebrating diversity through cultural competency.”

Davuluri is a native of Syracuse, New York, and wants to be a doctor. She plans to use a $50,000 scholarship she won as part of the pageant to apply for medical school.

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