Posted: Sep 17, 2013 7:00 AM
When Indian-American woman Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America recently, the ignorant in the nation began their ranting: "An Arab crowned Miss America right after 9/11?!" and "A black president and now Miss America a Muslim?" Beyond a profound ignorance of geography and ethnicity, this attitude conveys the idiotic, but excessively common, idea that "America is white." Newsflash: It isn't.

After Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America Sunday night, Twitter exploded in ignorant, bigoted rants, confirming for me one central suspicion: The idiots abound.

Also, we aren't that "progressive."

What I want to do is dismiss these people as far-out, uneducated, radical freaks who exist only in the darkest, bleakest corners of America, where dumb people gather and breed and, apparently, tweet.

I'm sorry. Is it mean of me to call them "dumb?" Well, maybe.

But they are.

For example, a large number of these geniuses referred to Ms. Davuluri (who was born in New York, incidentally) as "Arab" or "Muslim," expressing how appalling it is that "al-Qaeda" was crowned Miss America just a few days after Sept. 11.

Globe turned towards Middle East/Asia/India

Somebody wasn't paying attention in geography class, now were they? You've got your bigotry all confused! You're thinking of the Middle East. That's where all the terrorists live! You know, "axis of evil" and whatnot.

I jest. Sarcasm.

India, people. India. As in South Asia. Lots of Hindus. But even if she were from the Middle East, or Muslim, or both, I'd like to throw out this radical notion (take a deep breath): Not all Muslims are terrorists.

Whoa. Hold up Janelle. You're getting crazy.

But I digress. Let's get back on topic. Idiot Bigotry 101.

The other recurring nugget of I'm-Losing-My-Will-To-Live-Knowing-These-People-Exist is the "But this is America!" concept. Right. You got it. A non-white woman cannot be Miss America because this is America and America is white. Obviously.

Except that it isn't.

It's only white in your bigoted, backward imagination.

"America" has never been white.

There have always, always been people of various shades of "color" on these lands. The fact that only one "color" of people rose to power to the extent that it could erase the existence of the Other and define a whole nation in its own image, well, that's another story, isn't it?

But here's the thing: You claim that this whiteness is inherent in American identity, that there is something intrinsically "white" about this country and its cultural identity, and yet, the facts negate that theory, so what's holding together your assertion?



I'm so tired of these "proud" white 'Mericans running around prattling on and on and on and on about the violation of the sacred US of A (by all these immigrants!) when nothing, and I mean nothing, actually backs their proposal that there is something "un-American" about people of color.

We are all immigrants here.

(Unless you're Native American, in which case you're brown. Oh wait. Isn't that a little problematic for the "America is white" gang? If the people who are most American (as if such a thing existed) — as in, here first — were not white, but brown, how can anybody claim that non-white people are intruders or not "real Americans?" I smell a rat. Somebody's lying. I vote it's the bigots.)

Honestly, though, do they even think about what they're saying? Native Americans are not white, but "real Americans" are white. We're all immigrants here, but only some of us count.

Nevermind. I already know the answer to that question.

Our job as parents

Parents, this is the reason we talk to our kids about race. This is the reason we don't let society dictate to our children how "history" has gone. This is the reason we tell our kids the "other side" of history. For example, Columbus Day. Do we bask in the glory of the explorer's "discovery" of this land, or do we tell the truth: This land was already inhabited, and through full-blown genocide, it was colonized by Europeans.

Kids deserve the truth.
Kids deserve both sides of history.

Kids deserve the truth.

Kids deserve both sides of history.

Kids deserve the United States of America as it is, not as it's imagined in the white collective fantasy.

Ms. Davuluri is America, and she always has been.

So I guess the tweeting geniuses were right about one thing: This is America.

Yes. Exactly.

More on civil issues and parenting

America: The only developed country in the world without paid parental leave
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Why is Instagram blocking breastfeeding photos?

Photo credit: Hugh Dillon/