My kid (AKA: Toddler-saurus Rex) is more American than Miss America. He’s the very picture of what an American should look like! I mean… just check him out! He’s got blonde hair, blue eyes and he’s driving a gas-guzzler*. You just can’t be more American than him!
*no toddlers were actually allowed to operate motor vehicles for the purposes of this post
I hesitated to write about this.
When there is a hot topic among bloggers (as I assume this will be) I tend to avoid it. Someone else will write what I feel and probably do so with more eloquence than me. However, as I hashed over my “should I or shouldn’t I” feelings with Handsome Hippie Hubby I realized something.
It doesn’t matter if someone else has already said this. When the topic is important my voice needs to be added to the crowd.
Consider this: Martin Luther King Jr. spoke powerfully and with great wisdom but he wouldn’t have been able to accomplish anything without the scores of people echoing his thoughts.
Maybe my voice will be lost in the crowd, but the fact that I am in the crowd and we all have something to say is vitally important.
If you haven’t been online (except to read this awesome blog), watched TV, listened to the radio or picked up a newspaper today, let me sum up the situation for you.
The Miss America pageant was held last night. 53 young women competed for a $50,000 scholarship.
These women are all smart and talented. How do I know that? They are in the Miss America pageant. In order to get there they had to win local and state competitions that are brutal in testing their intelligence, poise and talent. This is not Miss USA, which is a beauty pageant. This is a competition between brilliant women vying to win the opportunity to further their education. Yes, they are pretty, but they don’t get all the way to the big stage in Atlantic City on looks alone.
These clever young women were judged and narrowed down to a field of 12 finalists.
The popular favorite was Miss Kansas, Theresa Vail. She is a soldier in the US National Guard with tattoos and a knowledge of various kinds of weaponry. She is a talented opera singer and a college senior, majoring in chemistry and Chinese. She is smart and talented. She is also very pretty.
However, in the end, it was Miss New York, Nina Davuluri who took home the crown. Miss Davuluri graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in brain behavior and cognitive sciences and plans to attend medical school. She is an accomplished dancer. She is smart and talented. She is also very pretty. She has brown skin.
Miss America has brown skin!
Her ancestors were from India and (the audacity!) she performed a traditional Indian dance as her talent.
The moment she was crowned the internet exploded with comments such as these (shared from I am Not the Babysitter. Click here to read more):
“Our “Miss America” is ugly. Thanks Obama.”
“Great! Miss America is a terrorist. This is wonderful.”
“9/11 was 4 days ago and she gets Miss America?”
and this one:
“OKAY. Not for anything. This is a Miss America pageant not Miss India. Do an American dance.”
This last one made me wonder. Does the tweeter know that Miss California did a French dance? Should she, too find a more American style of dancing? What would that be, anyway? Twerking? I’ll take Bollywood over that crap any day!
I guess I’m naive.
I found the tweets shocking.
I thought that we, as a society had grown past all this nonsense.
I thought that it was obvious that a statement as ridiculous as the one with which I opened this blog is sarcasm because surely no one could actually think that way in 2013!
Perhaps it was only the few… the proud… the ignorant and noisy who feel that way because even here where I live in Farmerville, USA, Americans look like….
my cousin’s ridiculously attractive children (their combined ancestry includes Mexican, Cherokee Indian, Irish, Choctaw Indian and German blood):
These gorgeous kids, whose dad went to school with my sister and me (their combined heritage is English, Irish, German, Polish, Native American, Italian, Spanish of Spain and Spanish of Latin America (Mexican) :
And these sweet heart breakers (who happen to have ancestors of Scottish, Irish, African, German and Native American origin) who are two of Sweet Hippie Daughter’s favorite friends:
And the unbelievably cute son of the one of the leaders of our local Girl Scout troop (his ancestors are Mexican ,Native American and Armenian.) :
And my friend/neighbor/pastor’s wife and her son (who is of Puerto Rican, German, French Canadian, Norwegian, Scottish, and Native American decent):
And, yes, sometimes, Americans may even look like my family:
All of the children pictured and all of their parents were born and raised right here on American soil (and, if you were paying attention, it wasn’t MY children but the lovely brown-skinned people who are NATIVE Americans. The rest of us all came from somewhere else). These are hard-working, tax-paying families who vote and attend PTA meetings and cheer at Little League games. These are families who are made up of people whose interests range from art and music to movies and science to guns and hunting. We have different religious beliefs and different political views and that’s OK.
Do you know why it’s OK?
It’s OK because we are American.
Each of these people, in all their wild diversity, make up a part of this country that is beautiful and great.
America is not beautiful and great in spite of how different we all are, but because of how different we all are. We get to bring the very best parts of our heritage… our crazy, unique, blended heritage… and combine them together to create something wonderful and new and different from anything that’s existed in the world before.
Americans bring pieces of culture from every other part of the globe and turn it into something greater than the sum of its parts.
And so I will stand in the crowd and cheer for Miss America, Nina Davuluri, because she, in all her beautiful brown-skinned glory, represents everything that I love about this great country.
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
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